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Can Caffeine Cause Anxiety?

Can Caffeine Cause Anxiety?

Research suggests that caffeine consumption may cause or worsen anxiety.1 Similarly, high caffeine intake also causes sleep deprivation, which is a known cause of anxiety disorders.

Caffeine is one of the most consumed drugs in the world.2 Globally, people consume caffeine in tea, coffee, energy drinks, and even soda. 

Because caffeine increases alertness and concentration, workers who need an energy boost consume caffeinated drinks to improve awareness and productivity. In the same vein, students are also heavy caffeine consumers.

For one, students who need to stay up all night consume caffeine to study for tests and exams. This stimulant prevents sleep by blocking adenosine, which is responsible for drowsiness.3 When it blocks this receptor, you may not sleep for an extended period.

Further, students consume numerous beverages, which contain caffeine. To promote alertness and concentration, they drink sodas, coffee, and energy drinks. This is a cause for concern for health professionals, especially with numerous schoolchildren consuming daily doses of caffeine in the form of soda.

While caffeine is not harmful, consuming large amounts would likely bring undesired results. Experts recommend consuming 400mg or lesser of this stimulant to prevent unwanted side effects. Drinking an amount more considerable than this may also trigger anxiety or other mental health illnesses.

Since caffeine is a culprit of sleep deprivation, there is a possibility that it may cause anxiety. Sleep deprivation is a state of not getting sufficient hours of sleep. When you are not sleeping well, you may become anxious and restless.4

While most studies have not been able to link caffeine as a direct cause of anxiety, several reports show that anxiety may worsen anxiety, particularly in children.

 According to a study based on schoolchildren from South West England, children who consumed higher than 1000mg per week of caffeine experience increased stress, depression, and anxiety.5

From the analysis, anxiety may also trigger other mental health challenges, making it essential to cut your child’s caffeine consumption.

Caffeine And Anxiety


Caffeine And Anxiety


Caffeine is a stimulant consumed by over 80% of adults in America.6 As a stimulant, it wakes the nervous system, making you more aware and awake. It’s not uncommon to see people drinking caffeinated drinks to start the day, helping them enjoy an energy boost.

While caffeine can help you stay alert, you may become dependent on the drug when you consume too much. Like many stimulants, caffeine is an addictive drug, which may also cause withdrawal symptoms if you cut your intake.

Consuming caffeine has many benefits, such as improved performance, heightened alertness, and faster information processing speed, which increases efficiency. Sportspersons also consume energy drinks, which contain caffeine, to improve their performance on the field.7

In simple terms, anxiety is a state of fear, dread, or terror, usually triggered by a specific circumstance. While anxiety is crucial for survival, it may also interfere with your daily life.8 Today, anxiety is one of America's most common mental illnesses, making it vital to understand this concept.

The relationship between anxiety and caffeine is complex. While studies show that patients with mental illness consume caffeinated drinks to improve their mood, others claim that caffeine consumption is a direct cause of anxiety.

Still, it’s best to consume caffeine in safe dosages to prevent unwanted results. Similarly, parents should also manage their children's caffeine intake. This is because children are yet to develop fully, necessitating the need for controlled consumption. When they consume high dosages of caffeine at a young age, it may affect their health.

Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety disorders have numerous symptoms. Knowing these signs should help you understand your mental state and know when to visit a professional.9

Everybody becomes anxious at some point in time. Reports show that lots of students suffer from test anxiety, causing a panic attack. Similarly, you may also become anxious during a presentation, especially when you have stage fright.

Luckily, this list should help you know when to take action:

  • Sleep deprivation: One of the most common signs of an anxiety disorder is sleep deprivation. When you are not getting adequate, quality sleep, you may need to visit a professional. Besides being a common sign of anxiety, sleep deprivation may also worsen other health conditions.
  • Sweating: If you find yourself sweating when you interact, socialize or get on stage, you may have an anxiety disorder. People sweat as a result of many internal factors, such as fear or nervousness.
  • Fear: Every anxiety disorder is characterized by fear. If you become frightened by circumstances or events that seem exaggerated, you may have an anxiety disorder.
  • Racing pulses: It’s common to find patients with an anxiety disorder experiencing racing pulses. This is a common sign of fear or dread.

These symptoms are common signs of an anxiety disorder. However, they may also be symptoms of other mental illnesses.

Caffeine Symptoms




Caffeine is an essential tool for many people working busy jobs. However, when they misuse it, they experience some undesired side effects. These side effects may interfere with daily activities and also cause discomfort.10

Here are some signs of caffeine consumption:

  • Insomnia: Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of caffeine consumption. People who drink coffee, tea, and energy drinks close to nighttime may find it difficult to sleep at night. Since humans need sufficient sleep to maintain good health, you may trigger other health concerns when you sleep for shorter hours.
  • High blood pressure: If you want to manage your high blood pressure, you should cut your caffeine intake. This stimulant has adverse effects on blood vessels. When it decreases the size of blood vessels, you may experience an increase in your blood pressure.
  • Alertness: You become more alert when you consume caffeinated substances. Heightened alertness may enable you to do more work and also improve your efficiency.
  • Indigestion: Indigestion is a known symptom of caffeine. Experts also suggest that this stimulant may cause heartburn.
  • Migraines: If you experience migraines after drinking caffeinated drinks, you may need to reduce your intake. Headaches are usual signs of caffeine consumption, which may also signal an overdose.

How Much Caffeine Are You Consuming?


Consuming Caffeine


Caffeine consumption has numerous perks, but when it becomes too much, it may cause unwanted results. Like most drugs, you should not consume more than the recommended quantity of the stimulant to avoid side effects, such as migraines or even insomnia.

Generally, experts recommend not drinking anything higher than 400mg of caffeine every day. 11 Also, they recommend caffeine consumption for only adults to prevent intake by children. 

Children are sensitive humans who are not yet fully developed. When they consume the stimulant in high dosages, they may become anxious, restless, and sleep-deprived. It's safe to state that large amounts of caffeine are toxic to children.

Further, pregnant women should also avoid caffeine. However, if they cannot stop caffeine consumption, it’s best to meet with a professional. The professional may recommend a healthy dosage, which will not trigger undesired effects.

To avoid caffeine dependency, you should check your caffeine usage. Caffeine dependency is a state of being reliant on caffeine. Because some people drink coffee frequently, their body becomes addicted to the stimulant.

More so, high caffeine intake has numerous side effects. If you want to avoid the results, you should consume caffeine in safe dosages.

For one, an overdose may cause frequent urination. If you find yourself continuously going to the bathroom, you may have overdosed on caffeine.

Another sign of an overdose is insomnia. Insomnia is a health concern, affecting numerous people yearly. When you find it challenging to sleep, you may have insomnia. Checking your caffeine consumption may help you manage sleep deprivation.

Does Caffeine Cause Anxiety?

Many studies suggest that caffeine can cause anxiety. When you consume caffeine, especially in large quantities, you may become jittery and restless, which are signs of anxiety.

While patients with mental illness may benefit from the caffeine in smaller doses, experts believe that high dosage may cause panic attacks and other health concerns.

Besides causing anxiety, caffeine may also worsen anxiety for people with existing conditions. People who consume large quantities of caffeine also have some problems with sleep and digestion.

Still, you can take caffeinated drinks without any problem, provided you consume within the recommended dosage, and you are not dependent on the drug. If you are dependent on caffeine, you can work on the addiction by gradually reducing your intake. This helps your body adapt to new conditions.

Another study revealed that patients with mental illnesses are more likely to consume caffeinated beverages than healthy people. The investigation revealed that mental health patients take caffeine to improve their moods and reduce symptoms of their illness.

This is not surprising because caffeine may elevate mood and improve awareness, enabling you to complete your daily tasks.


Caffeine is a known cause of anxiety. Because many people consume this stimulant in large dosages, they experience some unwanted symptoms, such as migraines, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Still, you can drink caffeine in smaller dosages to prevent it from triggering an anxiety disorder. This also helps you prevent caffeine dependency or addiction.


  1. https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2015/11/coffee
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6292246/
  3. https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/10.5664/jcsm.3170
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20045678#:~:text=Up%20to%20400%20milligrams%20(mg,widely%2C%20especially%20among%20energy%20drinks.
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4668773/
  6. https://medlineplus.gov/caffeine.html
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11583104/
  8. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961
  9. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9536-anxiety-disorders
  10. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15496-caffeine-how-to-hack-it-and-how-to-quit-it
  11. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20045678#:~:text=Up%20to%20400%20milligrams%20(mg,widely%2C%20especially%20among%20energy%20drinks.


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