Too Much Caffeine?
Coffee and tea are incredibly healthy beverages.
Most types contain caffeine, a substance that may boost your mood, metabolism and mental and physical performance.
Studies have also shown that it’s safe for most people when consumed in low-to-moderate amounts.
However, high doses of caffeine may have unpleasant and even dangerous side effects.
Research has shown that your genes have a major influence on your tolerance to it. Some can consume much more caffeine than others without experiencing negative effects.
What’s more, individuals who aren’t used to caffeine may experience symptoms after consuming what is typically considered a moderate dose.
Caffeine’s ability to help people stay awake is one of its most prized qualities.
On the other hand, too much caffeine can make it difficult to get enough restorative sleep.
Studies have found that higher caffeine intake appears to increase the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. It may also decrease total sleeping time, especially in the elderly.
By contrast, low or moderate amounts of caffeine don’t seem to affect sleep very much in people considered “good sleepers,” or even those with self-reported insomnia.
You may not realize that too much caffeine is interfering with your sleep if you underestimate the amount of caffeine you’re taking in.
Although coffee and tea are the most concentrated sources of caffeine, it is also found in soda, cocoa, energy drinks and several types of medication.
For example, an energy shot may contain up to 350 mg of caffeine, while some energy drinks provide as much as a whopping 500 mg per can.
Importantly, the amount of caffeine you can consume without affecting your sleep will depend on your genetics and other factors.
In addition, caffeine consumed later in the day may interfere with sleep because its effects can take several hours to wear off.
Research has shown that while caffeine remains in your system for an average of five hours, the time period may range from one and a half hours to nine hours, depending on the individual.
One study investigated how the timing of caffeine ingestion affects sleep. Researchers gave 12 healthy adults 400 mg of caffeine either six hours before bedtime, three hours before bedtime or immediately prior to bedtime.
Both the time it took all three groups to fall asleep and the time they spent awake at night increased significantly.
These results suggest that it’s important to pay attention to both the amount and timing of caffeine to optimize your sleep.
Caffeine can help you stay awake during the day, but it may negatively impact your sleep quality and quantity. Cut off your caffeine consumption by the early afternoon to avoid sleeping problems.