Why doesn’t coffee work for me?

In this text we will answer the following question: “Why doesn’t coffee work for me?”. In addition, we will mention some possible harms of excessive coffee intake, as well as the probable reasons why you need more and more coffee to stay “awake”.

Why doesn’t coffee work for me?

If a cup of coffee is no longer enough to keep you “awake”, it is possible that you have developed a caffeine tolerance. This occurs when drinking seems to “stop working” for those looking to avoid sleep.

Consumption of coffee for a long time builds in the human body a resistance to caffeine. The stimulant effects of the compound become less noticeable and the body is less sensitive to them. 

The first sign of the problem appears when the coffee fails to provide the same energy boost as usual. Another indication is the slight headache that the person feels when the caffeine starts to leave the body.

Why does coffee make me sleepy?

The caffeine in coffee is a natural stimulant. It works by interfering with adenosine, a natural chemical that builds up throughout the day until it triggers drowsiness at night. As you sleep, the levels drop again, only to start the cycle the next day.

Caffeine molecules block adenosine receptor sites, providing the temporary realization that we’re not as tired or sleep-deprived as we might be. At a certain point, the adenosine bulk will override the effects of caffeine, and we will certainly have to sleep.

In other words, drinking a lot of caffeine can simply mean you’re getting a lot of sleep later on. This can lead to a vicious cycle where you drink coffee to stay awake, stay up later thanks to caffeine, and wake up exhausted when your alarm goes off very early the next morning.

Is drinking too much coffee to stay awake bad for you?

Despite being seen as an ally on those days when productivity is below zero, excess caffeine intake can cause even more fatigue. That is, it really gives the feeling of having more energy. But it is important to know that the effect is temporary.

As it stimulates the production of adrenaline and cortisol, stress hormones, it enhances the feeling of anxiety. That is, the heart rate accelerates, the pressure rises and the muscles of the body contract. Then, after many cups of coffee, focusing on one task becomes more of a challenge.

Many people consume the drink several times a day and are unaware of the duration of its effects. This can disrupt the quality of sleep and even reduce the hours of sleep, which will make them go back to drinking coffee when they wake up to, once again, be “on alert”.

In this way, a vicious circle is created that results in continuous fatigue and a drop in productivity, each time increasing a need for caffeine.

Too much caffeine works like a ticking time bomb. It takes the body to the maximum sensation of alertness, but that can generate overload and result in bigger problems. 

After all, just as we need adequate cortisol levels to wake up, we also need melatonin production to be able to sleep and when we drink too much coffee, one thing cancels out the other and the body goes into an imbalance.

Why do new generations drink more coffee?

Young people are starting the habit of drinking coffee at an earlier age and this ends up affecting the sensitivity of these young people to caffeine, who increasingly need the substance to stay “awake”.

According to a survey carried out by the market intelligence institute Euromonitor, 17 years is the average age at which many start consuming the drink frequently – and not just on certain occasions. It was the lowest average since the institute began researching the drink more than a decade ago.

Behavioral research shows that drinking is mainly linked to a lifestyle that young people are increasingly seeking. 

For them, coffee represents a variety of experiences: coffee shops seem to be increasingly linked to new technologies, they are also great spaces for studies and socialization and, finally, the personification of the drink.

That said, we have that the new generations seem to be more thirsty for cups and cups of coffee, which means that the market will need to move to cope with an increasingly growing demand.

Other FAQs about Coffee that you may be interested in.

What is the origin of the word coffee?

What is the caffeine content of coffee extract?

Will old coffee make you sick?


In this text we answered the following question: “Why doesn’t coffee work for me?”. In addition, we mentioned some possible harms of excessive coffee intake, as well as the likely reasons why you need more and more coffee to stay “awake”.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.