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Drinking coffee improves my sleep. Wait, what?

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by rglr, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. rglr


    New Hampshire
    I'm trying to find an explanation for why drinking coffee improves my sleep. I don't consider this a good thing, I'm not advocating drinking coffee to improve your sleep.

    My quick run down is this:
    Lots of pain and low grade depression since I was a teenager.
    Steadily got worse until an almost total meltdown in my late 30's
    Saw many doctors for about 12 years or so with no results
    3 years ago I discovered the power of nutritious food, improved to about 75%, and left the doctors behind.
    Last fall I learned of methylation and got a bunch of tests done:
    HD methylation panel (low glutathione and SAM; high SAH, adenosine)
    Yasko UAA (low amino acids across the board)
    Yasko UTEE (nothing alarming)
    23andme (MTHFR A1298C and some others but not an overly concerning panel)

    I've read that coffee can be a methyl doner but also raises adenosine so my first step to improve methylation was to quit drinking coffee. In doing so I have learned that I cannot sleep without it, especially if I eat nutritious food, my sleep is much better eating less nutritious foods.

    If I eat a small amount (1oz) beef liver and/or leafy greens (not drinking coffee) I cannot sleep well that night. I can sort of understand this because I'd say the B12 and folate are driving methylation and this is detox or startup symptoms. I can sleep decent while eating much more liver and leafy greens if I'm also drinking coffee.

    As an example, one day after I hadn't slept well for 3-4 days (without coffee) I was so frustrated I drank 3.5 cups of coffee at work...I slept 9 solid hours that night.

    Now that I'm attempting the Active B12 protocol this effect is even more pronounced.

    Anyone experience this? Or have an idea where I can look?


    p.s. Thanks for all the great information here; I'd be lost without it!
    Tor, sarah darwins and *GG* like this.
  2. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Senior Member

    There are three things in life which it is foolish to live without. One of them is coffee.

    What works, works.
    SB_1108, Scarecrow, Tor and 3 others like this.
  3. AaroninOregon

    AaroninOregon noob

    @rglr I haven't tried coffee but I have had the same result as you with eating less nutritious food...improved sleep.
  4. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

    Arizona, USA
    I thought this was an interesting question, so I started snooping to see if I could figure the connection. Look at the description of the metabolism of caffeine here:

    One point it makes is that caffeine and adenosine (which causes sleep) are of similar structure. So the sense I'm trying to make out if it is this: Caffeine is a receptor antagonist for the adenosine receptors, which is why it blocks the adenosine from binding there and causing most people to sleep. But for you, perhaps it binds there and instead of not having an effect, it has a stronger effect than adenosine. What could cause that? Maybe your gene for adenosine receptor has an SNP - just a wild guess.

    The other thing to look at is whether there is some interaction between caffeine and the wakefulness neurotransmitters. I didn't get that far, but this article seemed like a good place to start.

    The nutritious food angle is interesting, too, but just what you are calling nutritious vs. non-nutritious food would have to be pinned down to make any sense of it. Bodies story carbohydrate as glycogen, and glycogen breaks down to adenosine. But liver and greens are not the kind of carbs that would get stored as glycogen. Maybe you have issues storing glycogen? Or it's all breaking down more quickly than usual, which would make your basline adenosine high?

    I, myself, have no trouble making and storing, but using glycogen has been a problem - the result of which is hypoglycemia. And I didn't sleep when I was hypoglycemic - that is until I ate something. (Funny, prednisone has since cured both hypoglycemia and insomnia for me, which I take now that my adrenal insufficiency has been diagnosed.) Oh, well. I'm just thinking out loud here. Nothing really to contribute.

    Another question, though: How much time between when you drink coffee and when you get sleepy? Is it about 45 minutes?
    sarah darwins likes this.
  5. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

    OH USA
    When I went to Jesse Stoff and had trouble sleeping, added to my shots was caffeine, it worked. Like cured like.
  6. UM MAN

    UM MAN Senior Member

    Have you tested your D3 levels? ( it takes a few weeks to get levels up, but it works for me)
    Does SAM-e help with your sleep?
    Have you tried choline or TMG?
    Are you talking about getting to sleep, how rested you feel after sleeping, or how
    long you sleep for?

    I love this Dr., I would go to her ( if I could) for any condition.

    COFFEE is also an Anti-inflammatory, an Anti-oxidant, besides a source of caffeine.
    Does a caffeine pill also help you sleep?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  7. redaxe

    redaxe Senior Member

    A lot of people find that coffee has antidepressant effects. If it works it works :)
    I can't live without caffeine
  8. Tor


    My sleeping problems all started when I tried to quit coffee - now that I'm "using" again, my sleep is slowly improving but still not where it used to be.

    Coffee has a very odd effect on me. A lot of people need it to help with energy / fatigue. For me, it gives me a mental boost that makes me feel alive / happy again. No jitters or super alert or anything like that.
    redaxe and SB_1108 like this.
  9. rglr


    New Hampshire
    Thanks for the links @Critterina I'll be reading these tonight.
    Some thought provoking responses. Thank you.

    Adrenal issues may be involved here.
    I have a pretty unusual history with adrenal insufficiency. At my worst (circa 2008) my doctor had me
    on 70mg oral hydrocortisone (this is 3.5 times the physiologic dose) and my AM cortisol the next morning was still zero! My doctor was very confused by this and just chalked it up to an over active immune system. Once I started eating better my AM cortisol levels returned and I was able to stop taking the HC. Now that I'm driving methylation it feels as though my immune system is back in overdrive so it might be interesting to measure cortisol now. Caffeine stimulates cortisol so this may be a factor.

    What I consider nutritious food is pretty much whole food meat and non starchy vegetables/berries- the more organ meats and variety of vegetables the better. Non nutritious foods to me are bagels, pasta, pizza,...the standard american diet. I hadn't considered glycogen as an issue but as I think about my history this may be significant as well. When I was road cycling I had to eat every 15 minutes to avoid the bonk. My fellow cyclist could easily ride 30 minutes to an hour without eating. I don't know if that was a glycogen issue or just the extreme state of metabolic derangement...but again, thanks for the thought I will look here as well.

    Interestingly, I don't get sleepy after drinking coffee. I have what I consider a typical reaction e.g. alert, focused,
    uplifted mood. However, I can drink coffee and take a nap or go to bed for the evening without issue. I think that has always been the case even when I was in my 20s. At one point (probably around 2008 as well) I was waking up at 2am drinking coffee while researching my health issues online then going back to bed for a quick nap before work. ugh!

    I cannot go near any methyl doners at this point. SAMe, TMG, Methylfolate. Even the small amount of betaine in the HCl supplements keep me awake.
    Vitamin D status is always right around the bottom of the normal range...but when I supplement Vitamin D3 I have sleep issues.

    I thank all of you for your feedback!
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  10. redaxe

    redaxe Senior Member

    I take my caffeine pills to wake up in the morning. I set my alarm about 30-60minutes before I need to be up and I keep a glass of water and No-doz tablets beside my bed. After a tablet I let myself fall asleep again until I have to be up. That way the caffeine is already in my system when I have to get ready.
    It does help me not feel like a complete zombie in the morning. It sucks trying to start a day when you just want to crawl back to bed.

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