Is drinking coffee while taking sleeping pills dangerous?

In this text we will discuss the act of drinking coffee and sleeping pills, and the effects of mixing both substances in the body. We will also discuss the importance of not mixing sleeping pills with alcohol.

Is drinking coffee while taking sleeping pills dangerous?

There are no studies that show a dangerous relationship between caffeine and the substances in sleeping pills. However, if these medications help to control anxiety, one of the effects of drinking coffee regularly is to increase anxiety.

According to the FDA (American Health Agency) guideline that informs about dangerous interactions between medicines and foods, products that contain caffeine and medicines should not be combined whose active ingredient is theophylline (prescribed for asthma, bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

This is because the substances overlap, increasing the drug’s toxicity and intensifying adverse effects such as tachycardia and agitation. The same can happen when mixing caffeine and the antibiotic ciprofloxacin, resulting in headache, insomnia and nausea.

However, there is no indication of the interaction of substances contained in sleeping pills with caffeine.

There are some drinks that can really help you get a good night’s sleep.

Foods and liquids that contain certain minerals, therapeutic herbs and tryptophan (an essential amino acid) stimulate the production of serotonin and melatonin, which are important hormones in the regulation of sleep.

Below is a list of drinks to help you sleep better at night:

  • Warm Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • Malted Milk
  • Valerian Tea
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Pure Coconut Water
  • Tart Cherry Juice

What is the relationship of caffeine with sleep?

The substance caffeine has the ability to bind to the same adenosine receptors, inhibiting its activity and accelerating neural activity.

No matter how much adenosine we have accumulated, caffeine blocks the receptors, causing the feeling of sleep and fatigue to momentarily cease, but after the caffeine wears off, we feel the effects again.

With an effect of about 6 hours your body will still be processing a cup of coffee you had in the morning, until late in the afternoon. When you increase your caffeine dose or consume it later, your sleep is negatively affected.

Caffeine can be a big problem for people with insomnia, making a one-time problem a few nights chronic. It is known that caffeine consumption delays the onset of sleep, decreases total sleep time and increases the number of awakenings throughout the night.

As sleep is essential for health and quality of life, sleep and wake cycles are regulated by a fine tuning existing between homeostatic and circadian processes.

Caffeine can also completely modify the phases of your sleep, reducing the amount of deep sleep, which is the critical phase for physical and mental rejuvenation.

On the other hand, caffeine can help with the “jet lag” of intercontinental travel and those who suffer from some disorders of the circadian sleep-wake cycle.

To reconcile the pleasure and beneficial actions of coffee with the need to sleep, it is recommended to avoid coffee in the eight hours before bedtime.

The risks of combining sleeping pills and alcohol

While there is no problem in combining caffeine with sleeping pills, just the antagonistic effect between the two, drinking alcohol with sleeping pills can be harmful for your body.

The greatest risk for a person is to combine alcohol with continuous use medications, such as sleeping pills or antidepressants.

Alcoholic beverages can reduce or enhance the effects of medications. The most common is to potentiate the side effects causing symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and decreased motor ability.

Even a simple pain reliever to fight that annoying headache combined with excessive alcohol can inhibit or increase the effect and put your health at risk.

Most medications, like alcohol, are metabolized in the liver. Thus, this mixture can demand a lot of work from the agency.

This is because it can enhance the effect of the drug and intoxicate the body, or even hinder the therapeutic effect.

Therefore, it is not recommended to mix alcoholic beverages with any kind of medication.

According to the data presented, we can understand that the consumption of coffee during the day and the use of sleeping pills are antagonistic, since coffee will make the person stay awake, while the sleeping pill will force the person to go into deep sleep.

However, if the person makes continuous use of this type of medication, they should stop consuming caffeine between 6 to 8 hours before bedtime.

However, while drinking coffee and sleeping pills together is not harmful to the human body, drinking sleeping pills together with alcohol is harmful to health. So it should be avoided.

Other FAQs about Coffee that you may be interested in.

Is drinking coffee once a week good for your health?

Is drinking coffee with a sore throat a bad idea?

Is drinking three cups of coffee a day too much?


In this text we discussed the act of drinking coffee and sleeping pills, and the effects of mixing both substances in the body. We also discussed the importance of not mixing sleeping pills with alcohol.