If you think that a cup of cappuccino after a working day is normal and harmless, then you are mistaken. In fact, caffeine deals a heavy blow to the quality of your sleep. So, how to sleep after drinking coffee? Let’s figure it out!
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant of the nervous system. If your nervous system is in an excited state, you can forget about quality sleep. People love coffee. It is what it is. But in order for our sleep to be in no danger, we need to control the consumption of this beloved drink and other caffeinated products. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, caffeine has an extremely negative effect on sleep. Lead author Christopher Drake, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at Wayne’s University of Detroit, states: “One large cup of coffee drunk on the way from work has the same negative effect as if you had it right before bedtime.”
The researchers found that people who consumed caffeine at different times of the day (immediately before bedtime, 3 or 6 hours before it) had significant sleep disturbances. This not only confirms that drinking coffee at night is not a good idea but also proves that even one cup of coffee or caffeinated tea consumed even 6 hours before night’s rest can cause sleep problems. For more information, check out this article on how to sleep better in a recliner.
Because of caffeine, it becomes more difficult to dive into the deep sleep phase, and you may not get the quality rest during the night because of just one cup drunk right before bedtime.
It is worthy of note that for this study the information was collected in two ways: objective, based on sleep monitor data at home, and subjective, according to diary records. When the subjects had caffeine 6 hours before bedtime, they had a measurable objective sleep deficit of 1 hour, which was visible on the monitor. But the most amazing thing is that in the diaries they did not mention any difference. That is, the participants did not even realize that they were sleep-deprived due to caffeine! It seemed to them that they fell asleep very quickly, but in fact, according to the monitored data, they were not able to plunge into the usual phases of REM and deep sleep.
This is how a vicious circle is formed. Sleep deficiency due to caffeine intake inevitably makes us feel tired. This condition requires even more caffeine, additional portions of which, in turn, can aggravate further sleep problems. It is necessary to find a way to break this vicious circle in order to provide the body with the maximum quality sleep.
So, the truth about caffeine. Firstly, the products which contain it, give pleasure: coffee, chocolate, tea, etc. Secondly, caffeine can really improve your mood. That’s why we get hooked on it just like that. However, caffeine does not provide energy in a conditional sense. Daily, while you are awake, the neurotransmitter adenosine is produced in the brain – a by-product of neural activity. It must be understood that this substance is more than just a “waste product”. The nervous system constantly monitors the amount of adenosine in the body, and as soon as it reaches a certain level in the brain and spinal cord, the body begins to send signals about the need for sleep (or at least relaxation). And that’s when caffeine appears…
Caffeine is very similar in structure to adenosine and can replace this neurotransmitter in neural receptors. Normally, when the receptors are filled with adenosine, the body goes into rest mode. When caffeine replaces it though, it becomes simply mooch there, just like an alien abusing the hosts’ hospitality. Since caffeine is not able to perform the useful function of adenosine (cause you to feel tired), the brain and body continue to stay awake, but you do not realize that you actually want to sleep. In a way, this is cool, but I hope you can see why this leads to serious problems.
How to sleep after drinking coffee and control caffeine intake?
Cortisol plays an important role in regulating circadian rhythms. In the morning, cortisol should be produced in a greater volume than in the evenings. If you find that the cortisol level is lower than normal in the morning or that it is higher in the evenings than in the mornings, a small dose of caffeine will put everything into its place. Since caffeine stimulates the production of cortisol, it can be consumed immediately after waking up in order to increase the level of this hormone. If you are generally healthy and physiologically independent of coffee, this will help set up your circadian rhythm system so that a little more cortisol is produced in the daytime and a little less in the evening. If you have problems with the adrenal glands, be sure to consult your doctor and make sure that caffeine is safe for you. Products containing this substance are among the top five best-selling products in the world, because people love them so much. However, the fact that they are dispensed without a prescription does not mean that they can be absorbed uncontrollably. So. how to sleep after drinking coffee? Here are several tips below:
Tips Number 1: Anti-caffeine Curfew
To give the body enough time to get rid of most of this substance, establish an anti-caffeine “curfew”. For most, it starts at 2:00 pm. If you are hypersensitive to caffeine, move the “curfew” to an earlier time or completely abandon its use.
Tips Number 2: Break The Cycle
When used wisely, caffeine can be used to enhance metabolism, increase alertness and concentration, and even improve liver function. Therefore, wanting to give up the unnecessary caffeine functions, you should not deprive yourself of its beneficial properties. As you already know, over time, the body begins to weaken the reaction to it, so for maximum benefit, it is necessary to alternate coffee intake and abstinence from it. There are several ways to do this.
- Two days with caffeine, three without it. If you are healthy, the body can completely clear caffeine out of your body within three days. When you start drinking caffeinated drinks again, you will notice as strong of an effect as before.
- Two months with caffeine, one without it. This method is suitable if you consume caffeine daily in small or medium doses (less than 200 mg per day); this is usually found in 1-2 cups of black coffee, tea or sports supplement. Exceeding the limit can cause withdrawal symptoms within a few days after cessation of use.
- Occasionally, but in any quantities. An option when you can enjoy coffee just as you did when you had it for the first time. Try not to drink drinks containing caffeine at all, but in emergency situations allow yourself to “come off”. By emergency situations, I mean public speaking, project handover, or something equally important (and at the same time not too long, so that the indulgence does not stretch for more than a few days). Use coffee as an accelerator, not a crutch – and you can enjoy all its advantages while maintaining the ability to sleep like a champion.
Caffeine addiction can severely affect your health, wellbeing, and working capacity. Drinking coffee excessively has a diminishing impact on our productivity and wellbeing. It also increases anxiety and impairs our thinking ability. This can reduce our effectiveness in solving daily problems when we need a sober head and focused determination. Although caffeine can be effective in the short term (since the energy curve has been changed) and can help us meet deadlines, it’s not recommended for long-term use in high doses.