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Caffeine: Effects on sleep and academic performance in college students

02 December 2022
Volume 3 · Issue 6


Caffeine can have a powerful effect on individuals. This article looks at the effect of caffeine on sleep and academic performance in college students, as well as types of caffeine consumed, how much caffeine is consumed, reasons students consume caffeine, sleep quality, and academic performance outcomes.

The scope and purpose of this article is to examine the current literature on caffeine, specifically caffeine consumption and alternatives. Caffeine has been shown to have effects on various life factors in college students (17–24-year-olds), such as sleep and academic performances, which will be investigated through literature (Alsharif et al, 2018; Bucher et al, 2019; Alfawaz et al, 2020; Eduviere et al, 2021; Wang and Biro, 2021).

Caffeine is consumed worldwide by college students in many different forms (Alsharif et al, 2018; Jahrami, et al, 2020; Mahoney et al, 2019; Eduviere et al, 2021; Zahra et al, 2021). Caffeine is considered a psychoactive substance, which may be found naturally or artificially, as synthetic coffee is commonly added to food and beverages to increase the level of stimulants (Jahrami, et al, 2020; Eduviere et al, 2021; Zahra et al, 2021). The most common source of caffeine is identified as coffee, as it is often readily available to individuals (Alsharif et al, 2018; Mahoney et al, 2019; Jahrami et al, 2020). Other major sources of caffeine consumed specifically by college students include, tea (black and green), chocolate, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, cocoa, and medications or dietary supplements (Alsharif et al, 2018; Kepershoek et al, 2018; Mahoney et al, 2019; Jahrami, et al, 2020; Eduviere et al, 2021; Zahra et al, 2021). Energy drinks have recently become a more popular category of caffeinated beverages for college students, particularly males (Alsharif et al, 2018; Mahoney et al, 2019). Each type of caffeinated drink has varying levels of caffeine concentration; for example, coffee contains around 85 mg of caffeine per cup, whereas tea contains 30 mg per cup, cola contains 18 mg per cup, and energy drinks contain 80 mg per cup (Kepershoek et al, 2018). In a sample of 1 248 college students in five United States' universities, 72% consumed coffee, 61.4% consumed tea, 68.8% consumed soda, 36.4% consumed energy drinks, and 12.2 % consumed other forms of caffeine (Mahoney et al, 2019). Although some studies differed in their defined four major sources alternating between chocolate, soft drinks, and energy drinks, constants in all were coffee and tea (Alsharif et al, 2018; Jahrami et al, 2018; 2020; Kepershoek et al, 2018; Mahoney et al, 2019; Eduviere et al, 2021; Zahra et al, 2021). Caffeine can be found in a copious amount of food, beverages, and supplements, which provides easy access for college students and increases their risk of being affected by caffeine (Alsharif et al, 2018; Kepershoek et al, 2018; Mahoney et al, 2019; Jahrami, et al, 2020; Eduviere et al, 2021; Zahra et al, 2021).

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