Alexander 1 | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Health: Does Coffee Make You Sleepy?

Interesting.. I stumbled upon this article by accident. In my culture, coffee isn't considered a drink for waking up. It's actually something that even children can drink (and usually do), specially for accompanying dinner at around 7-8 p.m., and it always struck me as something very, very strange to see people taking coffee as a "not-for-children" beverage, whenever I watched any TV program that came from English-speaking countries.

Well, the custom of drinking coffee from an early age and almost every day comes from my grandparents, and I guess even before them. It's often mixed with milk. Maybe it has to do with it, but I rarely hear people using coffee to feel "awaken" here (So far I've only seen this custom in a friend of mine who's from Italy). I've also never experienced any feeling of being energized by drinking coffee, but I admit that if I drink 3 cups of coffee I do feel slightly anxious, somewhat unable to focus and even a bit sleepy, so I never drink more than 2 cups a day (my grandparents taught me that it wasn't good to drink too much coffee after all). After reading this article I guess I understand this a bit more. However, my grandparents lived up until almost 100 years of age (well, my grandpa passed away some time after his 100th birthday, and my grandma after her 90th birthday), and never experienced any health problem related to coffee, they were actually surprisingly healthy. The same goes for my mother, uncles or aunts. My mom at least feels the same: nothing special is felt with 1 or 2 cups of coffee, but 3 can feel a bit odd. I haven't noticed any kind of depression or anything abnormal in any of my member of my family.

If you're wondering, my country is Peru, and I'm not sure but this custom has probably been around in other South American countries as well, since our coffee is produced here. The custom is also not applied to the whole of my country as I noticed at some point, but rather to the part of the country my grandparents come from (northern "sierra" or northern Andes). I think that studying families with this custom might help understanding the effects in generations of people that got their bodies -to an extent- used to caffeine.

Posted by Alexander 1 on 12/24/2015 at 4:47 AM

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