The Optimized Gentleman

What Happens to Adenosine Levels When You Sleep?


Needless to say, quality sleep is a necessary part of an ambitious man’s life. Cutting down on sleep can sap your productivity levels, and fast. Considering you want to be on top of your game, building a strong physique, mindset, and income streams… You can’t afford to let this happen. That’s why in this post you’ll learn, in the most relatable terms, the magic of adenosine and how to control optimal levels.

Adenosine is a very important chemical – produced naturally in the body. Basically, this chemical determines your wakefulness. Its levels either increase or decrease, depending on many factors. When sleep is near, levels skyrocket; when they plummet – you feel wakeful, alert, and focused.


Now that you know what Adenosine is, let’s cover why you should actually care. And hey, it may be fruitful for you to put down that seventh cup of coffee after this.

What Is Adenosine?

Throughout this post, keep in mind that Adenosine relates to sleep. Remember that the higher it is, the sleepier you will feel, and the lower it is, the more active and wakeful you should feel.

 Adenosine is an influential chemical, and a type of nucleoside that’s present throughout the body’s cells – including, DNA, RNA, and even in the brain (where it performs the function of neurotransmission).

Adenosine also plays a strong role in digestion. Here, it performs one of its famed function of helping you nod off to sleep.

How Your Body Makes Adenosine:

This ever-present natural chemical (which can be found throughout every cell in the body) is produced internally. In other words, it’s a nonessential nutrient, because your body produces it. Specifically, it’s the result of a fusion of nitrogenous adenosine and D-ribose or ribose, which is classified as a five-carbon sugar, that’s housed in the RNA.

What Does Adenosine Actually Do?

When people mention adenosine, sleep is what usually comes to mind. But beyond that, adenosine can actually perform numerous other functions in the body! As promised, let’s cover the magic:

In The Blood: Adenosine prevents coagulation of the blood (basically congealing, or thickening in a harmful way), while enlarging the size of blood vessels… All of this enhances easy blood flow throughout the body.

And In The Heart: Adenosine expands the blood vessels carrying blood to the heart, which increases circulation of blood throughout the heart (as studies have shown). Also, this chemical helps regulate heart rate, and manage the overall proper functioning of the heart.

Liver & Kidneys: Adenosine helps your liver by narrowing blood vessels, which encourages the breakdown of glycogen (from food – carbs mostly) to glucose. This omnipresent chemical also aids your kidneys, by decreasing the flow of renal blood and the production of renin.

In the liver, it helps to constrict blood vessels, and increases the breakdown of glycogen to form glucose as well. This is the key process that’s involved in digestion, as mentioned before.

What Happens to Adenosine Levels When You Fall Asleep?

By now, with the emphasis we’ve placed on it earlier, you should know adenosine is tied to sleep.

Now, you’ll discover how

Because if you can do things to optimize your daily habits and sleep hygiene… you’ll be able to wake up refreshed each day, ready to knock out the important work and get ahead in life!

During the digestion process, there’s the disintegration of the glucose present in food, through a process referred to as glycolysis. An additional breakdown occurs, and thus, Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP) is created. This created ATP is like an expiable (disposable) energy line which helps transfer energy from one cell to another.

This ATP is then disintegrated further to create adenosine. Easy as Sunday mornin’, right? Stick with us…

How ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) Regulates Sleep & Energy

This adenosine gathers in the bloodstream and areas in the brain, since it’s also a neurotransmitter.

As aside note – one extra benefit of taking creatine while bodybuilding, can be the experienced increases of mental agility and clarity, thanks to creatine producing more ATP for workouts.

So, when optimizing your sleep, income, and your strength, adenosine is one chemical to understand!

adenosine-levels-and-sleepWhen the brain and bloodstream’s adenosine levels rise, you start to feel sleepy. When these levels drop, it signals to your body that it’s time to get up, and remain awake. As with anything, you’re able to influence these factors for your desired aims.

Thus, high adenosine levels encourage sleepiness; low levels encourage wakefulness and alertness. So, in the course of sleeping through the night, when adenosine levels finally deplete, you wake up.

In some scientific quarters, it’s believed that adenosine’s role on deep sleep suppresses REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. REM sleep occurs when you dream.

Having enough adenosine can prevent this from happening, thereby allowing you to enjoy a deeper sleep (since REM sleep is typically dreamless). So, when you’re feeling sleepy in the morning, you probably have high levels of adenosine in your body, which means you didn’t sleep well and should focus on improving your sleep hygiene or bedtime routine.

Adenosine Levels & Caffeine

Ah, caffeine – you lust-worthy productivity stimulant…

Whether it’s a necessary evil, a creativity or productivity booster, or something that you just plain enjoy…

… there’s no way you could talk about adenosine, and without covering caffeine.

Why? Because 90% of American adults consume caffeine-infused beverages almost daily! According to the National Coffee Association (NCA), a whopping 64% of American adults currently consume coffee daily – the highest rate since 2012.

We live in a fast-paced, competitive society.

Ambitious dudes know, that to get a leg up on the next guy and get into the top 1% of your field, building late into the night, getting a few winks can be typical protocol. You also know that a steady drip of caffeine during work hours can really keep you streamlined and focusing on the heavy lifting.

The caffeine you drink works by tricking your brain’s adenosine receptors.

It causes the caffeine to join the adenosine receptors in the brain, just like actual adenosine would. However, caffeine does the opposite of boosting adenosine, which would increase drowsiness. Instead, it inhibits adenosine production, and encourages your mind and body to fire on all cylinders (as opposed to being lethargic).


This balance of wakefulness, stimulants, rest, and productive work is not as straightforward as you’d hope.

Going overboard with caffeine can produce too much adrenaline, release stress hormones like cortisol, burn out adrenals, lower libido (sex drive), etc… so you want to keep it in check.

As with any marathon, the path to succeeding with a life on your terms is balance. We’re using tools like caffeine and timing adenosine production to get ahead.

Let us show you how we’d suggest balancing everything covered so far today…

Balancing Work, Sleep, Adenosine & Caffeine

You drink coffee to squeeze out optimal productivity while working, and you’ve probably made a habit out of it. And hey, if you’re still working for “the man”, and haven’t yet transitioned, it may be necessary to continue for a while.

If you’re on the “overboard” side of caffeine intake, unchecked, you may experience adverse effects from excess adenosine that caffeine has built up. Good news is, you can continue drinking coffee if you do it correctly.

As a rule of thumb, experts recommend you drink no more than four cups of coffee per day – about 400mg. or less.

This will help regulate your adenosine, coupled with not drinking caffeine too late in the day.

Some even believe that it shouldn’t be more than three cups of joe. You can play it safer by drinking three, but no matter what, you shouldn’t drink more than four. Also, you should be mindful of the time that you take it. Most experts suggest that taking coffee should not exceed 2 p.m.

Eating Foods That Regulate Adenosine

Now you should know about how much coffee you can safely drink, and the time to stop drinking it for optimal sleep.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know there are other ways you can boost your adenosine levels for good sleep! You eat food rich in protein and fatty acids – things like fatty fish, chicken, lean beef, beans, peas, lentils, plain Greek yogurt, and so on.

Careful not to eat too much fatty food coupled with high carb meals. This may help you conk out for longer, but is also the recipe for quick weight gain.

Everyone’s divided on what to eat as a man, however sticking with high fat, high protein is a good overall strategy. This will keep you lean, strong, with the right male hormones doing what they’re supposed to.

Adenosine & Sleep Conclusion


Nothing can ever substitute for good ol’ sleep.

You’d feel a whole lot better by optimizing your environment, caffeine intake, and adenosine levels to sleep properly. As the Irish say, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”

Improve your sleep quality, and watch your entire life improve drastically. Keep experimenting, to find the right balance between coffee intake, work activities, and sleep!


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