How to Counteract Coffee Insomnia- 14 FAQs…

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If you are a poor sleeper then you are not alone.

A recent study concluded that up to 25% of Americans suffer from insomnia at any one time.

The good news is that for most, the suffering is temporary. 

If you are wondering about how your love of coffee might be having an impact…

then read on as I look at some of the most frequently asked questions about coffee and sleep.

[1] Why Does Caffeine Affect Sleep?

Caffeine is a stimulant, a drug that makes you alert and energetic.

It blocks the chemicals in your body that make you feel sleepy.

So, even when you’re tired, your body doesn’t know it.

Stimulants, like caffeine, make the wiring in your brain go crazy. You feel a buzz.

Caffeine flicks a bunch of mental switches and forces your mind awake. It energises your muscles, not only in your arms and legs, but in your gut.

It changes your body’s chemistry, shifts its balance and adjusts the way it works.

Next time you sit down with a triple-shot latte, pay attention to its effect on your body and mind.

It’s a powerful drug.

[2] How Does Caffeine Affect Sleep?

Caffeine stops your mind and body wanting to go to sleep.

Being alert and energized at night doesn’t help.

It even delays your sleep cycle, shifting it back.

It messes with your body clock, meaning you want to go to sleep later and wake up later.

Together, this can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

On top of all that, Caffeine can disrupt the amount of deep sleep you get throughout the night.

Even after a long night’s sleep, many coffee drinkers wake up feeling groggy or unrested.

So, not only do you sleep less, but the quality of your sleep is worse.

[3] How Much Caffeine Causes Insomnia?

The more caffeine you have, the more likely it is to cause insomnia.

Caffeine stays in the body for a long time.

It takes about 6 hours for your body to get rid of half the caffeine.

The average Joe or Jane drinks about three cups a day.

Even this amount can disrupt sleep. Those who drink six or more cups a day have it worse.

If you love your coffee, you’re likely to struggle with insomnia. To make matters worse, caffeine makes you want to pee.

And waking up in the middle of the night to rush to the bathroom is terrible for sleep.

[4] Can Drinking Coffee in the Morning Affect Your Sleep?

Unfortunately, it’s bad news.

Even your breakfast coffee can disrupt your sleep. The effects can last 16 hours or more.

You might not believe it, but coffee drunk at any time of day can cause insomnia.

You might be someone who can’t get through the day without a big coffee or a pot of tea.

It’s no secret that many workers, students and parents rely on caffeine to keep them going.

If you are one of those people, it’s best to drink it in the morning as early as possible.

But, even that can affect your sleep.

[5] How Long Does Caffeine Keep You Awake For?

Caffeine is a drug. When you drink it, it takes just a quarter of hour to start working.

In an hour, it reaches its peak – that wakeful buzz.

The caffeine has powerful effects for the next six hours or so and can last all day.

The more you drink, the more caffeine builds up in your system. The more coffee you drink, the weaker its effects are.

If you drink lots, you could get addicted.

The withdrawal symptoms will keep you awake even longer. Bottom line, it keeps you awake for a good part of the day.

The more you drink, the longer you’ll have trouble sleeping.

[6] How Do You Sleep After Caffeine?

Insomnia is one of the main side effects of drinking too much caffeine.

Many people drink coffee or tea to recover from a bad night’s sleep.

But this feeds the insomnia, making it worse the next day.

If you drink a few cups of coffee, you’ll still have some in your system at night.

So, how do you sleep if you’ve had too much? Caffeine doesn’t stop you sleeping, it makes it easier to stay awake.

Try relaxing or meditating in a dark room. Focus on your breath. Relax your muscles.

If it’s early enough in the day, try some exercise to make your body and mind tired.

[7] Does Decaffeinated Coffee Keep You Awake?

In general, no.

Decaf has a tiny, weeny bit of caffeine in it (5 milligrams per cup, rather than the 100 in standard coffee).

That tiny amount shouldn’t have a serious effect on your body. It shouldn’t prevent sleep.

Be careful drinking coffee at a café or restaurant. Many establishments accidentally serve caffeinated instead of decaf.

For people sensitive to caffeine, decaf might still have an effect.

It may be worse if you’ve drunk a full-caffeine cup earlier in the day, the decaf might act like a top up.

If you replace your normal coffee with decaf, then you’ll sleep better.

[8] Can Caffeine Withdrawal Cause Insomnia?

Just like quitting smoking, quitting caffeine has many side effects.

When you have caffeine, it slows your blood flow.

When you stop drinking caffeine, it increases blood to the brain.

It causes headaches as the brain adapts.

Drinking caffeine can cause anxiety or make it worse.

But, even cutting it out can have the same effect as you go through withdrawal.

The anxiety can keep you awake worrying.

So, be prepared to go through a tough few days after stopping caffeine.

[9] What Are The Main Sources of Insomnia?

Lots of things can cause insomnia.

Many of the main causes are mental health problems.

Things like stress, anxiety, depression and PTSD.

If you take regular medication, especially if it’s strong, you’re likely to get problems.

Many medical conditions also have similar effects, including many sleep disorders.

If you have an irregular sleep routine or eat too much last thing at night, this can make your sleep worse.

But, the most common things to affect sleep are nicotine, alcohol and caffeine.

[10] Can Caffeine Help Insomnia?

In short, no.

It has the exact opposite effect.

Caffeine is contained in coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks.

All these are designed to keep you awake.

[11] What is the Best Caffeine Insomnia Cure?

There is no simple cure.

In the long term, the easiest way to get over caffeine insomnia is to stop drinking it.

After the withdrawal symptoms, your sleep will improve.

In the short term, do lots of physical exercise.

The more tired your body is, the easier it will be to get over the energizing effects of caffeine.

Get into a regular sleeping routine.

Make sure you only drink coffee in the morning.

You can try meditation or relaxation techniques. But, the real cure is cutting it out completely.

[12] What is the safest way to withdraw from caffeine?

Caffeine is a widely used additive around the world. Because it can be found in more than 60 plants, most of your daily food contains it. Yep! Even without your knowledge. It’s in your cup of tea, your mid-day starbucks coffee, and even your snack-time chocolate dessert! It makes you extra giddy and more awake than your usual, caffeine-free days. With a sprinkle of this super additive in your food, your energy can be doubled or tripled. But caffeine isn’t always a good idea, especially when it’s starting to take a toll on your sleep pattern. When this happens, you have no choice but to withdraw.

Withdrawing from caffeine can feel like cancelling your Netflix account (when you’re an avid binge-watcher), skipping a much awaited weekend get-away (when you’re the life of the party), or going on a vegan diet (when you can’t last a week without a beef tenderloin.) As simple and as insanely complicated as that! But don’t worry if you really wanna break up with caffeine. The best way to do it is through a “slowly but surely” process. 

Commonly, caffeine withdrawal falls inside the coffee bracket. Maybe you’re so into the bitter, strong taste of coffee you almost consume it like water. Sounds cliche, but the “coffee runs in my blood” phrase is actually true to most coffee lovers out there. In cases like this, you have to slowly decrease your daily coffee consumption.  

Cutting out coffee completely can result in migraines, irritability, low energy and anxiety. Remember that you’re cutting your major source of extra boost. Your body will have to slowly adjust to it when you take the caffeine out little by little. Be patient and eat other energy-giving healthy food while on the withdrawal process. 

[13] Why is sleep important?

No one can survive without sleep. Historically speaking, a person can only last 11 days without proper sleep. After this (and even during), your immune system will start to fail, you’ll suffer from hallucinations, and will eventually die. If you already feel grumpy when you failed to complete your 8-hours of sleep, just imagine the consequences you’d bear if you’re sleep deprived for longer hours or days! You might just turn into a frightening monster!  So, how important sleep really is in our lives? 

Consider your body as a temple. On daylight, it functions to welcome hundreds of visitors. Everything about the place is at its best – shiny floors, bright ceiling, sparkling clean chairs, and state-of-the-art facilities. At night, you put a close sign at the door so you can clean up and restore the place. The same thing happens to your body when you’re asleep. It’s like closing your temple to recover and regenerate your body after a long day. The same thing happens when you are asleep. Your inner doctor wonderfully works on every cell of your body. 

A good, adequate sleep heals the cells and restores the vital systems such as the nervous system, digestive system and immune system. While you’re drifting into your dreamland, your body is busy restoring all the energy you spent during the day. This makes all your organs healthier compared to when you’re sleep deprived. 

Sleep is also vital in keeping a person grounded. It enhances brain function while improving focus and concentration. Research also shows that when a person is asleep, they’re most likely to suffer from depression. 

[14] What are signs  that caffeine is preventing sleep?

Okay. A cup or two of coffee is fine. Four cups a day is tolerable.. (for some). More than that, you’re up to a long night without sleep. The same goes for other caffeine rich food such as chocolates, cocoa, energy drinks, tea, and soda. When you’ve ingested too much caffeine or even a dose higher than your tolerance level, you will usually suffer an unhealthy sleep pattern. 

It’s easy to pinpoint whether the caffeine is to blame in an insomniac situation. First, be aware of your sleeping habits before your caffeine intake. It’s also helpful to ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your sleep pattern regular? 
  • Do you usually sleep before the clock hit 10 in the evening? 
  • Did the caffeine disrupted your sleep cycle or are you just not tired today? 
  • Are you facing some problems that’s keeping you awake? 
  • Did you eat other food aside from the one with caffeine? 

If all other factors are absent, it’s safe to say that caffeine is causing your sleeplessness.