Added: 16th September 2015
Thanks to the use of brain mapping technology it can be argued that caffeine is not necessarily linked to the part of the brain that causes dependence either. A small subset of the population may experience withdrawal symptoms upon an abrupt cessation, but the symptoms are mild. Also, contrary to the view that caffeine consumption disrupts your sleep pattern, caffeine may actually help you to sleep better.
Studies have also suggested that caffeine consumption increases both selected and sustained attention. With selective attention you can focus on one particular subject or object of your choice. With sustained attention you can focus for a long time. Caffeine has been found to improve performance in the carrying out of both simple and complex tasks and this supports the idea that caffeine can be beneficial to your attention span.
A study was conducted involving regular caffeine consumers and non-regular caffeine consumers. Results indicated that consumption of approximately two cups of coffee dramatically heightened the visual attention of non-regular consumers while it took around four cups of coffee for the same effect on regular caffeine consumers. There is also some evidence that caffeine improves reaction time.
Caffeine, however, is most effective when people’s level of alertness is below their peak. This typically occurs during night shift/late night work or illness from influenza or the common cold. In a study conducted among night workers, the consumption of around two cups of coffee daily was found to reduce the level of accidents and errors in half of the subjects. This is significant when taking into consideration the requirements of performance and safety among workers.
Caffeine has also been found to reduce the number of accidents that take place late at night on the road. In a study conducted it was found that drivers who took a short nap and drank coffee had increased alertness and were less prone to mistakes on the road.
When an experiment was conducted among college students it was found that caffeine helped to improve memory, especially under conditions that caused reduced alertness. However It should be noted that caffeine strangely improved performance in extroverts but not in introverts.
Researchers therefore concluded that although caffeine has positive effects on the consumer, the strength of these effects are dependent on the genetic make-up of the individual as well as the level of daily consumption.