Is caffeine costing us a healthy sleep?

It has become the norm for people around the world to consume a cup of coffee each morning before starting their day.

Caffeine has been hailed as the most popular drug in the modern world and is derived from 60 different natural sources, including coffee beans and coco.

It’s certainly popular, with 80 per cent of Americans enjoying it each day. One only has to look down their local high street to see multiple coffee chains.

Despite our modern day love of caffeine, is it ultimately affecting how we sleep?

Firstly, it’s important to look at how caffeine works when it enters our body.

When you have a cup of morning coffee, your body creates dopamine, a hormone associated with feelings of happiness, couple this with a drop in your melatonin levels- sleep causing hormones- and you’re set to feel pretty awake for the rest of the day, it takes over eight hours for just half the dose of caffeine to leave our bodies!

Despite these obvious benefits, with the stresses and pressures of everyday working life, are we consuming too much caffeine in order to keep up with our busy lives? What could be the negatives of consuming too much?

Firstly, it all depends on our constitutions and the amount of caffeine we consume each day.

Guidelines point to a safe amount of coffee being around 3-4 cups daily, although there are energy drinks out there that contain that much caffeine in just one can!

Secondly, everybody reacts to caffeine differently, and people who might have been consuming for many years tend to build up a resistance.

Despite these discrepancies, there are negatives to caffeine that are important to consider.

Caffeine can heighten our emotions, meaning that if we are consuming coffee  to stay awake for an exam or travel, it can increase feelings of stress and anxiety.

Insomnia. Caffeine is usually consumed to allow us to stay awake for longer, which can be a blessing when we do want to be alert, and a curse when all we want to do is sleep. Coffee definitely has a negative effect on our sleep patterns, it’s probably best to consume it no later than 2pm to ensure a restful night.

Coffee can also cause elevated blood pressure and some pretty uncomfortable digestive issues; it can also have some pretty addictive tendencies, with withdrawal consisting of headaches, fatigue and irritability.

Despite the obvious downsides, caffeine is a part of our every lives, and whilst it can carry dangers, there are safe amounts and guidelines we can follow to consume the correct dose.

Yet, it’s important to remember that caffeine shouldn’t be an issue if a correct amount of sleep is considered.

If you’d like to move on from caffeine, check out the blog homepage for some great morning alternatives.

All posts