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You know the drill: get a lousy night’s sleep, drink coffee, feel better, repeat. Not so fast Pike Roast fiends.

According to a new study from the Walter Reed Institute of Research, the old-coffee-cures-a-headache trick only works for the first two nights of tossing and turning. After that, you’re kinda out of luck.

The study followed 48 participants who each limited themselves to five hours of sleep for five nights in a row. Half the folks took a placebo and half drank a big cup of coffee, two times a day. For the first two days, the caffeine group scored better on aptitude tests and reported feeling happier than the placebo participants. But after three days, the two groups flip-flopped, with the coffee drinkers’ mental alertness dropping drastically--and overall levels of “crankiness” noted.

The upshot? Coffee works in a pinch. But in the long term, you have to treat sleep like a real priority. 

RELATED: 7 Ways to Actually Get 8 Hours of Sleep

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