If you’re a daily coffee consumer, you’re probably very familiar with the satisfying and relaxing feeling you can get when taking that first sip of your favorite coffee.
Although the caffeine in coffee can make some people feel jittery, it is possible that you could experience the opposite effect.
Coffee can relax you simply because it’s part of your routine. We find comfort in sticking to routines and sometimes we can feel more stressed if our normal schedule changes. Another reason coffee can relax you is due to the release of dopamine when consuming caffeine.
Reasons Why Drinking Coffee Is Relaxing
If you’re a long-time coffee lover, you may not experience that anxious, jittery effect that caffeinated coffee can give you. Why does coffee relax me when it’s supposed to give me that extra kick of energy?
There are a few reasons for this, such as:
- Comfort in your coffee routine
- An increase in productivity leads to feelings of satisfaction
- Caffeine releases dopamine
Technically, coffee isn’t supposed to have relaxing effects. However, there are some aspects of drinking coffee that contribute to that relaxing feeling.
Comfort in Your Coffee Routine
Whether we believe we have a structured routine or not, there are some points throughout our day-to-day life that we look forward to.
We find comfort in doing familiar things, which can relax us. Maybe you wake up and look forward to making that first cup of coffee, or you feel happy whenever you visit your favorite coffee shop that makes your order just right.
Having some sort of routine helps us balance ourselves, which can prevent stress. When we don’t have time to do the things that we enjoy, this can throw off that balance.
In fact, one study suggests that having a daily ritual, or routine, can help reduce levels of anxiety.
Humans are creatures of habit and when our daily habits are interrupted by unexpected circumstances, this can heighten stress levels. Therefore, you may find coffee relaxing if it is a habit that has become a part of your daily routine.
Caffeine Releases Dopamine
While caffeine can make those sensitive to it very anxious and jittery, some people don’t feel those same effects. If you consume caffeinated coffee on a daily basis, it’s likely that you have built up a tolerance to the effects of caffeine.
Whenever we consume caffeine, it releases a neurotransmitter chemical called dopamine. This chemical is released in the brain, which sends messages throughout your body telling you that you’re doing something good.
It’s often described as your body’s natural reward system.
Once we get used to that release of dopamine from coffee, it can become a comforting part of your day. Therefore, the relationship between caffeine and dopamine can ultimately make you feel more relaxed if you consume caffeinated coffee on a daily basis.
Coffee Increases Productivity
Caffeinated coffee is often consumed to enhance performance. Whenever you’re feeling tired and need that extra kick of energy, coffee is a simple solution to wake you up. This can help you be more productive.
Whenever we accomplish something, dopamine is released into our brain to tell us that what we did is a good thing.
For example, if you drink coffee to be more productive and get things done, the dopamine in your brain will make you feel good to reward you.
Usually, when we are faced with a chore or task that we have to do, it can cause some stress. Once that task is complete, stress goes out the window and we can feel relieved and relaxed because we don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Can Coffee Help You Fall Asleep?
Although coffee may relax you, the caffeine in the drink won’t help you fall asleep. Drinking coffee can actually disrupt your sleep cycle and prevent you from falling asleep.
If you’re feeling sleepy a few hours after drinking coffee, this could be related to the aftereffects of caffeine.
After the main side effects of caffeine wear off, you may feel more tired than before. This is why many people consume multiple cups of coffee per day, to prevent a crash in energy after the caffeine wears off.
Will Decaf Coffee Help Relax Me?
Decaf coffee is often consumed by late-night coffee drinkers who don’t want to experience trouble sleeping.
Since decaf coffee can still give you the good feeling you get from dopamine, it can help relax you the same way caffeinated coffee can.
Does Coffee Increase Anxiety?
Caffeinated coffee can increase anxiety symptoms by directly affecting the nervous system. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine a day without experiencing negative effects.
Overconsumption of caffeine can cause anxiety, and those who are especially sensitive to caffeine may feel anxious, restless, or jittery even when consuming small amounts.
If you’re experiencing these effects, try reducing your caffeine intake or drinking decaf coffee.
Final Thoughts: Why Does Coffee Relax Me?
Coffee can affect individuals in different ways. If you drink coffee on a daily basis, it may relax you rather than make you feel jittery or anxious. The most common reasons coffee may relax you can include:
- You find comfort in your daily coffee routine
- Caffeine is releasing the feel-good dopamine chemical into your brain
- You feel satisfied and relaxed after drinking coffee and doing something productive
- You are experiencing the sleepy aftereffects once the caffeine in coffee has worn off
If caffeinated coffee makes you feel anxious, try drinking decaf coffee or reducing your caffeine intake. To prevent an energy crash from caffeine, try to consume coffee earlier in the day and spread out your coffee consumption.