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Effects of Caffeine on Sleep Quality

Sleep is essential for helping the body repair itself, and lack of it can result in several unwanted effects. The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, but many people struggle to get that much. Sleep is when the body repairs itself, so a lack of sleep can enormously impact your health.

Related Blog: 7 Reasons Why You're Waking Up in the Middle of the Night

A good night's sleep is key to achieving your personal and professional goals, as it helps improve your focus and concentration, allowing you to learn faster. It also reduces stress and anxiety, enabling you to maintain a positive mood and build better relationships. You've probably heard that caffeine is a stimulant. This means it can increase alertness, alleviate fatigue, and enhance concentration and focus.

Sleep Cycles

Caffeine can affect your quality of sleep and how long it takes you to fall asleep. But how much caffeine is too much? And how long does it take for caffeine to leave your body? Unlike other animals, humans sleep in REM cycles (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep. 

These cycles alternate throughout the night — during REM sleep, you experience more vivid dreams, while the non-REM stages are characterized by physical repair and restoration of the body.

How Does Caffeine Affect Sleep?

Caffeine works by blocking the effects of a brain chemical called adenosine. This slows down nerve cell activity in parts of your brain that control your sleep cycles, making you feel more alert.

Caffeine is absorbed quickly into your blood and reaches peak levels within about an hour of drinking it. It causes sleep problems even when consumed in the afternoon or evening.

The amount of time caffeine stays in the body varies depending on several factors, including:

  • How much caffeine you have consumed
  • Your age, height, and weight
  • Whether you take any medication or exercise regularly

Caffeine can disrupt sleep up to six hours after consuming it. It can also reduce the amount of REM sleep you get at night. This is the deepest stage of sleep — the one where you dream. Finally, caffeine can affect your circadian rhythm or your body's internal clock, regulating when you fall asleep and wake up each day.

How Much Caffeine Is Safe To Drink?

A cup of black or oolong tea contains around 30-60 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, while a cup of green tea contains about 24-45 mg. An 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains 80-135 mg.effects of too much caffeine on sleep quality The FDA says that 400 mg of caffeine per day is generally safe for healthy adults. So, depending on your current caffeine intake from other sources such as chocolate, soda, or energy drinks, one cup of brewed coffee or two to three cups of tea may be within your safe daily limit.

How Else Can I Improve My Sleep?

With all of the sleep-depriving stressors in our modern lives, it's not surprising that about one in three of us suffer from at least mild insomnia. And who among us hasn't been tempted by a pill to help us fall asleep?

Fortunately, over-the-counter sleep aids are rarely necessary. And despite their names, many don't contain any sleeping pills. Instead, they may include antihistamines and other drugs that can make you drowsy. They tend to be most effective for people with mild insomnia or those who need help falling asleep occasionally.

Before you consider taking a sleep aid, though, give these tips a try:

  • Use the bed only for sleeping.
  • Don't stay in bed if you can't fall asleep after 20 minutes. 
  • Don't watch the clock while trying to fall asleep.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks after lunchtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you awake at night. 
  • Invest in good quality mattresses
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Reduce stress before bedtime

Studies have shown that caffeine can temporarily improve mood, reaction time, memory, and general mental function. Generally speaking, it's not difficult to understand how drinking coffee could help you perform better at work (or school).

However, while there are some well-documented benefits of caffeine consumption, some hidden costs and risks are associated with drinking too much coffee, mainly if you're drinking it late in the day or right before bedtime.

Guide to a Better Nights Sleep

Tags: healthy sleep, lack of sleep, improve your sleep, sleep habits, healthy lifestyle, sleep schedule, best night's sleep