How does caffeine keep us awake? - Hanan Qasim - Deepstash

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Caffeine consumption

Caffeine consumption

Most of the caffeine we consume is found in coffee and tea, but it can also be found in some sodas, chocolate, caffeine pills, and decaf beverages.

Caffein helps us feel alert, focused, happy, and energetic, even if we lack sleep. However, it can also raise our blood pressure and make us feel anxious.

Caffeine is found the leaves and seeds of certain plant species. It's toxic to insects, but when they consume it in lower doses, such as found in nectar, it can help them to remember and revisit flowers.

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Why caffeine keeps us awake

Why caffeine keeps us awake

In the human body, caffeine acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system. It keeps us awake by blocking one of the body's sleep-inducing molecules, called adenosine.

Your body gets its supply of energy by breaking down ATP, a high-energy molecule. In the process, adenosine is released. When adenosine docks at the receptors in your brain,  it activates a cascade of biochemical reactions that makes your neurons fire more slowly, making you get sleepy.

Caffeine interfears with this process of slowing your neurons.

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Caffeine boost positive feelings

Adenosine receptors are linked to the dopamine receptors in some neurons in the brain.

Dopamine promotes feelings of pleasure. When adenosine docks in one of these paired receptors, it makes it harder for dopamine to fit in its own place and interrupt mood-lifting.

But when caffeine takes the place of adenosine, dopamine can fit in its own place and increase the mood.

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Caffeine long-term effects

Caffeine long-term effects

Caffeine can reduce the risk of diseases like Parkinson's,, Alzheimer's, and some types of cancer. It can increase the body's ability to burn fat. 

However, caffeine can also raise your heart rate and blood pressure, cause increased urination or diarrhoea, and cause insomnia and anxiety. 

The body adapts to regular consumption of caffeine. When you suddenly quit caffeine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, tiredness and depressed moods.

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