Best time for a coffee break? There's an app for that
(Medical Xpress) -- Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and soda are the pick-me-ups of choice for many people, but too much caffeine can cause nervousness and sleep problems.
Caffeine Zone software app developed by Penn State researchers, can help people determine when caffeine may givethem a mental boost and when it could hurt their sleep patterns. The software takes information on caffeine use and integrates it with information on theeffects of caffeine to produce a graph of how the caffeine will affect the users over time.
"Many people don't understand how caffeine levels in their bloodstream go up and how they go down," said Frank Ritter, professor of information sciences and technology, psychology, and computer science and engineering. "It's important to understand the effect that caffeine can have at these various levels."
Ritter, who worked with Kuo-Chuan(Martin) Yeh, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, saidthat if a person drinks a cup of coffee rapidly, they will experience a spike in mental alertness, but enough of the drug can linger in the bloodstream to cause sleep problems hours later.
The researchers used peer-reviewed studies as input data to determine that caffeine drinkers with between 200 and 400 milligrams of caffeine in their blood stream are in an optimal mental alertness zone. For sleep, the researchers set a lower threshold of 100 milligrams. Drinkers may have sleep problems if they remain above this.
The researchers, who reported their findings at the 2011 Augmented Cognition International Conference, said people who drink too much caffeine, too quickly, may face other problems. A spike of caffeine above the optimal level can cause nausea and nervousness.
Maintaining proper caffeine balance is important for many workers. For example, sailors on submarines must carefully watch their sleep patterns because their sleeping and waking patterns vary each day, Ritter said.
"If they, and others who drink coffee to stay awake, drink too much coffee on one shift, they may have trouble sleeping," said Ritter. "So, the next day, they'll drink even more coffee and have even more trouble sleeping."
To plot caffeine's effect with the app, drinkers type in information about how much caffeine they drank, or plan to drink, and when they plan to have a caffeinated beverage. They also can add how fast they drink the beverage.
The app can also help people determine when to modify their caffeine habits, so that they might choose to drink a decaffeinated beverage, or mix a blend of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees.
The app is available on iTunes for free with advertisements and for purchase without ads. It only works on Apple devices -- the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
Provided by Pennsylvania State University
- Caffeine promotes drink flavor preference in adolescents Jul 12, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Cutting caffeine may help control diabetes Jan 28, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Study: Energy drinks won't keep you alert Jul 21, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- New evidence that caffeine is a healthful antioxidant in coffee May 04, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Coffee consumption unrelated to alertness Jun 02, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
The gap between life expectancy in patients with a mental illness and the general population has widened since 1985 and efforts to reduce this gap should focus on improving physical health, suggest researchers in a paper ...
Health 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Failure to use linked electronic health records may lead to biased estimates of heart attack incidence and outcome, warn researchers in a paper published in BMJ today.
Health 8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Dietary advice on added sugar is damaging our health, warns a cardiologist in BMJ today. Dr. Aseem Malhotra believes that "not only has this advice been manipulated by the food industry for profit but it is actually a risk ...
Health 8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0
(HealthDay)—In 2008 to 2010, the prevalence of key health behaviors among U.S. adults varied, with about one in five adults current smokers and 62.1 percent overweight or obese, according to a report presented ...
Health 10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(HealthDay)—The overall health of Americans isn't improving much, with about six in 10 people either overweight or obese and large numbers engaging in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, heavy drinking or ...
Health 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
15 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
13 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (11) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
15 hours ago | 4.6 / 5 (7) | 0 |
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
8 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
9 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0 |
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |