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Caffeine Junkie? Get your java jolt without impacting your health or sleep.

Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, sodas and chocolate, has been called the most popular drug in the world. And although this drug can give us the extra "pep" we may need it can also negatively affect our health and our sleep. According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 43% of Americans are "very likely" to use caffeine to combat daytime drowsiness.

Three 8 ounce cups of coffee per day is considered by many health organizations to be an average amount for the body. Unfortunately, many Americans are topping out at over 10 cups per day, in addition to other caffeine-inclusive items during the day.

Not only can high amounts of caffeine in your diet impact your health, but it can most immediately stress your sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests you do not drink any caffeinated substance after 3:00 pm, or at least 6 hours before your bedtime.

The best remedy for fighting sleepiness during the day is to get a full nights rest. This means 8 hours of uninterrupted slumber, allowing your mind and body to recharge and get ready to face the day. To do this, you must maintain healthy amounts of caffeine. If you're a ten-cupper, start weaning that amount down to a healthier amount of 3 cups of coffee each day.

In order to sleep better and rely less heavily on coffee, follow the tips below and watch your sleep and overall health improve.

  • Maintain a regular bedtime and wake time, even on weekends
  • Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only
  • Use white noise machines or Sleep Phones to reduce sleep disturbances
  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool
  • Finish exercising at least 3 hours before bed
  • And, most importantly, avoid and caffeine (chocolate addicts this means you!) and alcohol before bed.

It may take some time to adjust your lifestyle to a healthier relationship with coffee and caffeine, but your body will thank you when you can get through the day without a "pick me up" and you sleep restfully and comfortably throughout the night. So start cutting back, and get to work making your sleep a priority!

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