Perhaps you need a cup of coffee to get through a long road trip or to stay awake when studying late at night. But, when it’s time to close your eyes, do you have problems going asleep? Don’t worry, you can still get a decent night’s sleep if you drink coffee late in the day. Continue reading to learn more about caffeine and what you can do to improve your sleep.
What effect does caffeine have on your body?
According to studies, drinking coffee has a slew of health benefits, including lowering your risk of a number of ailments, aiding weight loss, and making you happier and more productive.
However, drinking too much or too late in the day can prevent you from getting a decent night’s sleep. Did you know that half of the caffeine you consume takes your body six hours to metabolize? Or that cutting your sleep by 90 minutes can diminish your alertness by a third?
Before you drink that late-night cold brew or after-dinner espresso, use our coffee calculator to see how it will effect your sleep, and consider switching to decaf or herbal tea.
How much is excessive?
Caffeine intake should be limited to 400 mg per day, according to the USDA’s dietary guidelines. The average amount of caffeine in an eight-ounce cup of brewed coffee is 95 milligrams, so you can consume three or four cups a day without feeling guilty. A one-ounce shot of espresso contains 63 milligrams, so you can have up to three double shots each day if you desire it.
But what if you’ve already consumed more than that? Read on for some recommendations for getting a good night’s sleep after drinking coffee.
So, after a cup of coffee, how can you obtain a good night’s sleep?
How can you turn off your caffeinated brain and fall asleep once you’re ready to sleep? Improving sleep hygiene, as defined by academics, is a crucial first step. This entails ensuring that your sleeping environment is conducive to restful sleep. This includes your daily activities as well as the manner you keep your bedroom organized.
Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it causes you to lose water. If you consume a lot of coffee, you should drink a lot of water as well. Dehydration can make it difficult to sleep since it might cause leg cramps, snoring, and a dry mouth. Surprisingly, studies suggest that this also works the other way around: not getting enough sleep can cause dehydration. Furthermore, your body loses around a liter of water while you sleep. So, especially if you’re also drinking coffee, you’ll want to drink lots of water throughout the day.
Put the snacks down! While raiding the refrigerator at midnight can be entertaining, it can also interrupt your sleep cycle. Sleep-disrupting digestive difficulties such as acid reflux can be caused by eating too close to bedtime. It’s a good idea to cease eating two or three hours before bedtime.
Sleep quality has also been proven to increase with regular exercise. Even 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day can improve your sleep. If you’ve had a lot of coffee, go for a walk or swim a few laps to burn off some of the excess energy. But don’t do it just before bedtime: experts recommend that you cease exercising at least an hour before going to bed.
If you’ve ever suffered from jet lag, you’ve probably tried melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm, or your body’s ability to know when to remain awake and when to sleep. Taking additional melatonin, according to the Mayo Clinic, can help you sleep.
There’s more to a cool bedroom than the sense of being tucked under the covers. Low temperatures are linked to sleepiness, whereas warmth is linked to attentiveness. Your body temperature drops as you get closer to nighttime, and it can dip a few degrees while you sleep. Turning your thermostat down to appropriate sleeping temperatures, between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, will help your body sleep.
Light levels, like temperature, let your body decide when it’s time to sleep. Try a low-wattage bedroom lamp instead of a strong overhead light. It’s also a good idea to stay away from blue light, which has been shown to lower the amount of sleep-inducing melatonin produced by your body. Try putting up a yellow light mode on your phone, such as Apple’s Night Shift, and look for light bulbs in yellow colors.
7. Sleep Routine
Try to stick to the same sleep schedule every day of the week, including weekends, if at all possible. While it’s tempting to sleep in on your days off, doing so might throw off your body’s circadian cycles, making it difficult to sleep when you need to.
Make your bedroom a place where you can unwind and refresh. While it may be tempting to complete a project or pay payments from the comfort of your bed, doing so may help you leave your anxiety at the door.
Try doing something relaxing right before bed. Read a book, listen to music, or use a meditation app to help you relax. When it’s time to close your eyes, simply relax and let your brain do the rest.
What if you’re still having trouble sleeping?
Don’t be concerned. Keep the lights dimmed and return to your reading or listen to soothing music until you fall asleep.
Is there another option? Make a mental note to stay awake. A contradictory intention is the term for this. It’s called reverse psychology in layman’s terms. Run with it when you’re wired on caffeine, telling your brain you need to pull an all-nighter and you won’t fall asleep. You’re already awake; why not give it a shot? Your brain could just fall for it.
You can always enjoy the benefits of being awake if you’ve tried all you can think of. Make a grocery list, fold some clothing, clear out a drawer, wipe down the bathroom countertops, or send a message to a friend. You can get some things done and sleep better the next night even if you don’t get any sleep.
There’s nothing like a good cup of coffee, but it shouldn’t keep you from getting a good night’s rest. To avoid a sleepless night, try restricting your coffee intake to the morning hours, exercising moderately, drinking enough of water, and avoiding eating too close to bedtime during the day. You should also establish a regular sleep pattern and avoid bright lights and overstimulation late at night. Selecting a soothing activity to undertake right before bedtime may assist you in falling asleep more easily. Also, don’t get too worked up if you don’t fall asleep straight immediately.