Sleep is a hot topic these days and for good reason. More people are reporting difficulty falling asleep, insomnia and disrupted sleep than ever before and the problem only continues to get worse.
Why is it so hard for most people to get good and adequate sleep?
For most people the problem is probably caffeine intake! I know, I know. You probably just read that and thought “yeah but everyone drinks caffeine.” But just hear me out. I think you’ll be surprised.
Caffeine found in coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks and certain medications can profoundly affect sleep quality and the ability to get to sleep.
The average American consumes 200mg of caffeine. Many consume far more. Anything over 500mg can start to cause toxic side effects such as anxiety, nervousness or heart palpitations.
Another issue is that caffeine has a 6 hour half life in the human body. That means that if you drank 200mg of caffeine at noon there would still be 100mg in your blood at 6pm and 50mg at midnight. More than enough to disrupt sleep.
Caffeine is such a powerful stimulant that even a small amount can keep you up or prevent the deep regenerative sleep we all need. So here are my suggestions.
- Consume all your caffeine before 9am.
- Keep it to under 100mg (1 small cup of coffee on average).
- Try to skip a few days during the week to prevent building up a tolerance.
Following these steps should help your body get rid of the excess caffeine before your trying to fall asleep. As an added bonus your stress levels should decrease as well because caffeine works by causing the adrenal glands to secrete stress hormones, which also stay in the blood longer the more there are of them.
If you are still having trouble sleeping after reducing caffeine call us at 715-246-7500 and schedule an appointment. We can help further evaluate where you may be having problems.
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