Drinking coffee is a double-edged sword. It can be the bringer of immense pain, like when you’re walking the floor at Expo, drinking every shot of espresso and mini filter coffee offered to you by disembodied hands extending from booths innumerable. Now Coffee is become Death, destroyer of bowels. But there are other times, as noted in a recent article from Extra Crispy, that coffee grants us mercy and can actually help relieve chronic pain.

The article is referencing a recent study performed by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital that appeared in the May 8th edition of Nature Medicine, where sleep-deprived mice were found to be more sensitive to pain. The article notes that losing as little as one hour a night can eventually lead to additional pain sensitivity.

The mice were then given traditional pain relievers–ibuprofen and morphine specifically–as well as caffeine. The researchers found that the caffeine was the most effective pain blocker. It also provided the mice with “a hit of dopamine, the hormone that makes you feel happy, which further dulled the feeling of pain.”

But before you go rubbing coffee grounds into an open wound, the research notes that the efficacy of caffeine’s pain-relieving abilities is most likely only limited to those who are sleep deprived. Still though, after an all-night rager and only a few hours of sleep, coffee is the most effective form of pain relief, but I think we all already kinda knew that, didn’t we?

The good Coffee giveth, and the Coffee taketh away.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.

*top image via Bed Bath & Beyond

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