Caffeine and sleep don’t mesh well together, but many people need both to function on a daily basis. Sound like anyone you know? If the first thing you do is reach for a cup of coffee in the morning, you’re no stranger to its energizing, stimulating wonders. But drinking too much caffeine, or sipping on it too late during the day is cause for concern when it comes to your sleeping habits.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other. In fact, in this case you can have your cake (or coffee) and eat it too! You just have to be open to learning some facts and scheduling your coffee breaks at optimal times.
If you love caffeine just as much as you love sleep, we’ve rounded up 3 tips to help you enjoy both!
1.Know the facts
If you’re unaware of the affects caffeine has on sleep, you’re not likely to make any changes with your coffee or tea habits. Caffeine takes quite a while to metabolize and make it out of your system. We’re talking 3 to 7 hours to metabolize HALF a serving of caffeine. The levels can also build up to the point where it stays in your system for days (even if you stop drinking it).
If you’re a coffee-lover who’s been having trouble getting shut-eye, take this information into account. How many cups of coffee (or tea or Coca Cola) do you drink a day? Ask yourself if this could be contributing to your sleeplessness. The answer is most likely yes!
- Caffeine and sleep
Not only does caffeine make it harder for you to get to sleep in the first place, it also causes you to get less REM sleep. Those who drink a lot of caffeine throughout the day are more likely to experience wakefulness in the middle of the night, shortening of deep sleep, and feelings of unsatisfied rest in the mornings.
So it’s no wonder you have to reach for your morning coffee before you even saying hi to your dog. See where we’re going with this? It can become a vicious cycle if you’re not careful, and it’s important to know when and how much caffeine to drink so it doesn’t affect your sleep.
- When to drink caffeine
We’re not trying to burst your bubble. We need caffeine as much as the next person and it does reap lots of benefits (Think: boosting your energy and metabolism, and increasing alertness!). But it DOES matter when you drink it. Sure, grab that cup of coffee when you wake up, sip on that matcha latte at your desk mid-morning, even have a cup of coffee at lunch.
Just don’t drink any caffeine after 2 pm. And definitely don’t drink it right before you go to bed! Even if you think it’s the perfect pairing for your homemade cookies. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Since caffeine can take up to 10 hours (or longer) to get out of your system, you want to give yourself a fighting chance to get to bed at a decent hour and sleep soundly through the night.
What do you think about these caffeine facts? Are they enough to change your caffeine-consuming behaviours for a better night’s sleep?