Why Doesn’t Coffee Wake Me Up?

Why Doesn't Coffee Wake Me Up?

You are already halfway through your second cup of coffee but you still feel sluggish and drowsy. You are wondering why coffee does not seem to be working its powers. A cup of brewed coffee has an average of more or less 95 mg of caffeine, a familiar drug that stimulates the nervous system, raises the heart rate and blood pressure and increases energy. Read on for some helpful information on why coffee is losing its hold on you.

Why doesn’t coffee wake me up?

Here are the top reasons why coffee doesn’t wake you up anymore:

1. You have become caffeine-tolerant.

One major reason why coffee does not have any effect on you anymore is that you are consuming it always.  As a result, your system has developed a tolerance for it. There is a reduced impact on mental alertness and blood pressure. While caffeine has considerable effects on the circulatory system and brain, regular consumption can decrease its effects considerably. 

To reverse this, consider taking some time off from drinking coffee. A one-week detox may work for you.  Aside from coffee, try to stay away from other caffeinated drinks. After a week, take coffee again but moderately. Observe and see what happens. Most likely, caffeine will start to affect you again and you will become energized and awake. 

Studies have proven that caffeine improves logical reasoning and reaction time. It also affects people depending on size, health and weight. The most noticeable effects of caffeine are on the central nervous system and circulatory system. Once the caffeine kicks in, the brain becomes alert and you feel more awake and energetic. It also affects the heart rate since it increases adrenaline and also your blood pressure. 

2. You do not have enough sleep. 

If you think coffee is not waking you up anymore, the reason could be because you are going low on your snooze time.  While coffee does seem to help you become alert and awake, it will only work for a short period. It won’t work on a long-term basis so don’t expect coffee to be your “savior”. 

What you need is a good night’s rest and sufficient sleep of at least six to eight hours. Do not fight off the fatigue and tiredness, make up for lost snoozes and sleep soundly like a baby. 

3. You are dehydrated.

You may not be aware of it, but you could already be mildly dehydrated. Staying hydrated is essential since it helps you to stay alert and energized. If you become dehydrated, you always feel tired and sluggish. This could be the probable reason why coffee doesn’t wake you up. Do not turn to coffee or other caffeinated drinks to perk yourself up if you feel thirsty. Keep a bottle or glass of water nearby to hydrate and wake yourself up. 

4. You altered your brewing method or choice of coffee beans. 

If you notice that your coffee doesn’t wake you up anymore, it could be due to the coffee beans you are using lately. Have you always used Robusta beans but switched to Arabica just a few days ago? Robusta has double the caffeine content of Arabica and if you switched to the latter it could take a while before you can adjust to the new one. 

The brewing method also makes a big difference in keeping you awake. If you were used to the French press method but recently switched to the drip or filter brewing method there would be considerable changes since the former yields strong coffee and has high caffeine content. Nevertheless, some coffee fans claim that roasting time could also affect caffeine content. 

5. It could be due to genetics or medication that you are currently taking. 

Another probable reason why coffee does not wake you up could be genetics or medication. Everyone has a unique genetic makeup and some people avoid coffee since it keeps them awake. Other people become nervous and jittery when they consume coffee while some have a fast metabolism that allows them to become energized and feel awake. 

Medication can also alter a person’s reaction to coffee. Antidepressants, birth control pills and medicine to stop blood clots could cancel the effects of coffee and make you drowsy and sluggish. 


If you are too dependent on coffee to wake you up in the morning but lately it is not working anymore, you may be becoming coffee-tolerant already.  You may also be losing too much sleep recently or you are too dehydrated. Changes in the brewing method or choice of coffee beans can also contribute to the changes as well as genetics and certain medication. 

Image: istockphoto.com / m-gucci