Tired of not getting a good night’s sleep? Try reducing your caffeine consumption!
According to sleep experts, caffeine overload can lead to insomnia, increase the number of times you wake during the night and interfere with deep sleep.
“Although caffeine stimulates and central nervous system, most people who consume a moderate amount—equivalent to two to four cups of brewed coffee a day—aren’t bothered by it,” says Lisa Masson, M.D., a Sutter Gould Medical Foundation family medicine physician on staff at Memorial Medical Center.
But people who consume more than 500 to 600 mg a day (equal to about four to seven cups of coffee) may experience sleep problems in addition to other side effects like nervousness, restlessness, irritability, nausea, gastrointestinal problems, fast or irregular heartbeat, muscle tremors, headaches or anxiety.
And if you’re especially sensitive to caffeine, just a cup of coffee or tea could disrupt your sleep or make you jittery.
“Your sensitivity to caffeine is related to many factors, such as body mass, age, smoking habits, drug or hormone use, stress and health conditions, in addition to how much caffeine you’re used to consuming,” Dr. Masson explains. Research also indicates that men may be more susceptible to caffeine’s influence.
Because sleep loss has a cumulative effect, a few minutes of lost sleep each night can add up to interfere with your daytime performance at work. A normal impulse would be to use caffeine as a way to wake up in the morning or to remain alert throughout the day, but while you’ll feel a temporary jolt, caffeine is no substitute for sleep and this habit can result in a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation.
“If you have trouble getting a good night’s sleep and you consume caffeine during the day, try cutting back and see if your sleep improves,” Dr. Masson suggests.
Some tips for reducing your caffeine intake that may increase the quality and quantity of your sleep: