Why Doesn’t Coffee Wake Me Up ( 7 Reasons )

Do you rely on coffee to start your day, but feeling groggy recently even after drinking this beverage? Wondering why doesn’t coffee wake me up. Coffee has a long reputation for providing energising effects and keeping the consumer active and awake. But if you aren’t experiencing the effect of caffeine anymore, it means you might have caffeine tolerance, or your genetics preventing it from functioning.

In addition, your sleeping quality or time-consuming coffee may also be responsible. Read on to understand the potential consequences briefly along with solutions and some healthy alternatives to remain awake without having coffee.

Why doesn’t Coffee Wake Me up?

If coffee doesn’t wake you up anymore, this could mean lots of things. Coffee is not only a sweet beverage but also an energy booster and acts as a performer enhancer and blocks adenosine to keep you active and energetic. But if it doesn’t wake you up, check these potential reasons and fix the matched one to let it work the way you want:

Caffeine Tolerance

If you can’t feel the caffeine’s stimulating effects, possibly you have caffeine tolerance. It means you may have been drinking coffee for so long and your body is now getting used to the normal amount you have. So your body needs more amount to provide the same energy boost. If you are wondering why coffee doesn’t give me energy, this can be a clear reason.

Caffeine Tolerance

Caffeine tolerance can develop within 3 to 5 days of habit. So it may give up waking you up in the morning overtime. To restore the performance of the coffee, you can start drinking it faster than earlier. The human body absorbs the whole compounds of caffeine within 45 minutes of entering the system.

Hence, drinking quickly can spike the body system to the max. Another way is to change the coffee type or shop. It means start brewing the coffee yourself instead of visiting your favorite coffee house and opt for regular coffee that has more than 50% caffeine than one espresso shot.

Genetic Factors

Genetic diversity also influences its sensitivity to the body in various ways. Diversity may also change the response such that a person can experience its effect more positively or negatively than others. In addition, the research found that genetics can alter risks to certain health outcomes related to chronic caffeine consumption.

So things can happen you might not do anything, it’s your genetics that determine the way to respond to caffeine.  Caffeine may have a harder time blocking the sleepiness effects; hence you aren’t waking up after drinking coffee.

In addition, the enzymes in the liver determine the time required for breaking down the caffeine, which lingers in the system and effecting the time of the caffeine in the body.

Sleep Quality

According to research published in 2015, people who depend on coffee have poorer sleep quality; it’s particularly true amongst females.

Caffeine dependence also causes increased levels of night-time disturbance and daytime dysfunction. The other effects of caffeine on sleep are prolonged sleep latency, worsening of perceived sleep quality, shorter total sleep time, and increases in light sleep.

It also affects Rapid Eye Movement (REM). However, the effects of caffeine on sleep vary depending on the ingested amount at bedtime and over the whole day, the consumer’s age, genetic variability, and sensitivity level.

So if you largely depend on coffee, it mightn’t make you feel awake anymore. In addition, if you have lots of sleep dept, you won’t find caffeine effective enough to remain awake.

Timing Matters

The time when you drink coffee largely determines its effect of it on the body. For example, drinking after-dinner expresso not only tastes great but also can keep wake you up more effectively. Conversely, evening caffeine both disturbs sleep and resets the circadian clock of the body. The circadian clock is a molecular signal set that keeps us on a 24-hour schedule. So if you want to know why doesn’t coffee work for me, this can be your answer.

According to the research of science Translational Medicine, consuming double espresso just before 3 hours of bedtime move the clock up to 40 minutes on average. So try to drink coffee at the right time so it can wake you up and adjust more quickly to jet lag.

Medications and Supplements That Affect Caffeine

Medication interacts with caffeine and can slow down caffeine metabolism. It means caffeine can last longer in your system and take a much longer time to feel the effects.

Even it can not only increase the undesired side effects like headaches and jitters while reducing the positive effects like energy boosting.

Medication like pentobarbital interacts with caffeine and blocks the sleep-producing effect. In addition, taking caffeine during nursing causes irritability, sleeping problems, and increased bowel activity.

The other medication that affects the sleeping system of the body are:

  • Anti-fungal medication
  • Heartburn medication 
  • Diabetes medication 
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Estrogens and oral contraception
  • Stroke medication 
  • Antidepressants
  • High blood pressure medication
  • Medications for psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo 

Apart from the medication, alcohol can also disturb the caffeine metabolism and the effectiveness of caffeine on the human body.

You have Reached your Healthy Limit

Though it sounds silly, there is a healthy limit to coffee consumption. Moderation is key and it is applicable too when it comes to coffee intake. So one or two cups of coffee can be normal to get through the day and restore the afternoon slumps.

You should drink coffee to feel more than normal. So the thing can happen, you’ve reached your healthy limit. Hence caffeine doesn’t wake you up anymore. If so, you should leave coffee for several weeks.

Nutrition and Exercise’s Impact on Caffeine Efficiency

After a busy day, your body’s adenosine level should reach the maximum level. So you should feel very tired in the evening. In this case, drinking coffee won’t help you outcome the sleepy feeling and deliver the desired effect. In this situation, a coffee nap will be a helpful idea.

Nutrition and Exercise

Sleep can help you remove the adenosine neurotransmitters. So drinking a cup of coffee and taking a nap for around 20 minutes can free up the place in adenosine receptor to let the caffeine settle in.

Those 20 minutes will be sufficient enough for the body to metabolize the caffeine and you should feel the energetic effect after waking up. It’s a helpful technique for people who have a busy day and need to remain awake at night.

How to wake up when Coffee doesn’t work

Many folks go straight to coffee when feeling tired. But what if your coffee can’t wake up or you want to reduce coffee consumption? In this case, these simple and healthy tips can keep you active:

Start Eating Snack

Choose a low-sugar food as the body absorbs these foods very slowly. These foods will also help you feel energetic for a longer time. Look for a food that has carbs, protein, and fats. This type of food will provide you quick energy and help feel full for a longer time.

Greek yogurt with granola or peanut butter with apple can be a good choice. Greens and vegetables can keep you energetic as they are rich in fiber and keep the blood sugar level steady.

Eat Healthy Food Regularly

Avoiding meals can cause you to lack energy and force you to eat too much at the next meal, resulting in feeling tired and sleepy. Conversely, taking healthy meal regularly keep the blood sugar level steady to feel active throughout the day.


Exercise encourages the body to raise energy which helps feel energetic throughout the day. It also activates the endorphins and norepinephrine release to remain awake.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can cause fatigue. So drink enough water which is 6 to 8 glasses a way to remain hydrated and active. If you are concerned about hydration, talk to your physician.

Also Read: Poop Smells like Coffee


Why coffee doesn’t wake me up but energy drinks do?

If coffee doesn’t wake you up but other energy drinks do, its means you have built up a caffeine tolerance in your body. Your body might get used to the amount of caffeine you generally have. Another possibility is the ingredients. Energy drinks like Red Bull have taurine which stimulant the body to wake up. The coffee doesn’t have any taurine.

Is it bad if caffeine doesn’t affect you?

It isn’t very concerning if caffeine can’t affect you. In this case, the best thing you can do is that taper down your intake. If you’ve used to depend on coffee to stay awake, don’t stop immediately. Otherwise, you can suffer from jitters, headaches, or other related side effects.

Does caffeine not affect my ADHD?

ADHD has different causes, hence its treatment affects folks differently. While some individual finds that caffeine helps ADHD, other feel it’s useless. In this case, you should focus on your body and consult with a doctor to determine the right treatment.

Final Words

Hope you understand why doesn’t coffee wake you up.  In general, caffeine affects people differently and some people experience a reserve of calming down. To restore the effectiveness of caffeine, you can try another form of it to do the trick.

But no form effect on your and you are feeling so tired, you only need sleep. Lastly, talk to a doctor for a medical opinion. 

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Samuel H. Morgan is a professional chef. He lives in Lowell, MA and owns a cafe named Lowell Cafe. He shares his experiences through this website. He tests different types of kitchen appliances and explain how to use properly and which one is better. This kitchen and recipe blog help a number of readers.

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