Daylight Savings Time: Should You Alter Your Coffee Routine?

Daylight Savings Time: Should You Alter Your Coffee Routine?

Love it or hate it, daylight savings time is here once again. And as we all know, it’s going to mess with us in some weird ways. 

Showing up to meetings at the wrong time. Looking outside and thinking, “dark already?”. Your body feels stiff and your mind woozy. 

Thankfully, you’ve got a secret weapon: coffee! Let’s discuss some ways you can use your daily coffee ritual to smooth out the weirdness of “falling back” or “springing forward”.

We’ll quickly cover things like… 

  • Negative effects of daylight savings (and how to avoid them)
  • The best time of the day to drink coffee for max waking efficiency
  • Light vs dark roasts… which is more caffeinated?

Ready to have an easier transition this year?

Daylight Savings Is A Giant Collective “Off Day”

The bi-annual ritual of “changing the clocks” goes back to the late 1700s as a way to use daylight hours more efficiently. It’s always been about maximizing productivity—but it turns out, there are some not-so-productive negative impacts too.

The big one is getting thrown off your circadian rhythm. Your body’s internal clock is smart. It can wake you up, put you to sleep, and even regulate energy throughout the day. But messing with it (by randomly waking up an hour early or late, for example) can spell trouble.

It’s bad enough when you’re having an off day. 

But with Daylight Savings, everyone is having an off day

Spring is the most dangerous time, when an hour of sleep is lost. Rates of heart attacks and car crashes increase as a result of lost sleep. In the Fall, the extra hour of sleep reduces heart attacks and car crashes for a few days, but you still feel all out of sorts.

No matter the time of year, there are some clever ways you can use your coffee ritual to smooth out the rough edges and feel back to normal faster.

When To Drink Coffee For The Best Natural Boost

Back to your circadian rhythm. At various points of the day, you hit natural peaks in energy and alertness. There are also regular intervals of low energy points. So if you’re wondering why you’re always tired around 3 PM in the afternoon… well, it’s natural.

These ups and downs are largely thanks to the hormone ‘cortisol’, which is produced in your brain in a mostly-reliable pattern, like clockwork.

When you produce cortisol, you hit those natural peaks in alertness. During this time, the caffeine in coffee actually doesn’t affect you very much, since you’re already alert. These peaks tend to happen right around these timeframes:

  • 8 AM to 9 AM
  • 12 AM to 1 PM
  • 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

When your brain takes a break from producing cortisol, you get sluggish and tired. These natural lows are the best time to drink coffee, because it’s when the caffeine will have a noticeable impact on how you feel. These timeframes are:

  • 9 AM to 11 AM
  • 1 PM to 5 PM

Here’s how you can use your natural rhythms to your advantage in both the spring and the fall when it’s time to change the clocks:

  • Don’t drink coffee after 5 a few days before. Daylight Savings triggers lower sleep levels around the world, and doctors recommend making sure you get a full night’s sleep to help counteract the sleeping time disruption. Make sure you don’t drink any late-afternoon cups of coffee—those will make it harder to sleep deeply throughout the night.
  • Don’t drink coffee first thing when you wake up. Your body will produce cortisol right when you wake up like normal. You want to drink coffee right as your natural cortisol levels are dipping, an hour or so after you awake. This helps avoid a harder crash.
  • Get a little pick-me-up early afternoon. If you’re a morning-only coffee drinker, go ahead and splurge on a second cup in the early afternoon, somewhere between 1 PM and 5 PM. Once again, your cortisol crashes will be a little harder since your rhythm will be abnormal, and the coffee will help balance things out.

🔥 Pro Tip: We made the ESPRO Ultralight Press the lightest portable french press in the world so you can quickly make a delicious cup of coffee. Whether you’re working from home or at the office, it’s a super-easy way to get that quick afternoon mug in.

If you follow these tips, you’ll find yourself less groggy than you might have expected—and you’ll be fully alert to giggle at your cranky family and co-workers who didn’t catch the memo.

Light vs Dark Roasts: Is It Better To Drink One Over The Other?

We’ve been asked before if it would be better to drink light roast coffee, since it has more caffeine than dark roast coffee (or so it is commonly believed).

Dark roasts and light roasts, however, have virtually the same caffeine levels. If you weigh out the exact same amount of coffee beans on a scale, then use fancy science gear to measure the caffeine down to the milligram, you wouldn’t detect a meaningful difference

However, there is a kernel of truth to the myth. Light roast beans are more dense and smaller than dark roast beans. Since they take up less space, you can technically get more dense coffee particles in a single scoop (if you’re measuring by volume, not weight). And that would have the result of you getting more caffeine in your cup.

Yeah, it can be a little confusing. Here’s a recap:

  • Measuring by Weight — No difference in caffeine, because bean density and size don’t matter. It’s all about the mass of the beans (weight).
  • Measuring by Volume — Light roast will have slightly more caffeine, because it’s more densely packed into each particle, so each scoop will technically have more coffee.

All that said, unless you drink 4 cups of coffee each morning, you probably won’t notice any difference at all. We ultimately don’t think it matters what coffee roast level you drink.

We believe it’s better to focus on the whole experience of making delicious coffee you love. 

Brewing coffee by hand—smelling those ultra-fresh aromas rise from your pour over or french press below. Nothing beats it. It’s the best way to get your day started, Daylight Savings or not.

👉 We invite you to brew better coffee with us.