Science Questions

Why is coffee so good at giving a boost?

Tue, 1st Oct 2013

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show WAKE UP! - The Science of Sleep


David Bailey asked:

Why is coffee so wonderful at giving a boost?


Jason Rihel - So, that is because of what's in coffee which is caffeine and caffeine is an Cup of coffeeadenosine receptor antagonist.

So, in order to understand how this works, one concept for the timer for what maintains wakefulness is thought to be in fact adenosine which is a small molecule that gets progressively secreted in the brain and builds up during wakefulness.

In certain areas of the brain, its thought that adenosine is triggering, Hey, its time to go to sleep now. Caffeine is thought to directly interfere with that signal that its time to go to sleep and give in fact a boost to wakefulness.


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