It’s three in the afternoon and you’re at your desk at work. The lazy environment makes it hard for you to keep your eyes open. You can barely focus on your tasks for the day and that’s when you feel like it’s time for your afternoon coffee.

While coffee is often the go-to beverage of many people to help them become more active and alert, it’s not often effective – especially if you’re drinking it at the wrong time of the day.

What Happens When You Drink Coffee After Three?

Is it still coffee o’clock after 3PM? / PicHelp

If you’re like most people, it is probably your habit to reach for a cup of caffeine during a sluggish afternoon to combat sleep. However, experts are against this and they believe it is better to switch to decaf, particularly after lunchtime. The reason behind this is that when you drink coffee after three in the afternoon, you will find it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

You can still rely on coffee to get you going, but scientists agree that you should have that cup in the morning, instead of later in the day. You get that vital energy boost when you drink coffee in the morning. However, you will not get the same effect when you drink it in the afternoon because it can wreak havoc with your sleep schedule.

Effects of Drinking Coffee After 3PM 

Caffeine is many people’s favorite stimulant, but experts have discovered this can have the following effects:

  • Melatonin Interruption: Drinking coffee late in the afternoon can disturb the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that lets us sleep at night. Melatonin controls our sleep schedule by telling us whether it is time to sleep or wake up.
  • Less Sleep: According to a research performed at the Tel Aviv University, participants who drank coffee after 3PM slept five and a half hours of sleep on average. On the other hand, those who did not drink coffee or those who opted for decaf instead, slept extra two hours.
  • Poor Quality of Sleep: Even if the participants slept for almost six hours, they still tossed and turned before going to sleep.

Melatonin production starts to rise at about two hours before you go to sleep. Then, the hormone peak around two to four in the morning before it decreases. According to research in Israel, melatonin is halved when you drink coffee at three and beyond. It takes a while for coffee to leave our system, so it does make sense to drink it in the morning or at least before the specified time to avoid sleep problems.