by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | July 01, 2004
A double espresso first thing in the morning might not be the best way to jump-start your brain, say scientists. Caffeine taken in small doses, over regular intervals throughout the course of the workday, is much more effective in stimulating cognitive performance than one large dose.
     The finding came from a recent study of 16 adults conducted over 29 days by Boston-based Harvard Medical School, Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center and Boston-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
      Released in the May 2004 issue of the journal Sleep (, the study proposes that workers who punch in long hours or regularly perform high-concentration tasks, such as long-haul truckers, will be more alert, have fewer nap episodes and perform better if they change their caffeine-drinking habits.
     “I hate to say it,” reports Dr. James Wyatt, sleep researcher at Rush University Medical Center, “but most of the population is using caffeine the wrong way.”