PerspectiveCircadian Rhythms

Caffeine, the circadian clock, and sleep

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Science  18 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6254, pp. 1289
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad2958

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Caffeine wakes people up but also disrupts the quality of sleep. A new study by Burke et al. (1) reveals that consuming caffeine in the evening—the equivalent of a double espresso—delays the human endogenous circadian clock by antagonizing receptors for the endogenous sleep factor adenosine in the brain (see the figure). Mistimed caffeine consumption may contribute to the growing incidence of sleep problems in society.