Why Doesn’t Coffee Wake Me Up: How To Get Rid Of It?

Coffee doesn’t wake you up because it’s a stimulant. Caffeine actually blocks the effects of adenosine, which is a chemical that makes you feel tired. So, when caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, it tricks your brain into thinking it’s not tired anymore.

Have you run into a weird circumstance when you drink coffee but it hardly affects you?

Such a condition is bizarre as we know that coffee provides energy to keep you awake for an extended period. There are many reasons behind this, and we will try to break down all of these in this blog.

In this comprehensive guide, you will get a satisfactory answer to why doesn’t coffee wake me up and how to get rid of it. Along with that, you will get plenty of information on how coffee helps to stay awake, and much more about caffeine.

So hang on tight, and let’s get started…

Coffee And Caffeine

Coffee is one of the most popular sorts of drink originated about 1 thousand years ago by an Ethiopian goat herder named Khaldi. He noticed that after eating coffee cherries his goats were frolicking.

He shared his findings with local Monks. They have tested coffee cherries and feel that they can stay awake for a longer period. From then, they started to drink coffee in order to keep them awake during their long evening prayer.

Why Doesn't Coffee Wake Me Up

From another story, we know that the head Monk wasn’t impressed at first and threw all the coffee berries to fire. He thought that it was Devil’s work. Shortly after, the Monk smelled a pleasant aroma from the fire.

This had enticed all the other Monks. While the chief Monk was asleep, a rebellious Monk grabbed some roasted coffee beans and mixed them with water. That’s how coffee was prepared for the very first time.

Coffee began to spread gradually from Ethiopia to Yemen, Europe, Indonesia, and India. The earliest evidence of drinking modern-day coffee is in the mid-15th century in Yemen. They used to brew coffee almost similar to how coffee is made today. Of course, with the blessings of modern technology, brewing coffee is now much more effortless.

Caffeine In Coffee

Enough talking about the history of coffee. Now let’s learn a little bit about why coffee is so freaking popular all over the globe. In short, it’s because of the Caffeine content available in the coffee. Caffeine is the world’s most popular psychoactive substance. It can make folks energized and provide the strength to stay awake for a longer period.

After consuming coffee, the caffeine content of coffee can easily travel to your brain through the bloodstream. When caffeine reaches your brain, it starts competing with Adenosine. Adenosine is an organic compound and the core cause of feeling sleepiness or fatigue.

By competing with Adenosine, caffeine can grab its place. Due to the stimulant effect of caffeine, coffee becomes the second most traded commodity in the world right after oil. In fact, caffeine tricks our brains and makes us feel that we are not tired at all. Thus, after doing lots of work you can eliminate the tiredness in no time by drinking a cup of coffee.

Why Doesn’t Coffee Wake Me Up?

Since the beginning of the coffee revolution, folks have drunk coffee because of its stimulant effect. This stimulant effect can make folks stay awake while they need to. Especially those who are too busy at work, and need an instant solution to get rid of drowsiness. Hence, you may notice that almost every corporate office has a coffee bar.

Why Doesn't Coffee Wake Me Up

Well, we have learned a bunch of good stuff about coffee and caffeine. Let’s find out the answer to “why doesn’t coffee wake me up.” Seems like coffee has its opposite effects, doesn’t it? Although it’s a bit shocking, it’s true.

Sometimes you may feel that after drinking coffee, you are still tired and feeling sleepy. There are a couple of reasons behind this and we will discuss some major reasons why it feels so in this segment.

What Does It Mean When Caffeine Doesn’t Affect You?

First off, let’s understand, what it actually means that caffeine doesn’t affect you. As a natural stimulant, caffeine is supposed to make you energized and alert. Often, you may feel that after drinking a cup of coffee you hardly feel any effect due to caffeine. This happens when your caffeine tolerance level is too high or you have genetic issues in your body.

Mechanism Behind Falling Asleep

While we work, a certain period later we feel tired, and drowsy, and have to take some rest. You might think that it’s a pretty normal aspect of our human body. But the truth is a lot more things are going on inside of our brains.

In general, cells of our brain such as Neurons break down a molecule known as Adenosine Triphosphate to generate energy. When Adenosine Triphosphate is broken, it creates Adenosine as a product. Since our brain needs energy for working throughout the day, our brain creates more and more Adenosine repeatedly.

From these increased amounts of Adenosine, some of them exit the Neuron and bind up with Adenosine Receptors. Due to these Receptor activations, we feel sleepy. High Adenosine levels in the brain indicate that the brain has been working for a long time and needs some rest. In such conditions, we can’t work anymore and fall asleep.

Why Doesn't Coffee Wake Me Up

Now, depending on the type of Receptor it activates, Adenosine has 2 separate effects. If Adenosine activates the A1 Receptors (which keep us awake), this activation will make Neurone less active. On the flip side, if Adenosine activates A2 Receptors (which commence sleep) will make the Neurone more active and make you fall asleep. Combine activations of both Receptors means A Weaker Wake Single and A Stronger Sleep Single which ultimately forces you to sleep.

Why Caffeine Is Not Affecting Me?

So, we have figured out how we used to fall asleep. Now, if you drink a cup of coffee while you are too tired it can give you an instant boost of energy. That way, you will feel refreshed and will be able to stay awake. This happens because of the caffeine in coffee.

After drinking coffee, caffeine can easily reach our brains through the bloodstream. When caffeine has reached the brain, it replaces Adenosine, which is an organic compound that causes tiredness. We have already discussed how Adenosine can initiate drowsiness. Let’s learn how caffeine eliminates drowsiness.

Caffeine competes with Adenosine to bind up with Receptors. This is possible because of the slightly identical structure of both caffeine and Adenosine.

When caffeine reaches our brain, it binds up with Receptors instead of Adenosine. Aside from their identical structure, they both follow different mechanisms. Adenosine initiates sleepiness while caffeine eliminates sleepiness. That’s why, after drinking coffee you may suddenly feel energized and will do your work more efficiently.

The effects of caffeine tend to last for about 2 to 4 hours depending on how fast your body can break it down. It’s completely up to the genetics of the human body. So whenever our body successfully breaks down all caffeine from bonding with Receptors, Adenosine takes its place immediately. Therefore, we feel sleepy again.

In order to be alert for a longer time, some folks consume 3 to 4 or more cups of coffee a day. It’s recommended to consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day. If you used to drink an 8oz cup of coffee, it wouldn’t be a good idea to drink over 4 cups of coffee per day as we know that a typical 8oz coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine.

When Receptors are blocked by caffeine, Neuron synthesizes more of them to compensate for the unbonded Adenosine. All the newly created Adenosine Receptors bind up with the remaining Adenosine, therefore, making you sleepy even after drinking coffee. This particular condition is called Caffeine Tolerance.

In such conditions, you need to drink more cups of coffee to keep you alert. More coffee means more caffeine and more caffeine eventually leads to binding up with newly synthesized receptors.

If this cycle continues then ultimately you won’t get any benefit from drinking coffee. At that time, coffee won’t help you to stay alert and get rid of sleepiness. Moreover, a high level of caffeine consumption may promote anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, and many more. So, because of the higher demand, you may feel that caffeine is not affecting you.

Why Does Caffeine Affect Me Hours Later?

How quickly you feel the effect of caffeine usually depends on your genetics. In general, an enzyme located in the liver called CYP1A2 is responsible for metabolizing caffeine. However, there are 2 types of this particular enzyme. One of them can metabolize caffeine fast and the other one takes a little bit of time. In this case, you may feel that caffeine affects you hours later after consumption.

According to a study in 2011 by Oxford Journal, about 10% of people carry a gene that causes hyposensitivity to caffeine, therefore, without ingesting too much caffeine they hardly feel any effect of caffeine. After all, it’s completely up to you how fast or slow you feel the effect of caffeine.

How Long Does It Take To Reset Your Caffeine Tolerance?

While we consume too much coffee and block Adenosine Receptors, Neurones synthesize more Adenosine Receptors in order to let unbonded Adenosine bind up with them. As a result, you feel sleepy again and need to drink even more coffee to get rid of this. This can gradually increase the caffeine intake and build up Caffeine Tolerance.

To get rid of caffeine tolerance, you need to taper off the consumption rate. Although caffeine tolerance is not as near as addiction to stimulants such as cocaine and other drugs, you need to be cautious before facing serious problems due to excessive caffeine.

If you can diminish the consumption rate gradually, you can effortlessly reset your caffeine tolerance within a week or so.

Drinks That Help You To Wake Up In The Morning

It’s definitely a good idea to reduce the intake of coffee by replacing other drinks that can keep you awake as well. In this segment, we will look at some drinks that have almost similar effects to coffee.

Why Doesn't Coffee Wake Me Up


This might seem a bit shocking, but it’s true. When our body confronts dehydration we feel sleepy and ruin our concentration. A big glass of water can make you hydrated therefore, you won’t feel drowsy. So whenever you feel tired and want to drink a cup of coffee, try a big glass of water first.

Green Tea

Green Tea also contains caffeine but not as much as coffee. From a cup of 240 ml Green Tea, you will get about ⅓ portion of caffeine than you would get from 240 ml coffee. Although it contains less caffeine, it’s capable of keeping you awake.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar contains Amino Acids along with Potassium and some vital enzymes that can reduce fatigue, drowsiness, or sleepiness and also keep you stay awake.

Besides, Apple Juice, Peppermint Tea, and Green Smoothies are also pretty good to keep you away from tiredness, sleepiness, or drowsiness.

Why Does Coffee Make You Sleepy?

This might be the cause of consuming too much coffee in a day. Coffee is a diuretic, which means it can increase the production of urine. So, when you drink 4 or more cups of coffee you will most likely encounter frequent urination. That way, our body loses too much fluid which ultimately makes us drowsy or sleepy.

Another reason might be your genetics. As we have mentioned earlier, some folks tend to be less sensitive to caffeine than others. Unless they consume lots of caffeine at once they hardly feel any stimulant effect of coffee.

That time, Adenosine will obviously work on its way to bind up with Adenosine Receptors and make you sleepy. As you have no idea about what’s going on inside your body, you may think that coffee is the culprit of making you sleepy.

Adding sugar or other sweeteners can also lessen the effect of caffeine in coffee. That’s why, instead of feeling more energized after drinking coffee, you will feel tired and sleepy. The best way to drink coffee is undoubtedly black. Confused about shifting from sweet/milk coffee to Black coffee? Read our comprehensive guide on How to Drink Black Coffee.


What Do You Do If Coffee Doesn’t Wake You Up?

We have already discussed this in a previous segment of this guide. In short, if you feel that caffeine has no effect on you and is unable to keep you awake then maybe it’s time to take a break from consuming coffee. This break will lead to a lowering of the caffeine tolerance level and finally bring you to a normal condition.

Is Coffee Supposed To Wake Me Up?

Yes. We know that coffee contains caffeine which is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug. This can inhibit Adenosine to bind up with Adenosine Receptors which causes sleepiness. As caffeine can take the place of Adenosine and bind up with Receptors, hence, it can keep you alert without feeling drowsy.

Does Coffee Make ADHD Worse?

Various studies have shown some evidence that caffeine can help and worsen the condition of an ADHD patient. We wouldn’t say that caffeine is bad for ADHD, rather, we would suggest you talk with a specialized doctor and he will give you the necessary advice depending on your health condition.


We know how frustrating it is when you ask someone “why doesn’t coffee wake me up”. Hopefully, we have delivered a satisfactory guide about why this happens and what you should do when encountering such a condition. However, if you think that the situation is getting worse day by day, we would highly suggest you go to a specialized doctor and tell him how you feel.

If you think that this guide may help others like you, don’t forget to share it with your friends. Also if you have any queries regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We would love to discuss more of that.

Enjoy a Brew-tiful Day!

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