Use caffeine to keep up your energy level when you travel.
When you're tired while traveling, a cup of caffeinated tea or coffee, or a caffeinated soda (equivalent to about 50mg of caffeine) every two hours should help you stay awake. More than that will not make you more alert but may reduce your ability to sleep later. Enjoying caffeine 8 hours or less before bedtime will negatively impact your sleep quality.
What contains caffeine?
Caffeine is present in tea, coffee, caffeinated sodas, chocolate, and in some pain medications. Brewed ‘drip’ coffee and energy drinks tend to have very high amounts of caffeine so only half a cup of these is needed every two hours. Work out the caffeine content of your typical drink so you can plan how much to have.
When we are awake, our cells use energy. A by-product of this energy use is an increase in the amount of adenosine in our bodies. Adenosine is part of the sleep regulation system, and is associated with increased sleepiness. Caffeine is an adenosine-receptor antagonist and therefore blocks the sleepiness-inducing effects of adenosine. As a result, caffeine is a highly effective stimulant. Caffeine stays in our system for a long time. It typically has a half-life of three to five hours so if you take 100mg of caffeine at 10am, you will still have 12.5mg of caffeine in your system at bedtime 12 hours later. Having caffeine in your body at bedtime will have a negative effect on your sleep that night. Using caffeine “little and often”, and then stopping it as long as possible before bed, will optimize the benefits of caffeine and minimize the negative effects on sleep.
Jet lag is history.
Enjoying caffeine at the right time can help increase your energy level while traveling, but caffeine at the wrong time can negatively impact your sleep quality and may reduce your ability to sleep. Timeshifter will tell you when you could benefit from using caffeine during your trips to get the maximum benefits, and when to avoid caffeine to avoid disrupting your sleep.