Why Does Coffee Make Me Tired? A Guide to Caffeine, Adenosine, and More!

Why Does Coffee Make Me Tired? A Guide to Caffeine, Adenosine, and More!

The caffeine in coffee tends to impact everyone a little bit differently. While caffeine wakes most people up, for some, adenosine receptors in the brain may respond differently, leading to tiredness. The way your body processes caffeine always a straightforward process, meaning coffee can indeed have a relaxing effect for some people. There are many reasons for this. If coffee makes you tired, you could be experiencing a sugar crash, processing caffeine unusually, or, you may even have ADHD!


Here, we will talk about why coffee might make you sleepy and what you can do about it!

Why does coffee make me tired?

There are a few reasons that your cup of Joe might be making you feel tired. If your coffee is making you feel like taking a nap, your body’s adenosine response could be to blame. Additionally, some people with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) process caffeine differently.  For these people, coffee can indeed have a slowing or exhausting effect. This may create feelings of tiredness and/or lethargy. 

You could be having a sugar crash.

Coffee can also make you feel tired if you have a sugar crash. If your coffee has lots of flavoring syrup, mocha powders, or other sweeteners, you could initially be experiencing a sort of sugar high when you drink your coffee. Soon, the blood sugar spike wears off, leaving you feeling drained. 

You might process adenosine differently.

Caffeine works with your brain's adenosine receptors. These neurotransmitters are responsible for helping your brain process caffeine and giving you a feeling of increased awareness. Some people are particularly sensitive to caffeine and have a non-typical adenosine response. For these individuals, the feeling of caffeine wearing off (or even processing caffeine) can be exhausting and create a sleepy feeling. If this is the case, you might want to try decaf coffee! There are some amazing flavored decaf coffee blends for sale from www.onegreatcoffee.com (click here to browse). 

You may want to try iced coffee. 

Some people get tired after drinking warm liquid in general. There is a reason a glass of warm milk is used as an old fashioned way to help people fall asleep. If coffee makes you tired despite the caffeine it contains, it may be that the warmth of the coffee is making you feel drowsy. Try switching to iced coffee and see if that helps! 


If coffee makes me tired, does that mean I have ADHD? 

That’s hard to say. If drinking coffee makes you feel tired, you don't necessarily have ADHD. Neurodivergence is a non-medical term that describes people whose brains work differently or develop differently than a neurotypical brain. The neurodivergent spectrum can encompass ADHD and a range of other conditions. To find out if you do have ADHD, you might want to make an appointment with a psychiatrist and get a professional evaluation. Some signs and symptoms of ADHD may include:

  • Impulsiveness 
  • Lack of focus
  • Excessive talking 
  • Restlessness
  • Fidgeting 


People with neurodivergence may be more sensitive to caffeine, less sensitive to caffeine, or even use caffeine as a replacement for medication and focus. Neurodivergence can also refer to the autism spectrum and ADHD and a range of other disorders may qualify as neurodiverse. It's important to speak with your physician and discuss which options are available to you if you feel that you are having issues focusing. While a cup of coffee can definitely help you focus and keep on track, other underlying issues should also be addressed. 


What to Do if Coffee Makes Me Feel Tired? Solutions and Final Thoughts

There are plenty of options and solutions for people who feel tired after drinking coffee. If you think it’s your adenosine response making you tired, you may want to try switching to decaf for a little while and see how your body responds to that. Or, if you think the warmth of your coffee is making you feel drowsy, you could try drinking iced coffee instead. 

Finding out if you are on the autism spectrum or if you have ADHD is also important, so if you think this is an issue at play, be sure to bring it up with your doctor. Finally, if you believe that drinking coffee is making you experience a sugar crash, you could try drinking coffee with protein in it and/or reducing the amount of sugary syrup used to flavor your coffee. A pre-flavored bag of coffee beans can be a great way to skip the extra sugar while still enjoying delicious coffee! 

Disclaimer: This article offers general information and discussions about health-related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, blog, website, or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be regarded, or used as a replacement for, medical advice or treatment. This blog does not constitute healthcare advice. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your healthcare provider.

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