Caffeine: Reducing Risks Associated with Long Work Hours


Roughly 80% of U.S. adults consume caffeine every day (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

  • Many responders may continue to consume caffeine while deployed.
  • Although caffeine may be helpful, be aware of the potential side effects if you are having more or less than usual (especially if you are consuming high doses of caffeine or energy drinks).
red coffee cup full of coffee


  • Is a stimulant, and when used wisely, it can aid alertness
  • Can reduce sleep, so it is important to understand its properties
  • Takes about 30 minutes (range is 15 to 45 minutes) to take effect and has a half-lifea of 5 to 6 hours, but it can remain in your system much longer
  • Does not provide the alertness and decision-making ability that getting enough sleep provides

aHalf-life is the time for half the dose to leave the body.

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Page last reviewed: April 1, 2020