Trouble sleeping? Could be that cup of coffee you drank … six hours ago

caffeine_rotateIllustration: Division of Research

More than 80 percent of Americans start their day with caffeine, and while it can be a helpful way to get going in the mornings, it can also hurt your sleeping patterns.

“Sometimes the effects of caffeine can persist for over six hours,” says David Earnest, assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. He performs research on how dietary composition affects circadian rhythms and sleep cycles.

While caffeine can be helpful to jumpstart your day, it can also cause you to go to sleep later and get less sleep each night.

Earnest offers four tips to consider when consuming caffeinated food and drinks.

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