Caffeine effect on sleep

It’s often forgotten that caffeine (particularly in coffee and tea) is one of the most widely consumed drugs (legal or illegal).  It smells great and it can give you a great buzz, making you feel alert and can temporarily enhance performance and concentration.  However, too much caffeine can cause sleeplessness.

One of the best known short term solutions for improving sleep is to reduce caffeine.   While caffeine is generally active  in the brain for an hour or so, it can stay in the system for many hours and if there is too much in the system it will have a negative effect on sleep.  Reducing your caffeine intake or cutting it out altogether is known to help people sleep better.  If you don’t want to cut it out completely, try only caffeine early in the day and avoiding any caffeine after 2-3pm in the afternoon.

Often we drink caffeine drinks to stay alert, particularly when we have a busy challenging day.  One natural solution or alternative is to have a 45 minute nap when you feel sleepy during the day, although experts generally advise to avoid sleeping too late in the day.  Some research suggests that a short 15 min nap is more effective at beating that tired feeling than a coffee.

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