There are some days where one cup of coffee just isn’t enough and you rely on a second (or third!) cup to get you through.
There’s nothing wrong with having multiple cups of coffee for a little energy boost–however, experts say that the time you have them could potentially be detrimental. In fact, most say it’s a terrible idea to have a cup past 3 p.m. in the afternoon because of the caffeine’s ability to disrupt your body’s natural sleep rhythm.
Researchers found that people who consumed caffeine up to six hours before bed lost more than an hour of sleep. This is because the caffeine acts as a stimulant and interrupts the flow of melatonin, the hormone that signals it's time for bed, fall asleep, and wake up.
There are studies that also show caffeine has the ability to cut the body's levels of melatonin in half, which explains why drinking coffee too close to bed can cause you to lose an hour of sleep.
If parting ways with your afternoon coffee is a no-go, experts recommend switching the time you have it to the early afternoon to ensure that you're not knocking any hours off your sleep.
So, when's the best time to drink coffee? Registered dietitian Laura Cipullo says that it's ideal to have a cup of coffee three to four hours after waking up as it's when your body produces less cortisol, a stress hormone that can make us feel anxious, which she notes can be exacerbated by caffeine.