After-Midnight Coffee

Despite multiple attempts to reduce the coffee intake, there are generally four to five cups of the lovely beverage made and consumed on a typical working day. The first helps to wake me up. The second is had while reading and responding to work email. The third is after lunch and sometimes followed by another. The last one, however, is generally after midnight. It's this final cup of the day that is the most enjoyable. When paired with an interesting book, it's a match made in heaven.

Over the last couple of weeks the after-midnight coffee has become something that I look forward to as it signifies the end of the working day and opens up what's left of the evening for something more relaxing. The activity is immaterial to the enjoyment that comes from the steaming hot beverage. It could be reading a thoughtful essay, writing a blog post, watching a video, or even listening to music in the dark. The activity can encourage a more thorough relaxation, but the coffee does the work. Neck and back muscles relax. Blood flow improves. A win-win for almost every evening.

Another added benefit seems to be the quality of sleep that comes about as a result of the late-night beverage. When I have a cup of coffee an hour before bed, there tends to be a lot less snoring and tossing about. In the morning when I wake, my head is not groggy or otherwise disoriented. Poor sleep has been a chronic problem for years and one that I've tracked with the help of SleepCycle on my phone for half a decade. Keeping track of what works and what doesn't makes pattern recognition a great deal simpler.

If there is a consequence to the midnight caffeine boost, I've yet to find it. Some people have told me that just sniffing a coffee with dinner is enough to keep them awake half the night. Sometimes I wish this were the case for me as well, as it would mean that a cup of coffee might actually help me stay awake1. However, if a high tolerance for caffeine is the price one must pay for the luxury of enjoying almost half a dozen cups of coffee per day, who am I to complain?


  1. Coffee does not help me stay awake in the least.