Why Doesn’t Coffee Wake Me Up?

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Coffee is the first thing millions of people across the world reach for in the morning, and many of them rely on the stimulating effects of caffeine to get them through the day. Caffeine is a common psychoactive substance that may be found in a variety of beverages, including coffee, energy drinks, sodas, and even chocolate.

Most people need a little caffeine to get going in the morning. Thus, it can be disheartening when coffee doesn’t live up to expectations. In case you’re in this predicament, reading on will shed light on why your morning brew isn’t doing the trick.

Why Doesn’t Coffee Wake Me Up?

Alarm clock at 7 am

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Caffeine’s mechanism of action is intuitive, but what causes it to fail can be more difficult to pin down. Coffee’s ineffectiveness un promoting alertness can be attributed to a variety of factors. We have identified the most typical causes.

But there might be atypical and undiscovered factors at play as well. Coffee “detoxes” don’t always work, and some individuals still can’t tolerate caffeine even after years of trying.

Here are some of the main reasons why coffee is ineffective:


Although dehydration is an ongoing issue for most people, coffee does not aid in rehydration since it is a diuretic.

Coffee may not be effective as a stimulant if you are dehydrated. Because dehydration can produce drowsiness, it may good to drink a lot of water before and after each cup of coffee.

In addition to the short-term discomfort of a headache, dehydration can cause serious health issues over time.


Even while caffeine can block adenosine receptors and keep you awake, there are occasions when even that isn’t enough. Caffeine could not help you sleep better if you haven’t been sleeping well or if you have insomnia.

Having coffee while you’re really sleepy may increase the anxiety-inducing effects of caffeine without actually waking you up. Discover the source of your sleeplessness instead of relying on caffeine to perk you up.


Woman holding a cup of coffee

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Depending on the drug and the condition being treated, it’s possible that caffeine’s effects might be diminished significantly by medicine.

Your inability to feel the effects of coffee may be due to the fact that you are taking a medication that interferes with the liver’s metabolism of caffeine. If you are concerned about combining coffee and your medicines, you should talk to your doctor.

If coffee isn’t waking you up, consider if you’re a casual or regular consumer.

If You Drink Coffee Occasionally

There are several possible explanations for why the caffeine in your infrequent coffee consumption takes an unusually long time to kick in.

Caffeine Makes Me Tired

Even though it’s the opposite of what you want when you’re trying to get up, some people find that coffee and other sources of caffeine actually make them feel more weary and sluggish.

Caffeine can have the opposite impact on some people, so if you’ve never had coffee before or it’s been a while and you still feel tired, you might be one of them.

If that’s the case, you might want to isolate the effects of coffee caffeine from those of caffeine in general.


Caffeine may be swiftly metabolized by the body, which could explain why a first-time coffee drinker might not experience the effects.

Caffeine’s benefits are diminished by those with a rapid metabolic rate, so you might need to consume more or take it more slowly. For the novice and infrequent coffee users with rapid metabolisms, they may not feel the full benefits of caffeine.

If You Drink Coffee Daily

If you drink several cups of coffee a day, there are a number of reasons why your coffee isn’t working:

Caffeine Tolerance

If you regularly consume more than the FDA-recommended maximum of 400mg of caffeine per day, you may develop a tolerance to the effects of coffee.

This happens when you consume a large volume of coffee every day for an extended period of time and your body adapts to the caffeine. If you find that you are becoming increasingly irritated by coffee, you should drink less of it.

Changing the Coffee

French press coffee maker

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It’s also possible that your coffee isn’t helping you wake up since you’ve just switched brands. If you’re used to drinking light roast coffee but switch to dark roast, you might not feel the need to consume as much caffeine.

If you move to a lower grade coffee, the caffeine amount of your usual morning brew may change as a result. If you find that your daily cup of coffee no longer stimulates you, try switching to a lighter roast or a different brand.

Tips if Coffee Doesn’t Wake You Up

1. Sleep more

Sleeping in bed

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Probably the most overlooked tip, getting more sleep is extremely important for many reasons. It’s vital for brain function and overall health, but it may also be why your coffee wasn’t working before.

People with insomnia and sleep problems often get caught in a cycle of caffeine and sleeping pills, which is dangerous in the long run. If your sleep quality has deteriorated recently, try to find the cause before you pour yourself an extra cup of coffee.

2. Less Caffeine

Italian espresso based drinks

If coffee isn’t making you feel awake, the first thing you should do is reduce your caffeine intake. Completely eliminate sodas and energy drinks, which contain a lot of sugar and high amounts of caffeine.

Without the added sources of caffeine, your coffee should make you feel awake. If your only source of caffeine is coffee, you should reduce the amount you drink each day. For example, if you drink 4 shots of espresso or more a day, slowly lower the amount to 1 or 2 shots. This might help you feel the caffeine boost you need in the morning before you start your day.

3. Hydration

Cup of coffee and a glass of water

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You should be drinking a lot of water every day since it is the single most vital item for your body. If you’re already dehydrated, drinking coffee probably isn’t going to help you feel alert, so stick to water.

It’s possible that you’re not getting enough water if you’re fairly active and regularly engage in physical activity. It’s possible that your dehydration is the result of taking a medicine, so first you should find out if coffee is okay to consume with your current medication.

How Does Caffeine Work

Caffeine prevents sleepiness and tiredness by impersonating the adenosine receptor. Adenosine’s ability to attach to its receptor causes a decrease in brain activity and a corresponding calming of the body.

Caffeine works to promote alertness by blocking the effects of the sleep hormone adenosine by blocking its binding to its receptors. Anxiety can be exacerbated by caffeine since it stimulates the body’s adrenal glands and “fight or flight” response.

Final Thoughts

Why doesn’t coffee wake me up? After reading this article, you should know the primary reasons which can explain why coffee doesn’t make you feel awake.

Luckily, it does not have to stay this way. If you sleep longer, drink more water, and slowly reduce your caffeine intake, that will improve the chances for your Cup of Joe to perform as expected.

Featured Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels