Caffeine is one of the most common substances in beverages. But don’t get me wrong: it is a substance that has major effects on your body! It can seriously affect how you fall asleep at night in a number of ways…
We should be clear: Caffeine has some definite benefits. For example, it enhances physical performance, leading many athletes to take it before a workout or competition. It also improves your focus! You see, it blocks adenosine receptors, which leads to drowsiness. The effect of caffeine is also very fast, only 30 minutes after drinking a little. Then, within 6 to 12 hours, you rinse it off. However, just because there are some benefits doesn’t mean drinking caffeine isn’t bad.
The benefits of caffeine work even in small or normal doses (between 60 and 200 mg). However, if you take more than 250 mg of caffeine, your body will start to react negatively. Higher amounts of caffeine can cause the following results: headache, increased heart rate, nausea, increased breathing rate, nervousness, muscle tremors, and more. Meanwhile, several studies have shown that the body can become dependent on caffeine. If you’re showing signs of withdrawal, such as fatigue and headaches, when you quit caffeinated beverages, you’re more likely to become dependent.
As you might imagine, this type of dependency can have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep…
Since caffeine stops sleepiness, it makes sense that it would affect your sleep schedule. Without getting too professional, caffeine has a half-life of six hours. That means, six hours after drinking that cup of coffee, half of it is still in your system. So, if you drink a cup of coffee with 200 mg of caffeine at 5:00 pm, you will have 100 mg of caffeine left in your body at 11:00 pm. This can seriously affect your sleep – you might not even notice it until the next day! You see, while that little bit of caffeine will get you to sleep, you probably won’t get into deeper REM sleep. that’s right!
Meanwhile, as mentioned earlier, caffeine can also affect your adenosine levels. Because it blocks the production of adenosine, caffeine can change your entire schedule by causing you to feel tired later. To make matters worse, the more caffeine affects sleep patterns, the less sleep you’ll get, making you more dependent on caffeine. This will only create a vicious circle.
Need to get off the caffeine train and reset your sleep schedule? Well, while it’s not easy, it’s doable. Like any medication, you first need to flush all caffeine from your system. Stay away from caffeinated beverages for a few weeks first. Then, slowly start adding them back into your life, rather than drinking them multiple times a day. Your body and your dreams will undoubtedly thank you!