After tossing and turning Wednesday night, a sleep-deprived Haley Peters, 32, was mystified on Thursday as to why she couldn’t get to sleep the previous night. The Kansas City office manager told coworkers that she had tried all her usual sleep tricks including counting sheep, doing a headstand, curling her toes, inhaling through her left nostril, and using a sleep app called, Good Sleeps, but that nothing had worked.
“I don’t suffer from insomnia,” Haley said. “I always make sure to turn off my phone, shut down my computer, and read a book at least an hour before bedtime. I’m the kind of person that when my head hits the pillow, I’m out. I have no idea what went wrong last night.”
When pressed, Haley admitted to having had some caffeine late in the day. However, she remained firm that it wasn’t the caffeine that had kept her awake.
“I’m not caffeine sensitive at all,” Haley said stifling a yawn. “In fact, I can drink it all day and it won’t affect my sleep.” It’s inconceivable to Haley that perhaps her body chemistry had changed, and that now she’s a more sensitive to caffeine than once had been.”
Research has shown that caffeine blocks the action of the chemical Adenosine which causes drowsiness by slowing down the nerve cell activity; caffeine speeds the body back up.
“I absolutely know for a fact that it wasn’t the three Venti Pike’s Place Roast coffees I drank during the day, the regular cup of coffee I inhaled before our 4:00 p.m. meeting, or the chocolate I ate before bedtime. My not being able to sleep on Wednesday night was just one of those freak occurrences.”
When pointed out to Haley that a high dose of caffeine is 400 mg per day and that one venti’s-worth of Pike’s Place Roast is approximately 415 mg, she still couldn’t comprehend that caffeine might be the reason for her sleeplessness.
“My caffeine tolerance is something I’ve always been strangely proud of,’ Haley admitted. “My mom is the same way. She has a cup of coffee to wake up in the morning and coffee throughout the day, and it never affects her. Of course, since she’s older she doesn’t get much sleep anyway, but that’s more of an age thing—not a caffeine-thing.”
Haley’s friends are feeling frustrated with her, and one friend, who wished to stay anonymous said, “We’re all getting tired of her whining and not doing anything about it. All of us wish she’d just switch to decaf or give up caffeine for good.”
Haley remains adamant about not cutting back on her caffeine consumption and wears her caffeine-tolerance as a badge of honor the way some people do when they’re able to hold their liquor.
“Haley’s the only person I know who views being able to drink full-strength coffee any time during the day as an admirable personality trait,” Haley’s friend and co-worker, Skylar Mahon commented. “People aren’t judged on their ability to withstand a ton of caffeine and still sleep, but Haley won’t admit her caffeine-addiction. To be honest, it’s kind of annoying.”
There have been other instances when Haley ingested a lot of caffeine during the day, and then couldn’t sleep at night, but Haley refuses to see a pattern.
“I try to discourage her from drinking so much coffee,” Haley’s boyfriend, Matt Castillo said. “I’ll be like, let’s have a beer, but she refuses saying that she doesn’t want to develop an alcohol problem. She just doesn’t get that she already has a problem, and that it’s with caffeine.”
Haley was hopeful that Thursday night wouldn’t be a repeat of Wednesday.
“I’m confident I’ll get some zzzzs tonight,” Haley said while sipping on her 2nd coffee of the day at 10:00 a.m. “ I’m working on my own theory. I wonder if it could be lettuce that’s keeping me up. I did have a big salad on Wednesday. I bet that’s the reason I can’t sleep—leafy greens.”