Can coffee make you hear voices?

Cup of Kenya Coffee

Drinking large amounts of coffee might reduce your risk of prostate cancer, but it also might make you start hearing things. A research study conducted at La Trobe University in Melbourne found that volunteers who consumed very “high levels” of caffeine (say, more than five cups of coffee) were quite likely to imagine that they heard a song being played while they were listening to nothing but white noise. This would likely prove equally try if extended to other caffeinated beverages, such as sodas and energy drinks.

The study isn’t enough to say unequivocally that drinking coffee can make you hear voices where there aren’t any. There are also studies that suggest that coffee/caffeine consumption “improves alertness and concentration while delaying mental fatigue,” which makes it sound like you’re more likely to pay attention and realize that there is not, in fact, a song being played to you. But going overboard on caffeine can make you jittery and actually make it more difficult to concentrate after a while, and this seems to be where the study is heading with the conclusions.

I’m guessing that if you simply pace yourself when you’re sipping that cup o’ joe, you won’t have many problems with imagined songs.


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