Caffeine and sleep are not a good combination. Our bodies need enough sleep to function and caffeine is an unnatural way to keep the body and mind awake when it wants to sleep. People who sleep less are likely to perform more poorly at work, be less alert and even struggle with driving. Find out why caffeine can have a negative impact on sleeping patterns.
A known stimulant, caffeine is widely used to counteract the effects of sleepiness. A daily dose of caffeine is not sufficient to prevent performance decline over multiple days of restricted sleep. This means your body and brain function less well in terms of mood, reaction time and alertness when awake with the use of caffeine. Technically, the brain wants to sleep but caffeine sends signals to keep it awake and trick it into thinking it does not need sleep. Additional effects of over using caffeine include:
- Caffeine consumed 0, 3, and 6 hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time
- Caffeine consumed before bed can impact quality of sleep, including wakefulness at night
Get On Track
When you are struggling with using caffeine more often than not to stay awake, it can become a habit. This habit can lead to a longer pattern of being sleep deprived of a period of time. Some of the following tips can help you get on track with sleeping better even when using caffeine.
- Stick to a cutoff time of 2 o’clock. To avoid sleep disruption, restrict caffeine to waking hours so you don’t lose precious sleep
- Taper caffeine as the day goes on and keep it to moderate amounts
- Avoid jumbo drinks that pack a huge caffeine (and sugar) punch
If you are struggling to sleep, do not ignore the problems. Being tired makes people more likely to feel the need for caffeine and the extra consumption can make sleep problems worse. Avoid this cycle by making sleep a daily priority. Practice good hygiene and talk to the doctor about how you are sleeping. If you are worried about caffeine consumption, try to limit consumption but if you are unable to do so, seek help to rid yourself of the need to overdose on caffeine.
Caffeine can give you a quick boost but you may find you are able to function and sleep better without the use of caffeine, especially in recovery. We are here to help you understand what will help you make the journey through recovery with better health. Call Oceanfront to find out how our programs and services can support you: 877-296-7477.