Several people in my family are sensitive to caffeine. I can't sleep if I have coffee in the afternoon, and dad won't even each chocolate.

A few times recently I've noticed I can't sleep well at night, and I think it's related to times I have wine in the evening in addition to coffee in the morning. It's like I drank a strong coffee at dinner time, except I didn't.

I was thinking that the liver processes many chemicals, and if it filtered caffeine out of my bloodstream but processed it slowly, then maybe there'd be some left at dinner. Then maybe all of it would be released in the evening back into the bloodstream because a more important toxin (alcohol) needed processing. And so then I'd experience the effects of drinking coffee at an odd time hours later.

Is this even possible? I.e. is it possible for:

  1. Caffeine to be stored in the body (in the liver?) after drinking it
  2. It to take a long time (6-12 hrs) for the caffeine to be processed
  3. For that caffeine to be released into the bloodstream and start having effects, with the release triggered by a glass or two of wine
  • 2
    No, caffeine isn't stored in the body. See a doctor.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 19:27
  • alcohol can interfere with sleep. Not everything is caused by just one thing. Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


Caffeine is not stored in the body.

For a normal person, peak concentration of caffeine in the bloodstream is reached between 30 minutes and 2 hours after consuming it. It's then metabolized with a half-life of 3 to 7 hours. In the situation you describe, caffeine levels are probably no more than 25% of their peak.

Various conditions and medications can reduce the clearance of caffeine from the body (most notably, pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives both increase the half-life to around 15 hours). However, this doesn't affect the rate of uptake.

There is an interaction between caffeine and ethanol, but it's ethanol's metabolism that gets reduced, not caffeine's.

Source: Drugbank.ca's entry on caffeine

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