Researchers have designed a web-based caffeine optimisation tool with effective strategies to maximize alertness while avoiding excessive caffeine consumption.
Using multiple sleep-deprivation and shift-work scenarios, the researchers have generated a caffeine-consumption guidance, according to findings published in the journal Sleep.
Their analysis found that the solutions suggested by the quantitative caffeine optimisation tool either required on average 40 per cent less caffeine or enhanced alertness by an additional 40 per cent.
"The tool allows an individual to optimize the beneficial effects of caffeine while minimizing its consumption," said study lead author Jaques Reifman from the US Army Medical Research.
In the tool, the users can input several factors - the desirable peak-alertness periods within a sleep/wake schedule, the minimum desirable level of alertness and the maximum tolerable daily caffeine intake.
The tool allows users to predict the alertness of an "average" individual as a function of sleep/wake schedule and caffeine schedule.
It also enables users to automatically obtain optimal caffeine timing and doses to achieve peak alertness at the desired times, said the study.
"For example, if you pull an all-nighter, need to be at peak alertness between, say, 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and desire to consume as little caffeine as possible, when and how much caffeine should you consume?, This is the type of question the tool was designed to answer," Reifman said.
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