I’m sure most of us wake ourselves up with a steaming cup of tea or coffee. No matter how your caffeine cup tastes, the feeling of contentment cannot be replaced with anything else.
But do you ever think about how caffeine can affect your sleep? And how many cups of caffeine are safe to drink?
Well, that’s what I’m going to be covering in this article today!
Before I tell you more about caffeine intake and its effect on sleep, it’s important to know that caffeine cannot replace sleep, it just helps us feel more alert.
Wondering how that’s possible?
Caffeine is named a stimulant- it stimulates the production of adrenaline which is linked to your body’s fight or flight response. And here’s how that relates to how caffeine can affect your sleep- our body has a compound called adenosine which promotes the feeling of sleepiness. Caffeine acts as an “adenosine receptor antagonist”, it stimulates your body’s central nervous system increasing alertness and reducing fatigue.
Once you ingest any caffeinated product, caffeine starts showing its effect within 20-30 minutes. Caffeine has a half line of 3-5 hours, which is the time taken by the body to eliminate half of the caffeine. Now, what about the remaining caffeine? Well, it stays in the body for a long time.
Therefore, people who have too many cups of caffeine in a day, beware! Your body is trying hard to pull it off.
Symptoms such as a delay in falling asleep, increase alertness, interrupt sleep, and cause you to wake up multiple times in the middle of the night are all commonly seen if
- Large doses of caffeine are taken
- Your last cup of caffeine is consumed in the late evening
Note- People who have very high doses of caffeine – 250mg/day- can have serious sleeping issues and even insomnia, in which the person may have difficulty in concentrating and falling asleep
What steps can we take?
- Moderation is the key to good health; restrict your coffee intake to not more than 2 cups a day. Excess of caffeine, as I mentioned above, will disrupt your sleep cycle.
- If you are already having too much caffeine, slowly cut down. If you can’t start with frequency, start with quantity. Have ½ cup each time you have caffeine instead of a full cup.
- Avoid having caffeine late evenings, if you’re a person who goes to sleep early then your last cup should be at around 2-3 pm. A lot of people have caffeine post-dinner, which is a strict no-no in that case.
- Cut down on caffeine as the day progresses, avoid evening caffeine intake, and if you feel that the craving cannot be curbed have decaffeinated tea/coffee.
- Use small cups for your caffeine rather than jumbo sized cups and mugs.
Make sure you use these pointers and keep a check on your caffeine intake. Let’s get some good sleep to avoid drowsiness and tiredness which sets in if there is sleep deprivation.