Researchers conducted some experiments on mice to understand
“Do we actually need sleep?” or “How do we feel sleepy?”
According to study, our brain cells called Astrocytes release ADENOSINE, a chemical known to have sleep inducing effects. i.e Adenosine is released when we are under-slept or tired.
The longer you are awake, your urge to sleep increases drastically which is called as “Sleep pressure”. So in simple words adenosine release, is directly proportionl to Sleep pressure in human brains. Increase in the need of sleep or tiredness releases more adenosine in brain.
To test the above theory, Adenosine release was blocked from the mice brain cells. The effects were quite normal, with consistent brain activity and less sleep pressure.
Adenosine also helps in identification of rhythm and regulating blood flow.
While the amazing part is Astrocytes are the first non neuronal cells, or they are just the brain helper cells to impact human behavior.
How coffee reduces sleep pressure
Have you ever thought what happens to your brain when you have your coffee? How it charges your brain and body?
Well let’s discuss!!
As now we know that Adenosine binds to the adenosine receptors in brain, to induce sleep in humans.
So Coffee or basically Caffeine intake, usually cover all the receptors in brain which Adenosine normally binds to. Receptors will now bind with caffeine instead of Adenosine, making your body charged or active for some time. Basically caffeine prevents Adenosine hormone to interact with the receptors ,by blocking the receptors with caffeine.
In humans, the half-life for caffeine is anywhere from 4 to 6 hours on average, which explains why the average energy drink or coffee’s effects last about 4 to 6 hours.
Have a look at the below image. It will give you a clear picture about how caffeine functions in our brain.
This is how a good coffee breaks through our weary body.