why doesn't coffee wake me up

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Like most coffeeholics, one day I found myself asking the question most coffee addicts dread to ask themselves: why doesn’t coffee wake me up anymore?

Undoubtedly, coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world.

A morning without a cup of coffee means a day to laze around, simply bored, and unproductive.

And for me, the realization that I can’t wake up without my daily dose of caffeine marked a shift from childhood to adulthood. Can you relate? I’m sure you can.

I don’t want to live in a world where coffee doesn’t exist. I’m sure you don’t either. 

Lucky for us, the problem has many fixes. Here’s all you should know if you’re wondering why doesn’t coffee have any effect on you anymore. 

Why Doesn’t Coffee Wake Me Up? – Here Are A Few Reasons! 

When I asked myself, why doesn’t coffee wake me up anymore, my first response was chugging down more of it. But it doesn’t help and you know it. So hold your horses and let’s dive into the root cause of this problem.

Here are some reasons that helped me understand why coffee doesn’t wake me up: 

Caffeine Tolerance (Of course)

Caffeine is not toxic or harmful. But caffeine is still a drug that alters the functions of your body.

If you consume too much, you’re bound to build a tolerance. 

If you are someone who wants the nitty-gritty details, here you go.

Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors in your body. 

Adenosine makes you tired and sleepy. And with caffeine in your system, adenosine has very few receptors available to bind. 

Over time, your brain figures out that the adenosine it is producing is hardly affecting you.

It starts making extra adenosine receptors to reduce the number of receptors blocked by caffeine. 

With more adenosine receptors, caffeine has a lower impact as adenosine has more receptors available now. 

You can keep increasing your caffeine intake. But that approach will do nothing but trap you in an endless battle with your brain because it will keep making more adenosine receptors. 

Not Getting Enough Sleep

Coffee may have helped you stay awake through many all-nighters. But it’s not a magic potion.

If you’re treating it as a substitute for sleep, you’re bound to get in trouble. 

If you’re exhausted, there are already a lot of adenosine molecules bound to the receptors that caffeine blocks.

why doesn't coffee wake me up - not enough sleep

That’s why consuming more caffeine won’t work. 

The only way to free up some of those receptors is to sleep.

While you sleep, your body removes adenosine from those receptors. And when you wake up, caffeine can block them again. 

So if you feel very tired, don’t get up and make more coffee because it’ll go in vain. Take a nap instead. 

Taking Too Much Sugar

I used to wonder why doesn’t coffee give me energy while stirring a spoonful of sugar in it.

And when I quit taking sugar with my coffee, I realized how much it affects my energy levels. 

Sugar spikes up your blood sugar very fast. And then the sugar levels in your bloodstream crash, which makes you feel exhausted.

why doesn't coffee wake me up - taking too much sugar

That’s how sugar drains your energy levels. 

With sugar already causing a strain on your energy, caffeine can help you out very little.

That’s one reason why coffee fails to have an impact on you anymore.

Other sweet ingredients and whipped cream in your coffee do the same to you.

So if you want sustained energy levels, keep the processed sugar aside and grab some healthy snacks like nuts and fruit. 


The evidence that coffee dehydrates your body is not robust. But you should still make sure that you’re getting enough water. 

Many people underestimate the energy that staying hydrated can provide.

When you don’t get enough water, your blood pressure lowers and your body starts to slow down. 

why doesn't coffee wake me up - dehydration

So if you’ve had coffee and still feel fatigued, it’s time to switch to a water bottle.

You might find out that you don’t need more coffee after all. So, drop that cup of coffee and let water, the most underrated drink do the wonder.

Why Doesn’t Coffee Wake Me Up Anymore? Find Out 4 Basic Reasons

So far I’ve talked about the main reasons why coffee doesn’t wake me up anymore.

But let’s face it. We are unique, so are our bodies and every person’s physiology works differently.

coffee doesn't wake me up anymore - let's find out

If coffee has suddenly stopped affecting you, there might be other low-key factors at play.

Here are some more reasons that might explain why coffee doesn’t work wake you up.

You Started a New Medication 💊

Medication can alter the effect that coffee has on you. For example, when you’re on birth control, coffee affects you more.

It decreases how fast caffeine breaks down, and caffeine stays in your system for a longer time. 

On the other hand, some medications like Adderall, Wellbutrin, or other stimulants can reduce coffee’s impact.

If you’ve just started taking a new medication and noted that coffee has a lesser impact on you, that might be your culprit.

You can increase your energy levels by eating nutrient-dense food and avoiding junk. 

You’re Getting Too Much Caffeine Elsewhere 🥤

Many energy drinks and soft drinks have caffeine.

You might not know about this because they’re not advertised to have it. But that’s how these drinks give you “energy.” 

If you’ve been having too many energy drinks lately, they might be responsible for your caffeine tolerance.

energy drinks - why doesn't coffee wake me up

Energy drinks and soda also contain a lot of sugar which will drain your energy levels after an initial spike. 

If you’re worried that coffee doesn’t affect you, you will have to choose between energy drinks and coffee.

More importantly, energy drinks are also an unhealthy choice that affects your health in the long run.

Energy drinks contain more caffeine, sugar, and unhealthy additives.

In contrast, coffee has antioxidants and other healthy compounds. That’s why it’s better to cut out energy drinks instead. 

You’ve Changed How You Have Coffee

If you’re still wondering “why doesn’t coffee wake me up”. Well, changing the way you drink coffee might be a big part of the problem.

For example, if you changed your coffee beans from Robusta to Arabica, you might be getting less caffeine.

Arabica coffee beans can make a tastier cup, but they have less caffeine than Robusta beans. 

You should also look into the size of your coffee grounds. If you had been using a finer grind and now use a coarse grind, you might be getting less caffeine. 

Also, if you’ve recently switched to espresso thinking that it has more caffeine, you might be a bit wrong about that.

While espresso has more caffeine content than other coffee of the same volume, it comes in a smaller serving which means lower caffeine. 

And if you’ve switched to a dark roast from a light roast, you should know that it doesn’t have more caffeine.

A dark roast might have a strong taste, but the caffeine content is roughly similar. Don’t reduce the amount of coffee you drink. 

Look into the changes you’ve made to your routine cup of coffee. You might be consuming much less caffeine than you think you are. 

It’s in Your Genes 🧬

Your genes can affect how much caffeine impacts you. Some people have genes that absorb caffeine slowly, which maximizes its impact.

And others have genes that make them metabolize caffeine fast. 

If you have genes that metabolize caffeine fast, caffeine will have a smaller impact on you.

You might need more coffee to feel an effect. But the perks are that you can drink more coffee than the average person without having adverse effects. 

When I Found The Answer to “Why Doesn’t Coffee Wake Me Up Anymore?” – I did this!

So you might have figured out why coffee doesn’t work on you like before.

Now it’s time to try and change that. With some tweaks to your routine, you might reduce your caffeine tolerance. 

You might also realize that you don’t have to be too dependent on coffee. Here’s what to do when coffee doesn’t wake you up anymore. 

1. Stop Drinking Coffee

stop drinking coffee if it doesn't wake you up anymore

The best way to reset your caffeine tolerance is to stop drinking coffee for a while.

Yes, you heard it right. I know that it might be the last thing you want, but it’s true. 

Your body needs time to reduce the extra adenosine receptors from your overindulging in coffee. And after a week or two, you will be back to normal. 

Try giving up coffee for at least a week. Come on! It’s not as hard as you think.

Caffeine withdrawal is not like other drugs. You won’t feel sick except for a minor headache. 

Other than that, you will just feel bored and annoyed.

So while you’re abstaining from coffee, check out some alternative methods below to feel more alert and active. 

2. Find a Tea You Love

find a tea you love to drink during caffeine withdrawal - why doesn't coffee wake me up

Drinking coffee in the morning is a ritual for many people.

When you quit, you might crave the comfort and familiarity of the warm morning hug in a mug.

But you can replace the coffee with another hot beverage and recreate the ritual.

Try finding a tea that you can drink instead of your coffee. 

It’s best if the tea has little to no caffeine content. For example, you can try mint tea.

Green tea also has some caffeine, but in a small amount, which makes it a good alternative. 

Black tea is high in caffeine which might defeat the purpose when you’re resetting your caffeine tolerance.

But coffee has much more caffeine than black tea, so it can be a better option. 

Matcha is another alternative with a lower caffeine content than coffee. So if you don’t want to give up caffeine entirely, you might want to black tea or matcha. 

Many kinds of tea also have antioxidants and other energy-boosting compounds.

They can help you feel less sluggish during your coffee abstinence week. 

3. Try Yoga and Breathwork 

yoga pose - why doesn't coffee wake me up solution

Coffee is not the only thing that can help you feel more active in the morning. Many people use breathwork, yoga, and stretching exercises in the morning to feel more energetic.

Deep breathing exercises can deliver a greater amount of oxygen to your body and increase blood flow. You will feel a remarkable change in your energy levels after a session of breathwork. 

Yoga also increases blood flow and oxygen in your body. It also stretches out your muscles which might feel stiff after you wake up. That will help you feel more active. 

Both yoga and breathwork decrease stress hormones and release endorphins. These will increase your energy levels and uplift your mood as well.

Stress is also the biggest killer of energy. So when you reduce stress, you need fewer stimulants like coffee to keep you from feeling tired. 

4. Listen to Upbeat Music and Go For a Walk

why doesn't coffee wake me up solution

If you start your morning on the right foot, you will notice a vast difference in your energy levels.

Try incorporating activities in your morning routine that help you feel positive and cheerful.

For example, you can listen to your favourite music in the morning. Music has a profound impact on your energy and mood. 

Upbeat music can distract you when you don’t have your usual cup of coffee with you and help you feel delighted. 

A walk outside can also help you wake up and feel alert. And especially if you go out in the fresh morning air and walk in nature, you will hardly need coffee to energize yourself.

Bonus – The ADHD Myth Related to Caffeine

ADHD has a lot of myths associated with it. One of these is the myth that ADHD reduces the effect that caffeine has. People with ADHD might take this as a cue to drink more caffeine. 

That can be a problem because too much caffeine makes you feel jittery and crashes your energy levels after a while. It also increases hypertension and other issues. 

But there is no robust evidence that ADHD reduces sensitivity to caffeine.

If you don’t feel alert after drinking coffee, you don’t need to google ADHD symptoms. Because reduced sensitivity to caffeine does not verify that you have ADHD. 

Final Thoughts on “Why Doesn’t Coffee Wake Me Up?”

As you have discovered, there are literally many reasons why doesn’t coffee wake you up anymore.

But, the good thing is that if you’re willing to make a few modifications in your lifestyle, things can get back to normal. 

For me, caffeine tolerance was my answer for why doesn’t coffee wake me up.

I countered that with a week-long abstinence from coffee. Other than this, I also replaced my coffee with tea and breathwork. 

Try any of these remedies if coffee doesn’t work for you anymore. They work, I promise!

Don’t forget to tell me “thanks a latte” after coffee starts working for you again.

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