I have been drinking coffee for a long time and over the last few years I've noticed that my sensitivity to caffeine has dropped significantly. Nowadays, it basically has no effect whatsoever - I can drink double espressos and go to sleep right away and I also don't feel anything after drinking multiples of those. According to this http://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-sensitivity I guess that I've become hyposensitive to it (probably due to the abuse of all the coffee machines at my workplace)

It wasn't always like this - I even used to use it as a preworkout while I was studying (in large quantities, but still). My question is whether someone has had the same problem and managed to increase their sensitivity. If so, how and how long did it take? There are some tricks using grapefruit juice with coffee because of narangin which improves caffeine absorption or using fat (bulletproof coffee) for the same reason https://www.bulletproofexec.com/the-4-secrets-of-getting-wired-on-caffeine/ (I haven't tried these yet). The usual suggestion is to stop using it for a while, but after a month of doing so nothing changed. How do you get the kick back? I'm in the last year of my PhD and I need it...

  • Do you smoke as well? Apr 17, 2015 at 19:24
  • Nope, no cigarettes and no weed. Never did - I hate the smell.
    – schvaba
    Apr 17, 2015 at 19:29
  • Too bad. That is an easy fix for tobacco smokers. Nicotine and Caffeine hit similar receptors on the brain. Tobacco smokers can increase their "sensitivity" merely by stopping smoking or smoking less. Apr 17, 2015 at 19:31

1 Answer 1


Over the years I developed a caffeine addiction that reached fairly severe levels. For background, the addiction ramped into high gear the summer after my freshman year of college (summer of '99) when I was consuming somewhere between 60 and 100 ounces of coffee per day. I tried to quit cold-turkey once, and spent two weeks mostly bouncing a rubber ball off the wall of my dorm room before I decided the addiction itself wasn't even that bad.

Eventually I needed to do something about it, and I went with the only logical method: I slowly backed down my consumption, from about five to seven cups per day at the time to a hard limit of two. I also forced myself to stop consuming any coffee after about 11:00am.

I did all this over a six-week period. That kept the headaches away, and decreased my dependence on the drug. However, I had to maintain at that level for several more months -- probably about six or so -- for my sensitivity to caffeine to go back up. Now, when I drink a cup in the morning, it has the desired effect: it perks me up and prepares me for my day. It's no longer a crutch, it's simply a pick-me-up I enjoy.

In summary: back down your caffeine intake, whatever the delivery method you prefer, by 10 to 20 percent each week until you reach a more manageable level, then hold at that level for several months. That will increase your sensitivity.

  • I will give that a shot. Like I said, I tried no caffeine for a month and nothing changed so I said screw this. I don't really have an addiction so I can cut down for longer and see.
    – schvaba
    Apr 18, 2015 at 6:35

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