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Mental performance

Jet lag and shift work

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Mental performance
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Effects of coffee consumption

Jet lag and shift work sleep disorder can result in sleepiness and increase the risk of mistakes or injury. Overall, it is suggested that caffeine may be an effective countermeasure to impairments associated with sleep loss2.

Shift work

Shift work sleep disorder is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder characterised by insomnia and excessive sleepiness, affecting people whose work hours are scheduled during the typical sleep period. Whilst specific research is limited, a systematic review suggests that caffeine may be effective at improving performance in people who work shifts, or in those who are suffering from jet lag9.

One intervention study suggested that a combination of napping and caffeine intake was best for improving alertness. A decrease in subjective sleepiness was also observed in individuals working a night shift following caffeine consumption10.

Jet lag

Coffee consumption is associated with increased alertness, may help to manage feelings of sleepiness, and can be effective at improving performance in those who experience jet lag after a long haul flight crossing time zones11. One study suggests that sensible naps, combined with a moderate intake of caffeine during times of appropriate wakefulness and short-term use of sleeping aids, appear to be the most effective ways to maintain alertness and sleep in these situations11.

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