Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Rise and Shine, Soldier!

By Tim Hannan

Army research suggests that the timing of your caffeine hit is more important than the amount consumed.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

CC0 Public Domain

The detrimental effects of insufficient sleep on cognition and performance are well established, and include lessening of attention, memory and problem-solving skills. It is also well-known to both scientists and the public that caffeine tends to reduce these cognitive and behavioural consequences of limited sleep, a finding that has led to caffeine becoming the world’s most popular stimulant.

However, in order both to maximise its efficacy and to reduce the overall intake, the timing and amount of caffeine consumed should be adapted to important sleep variables such as the amount of sleep loss and the length of time the person has been awake. While research has previously provided little guidance on how to make decisions about these matters, a series of recent studies by US Army researchers have now developed a specific algorithm for predicting the amount and timing of caffeine consumption to maximise...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.