If you’re tossing or turning at night, or have a sense that even 8 hours isn’t really helping you feel rested, could the coffee you’re drinking be the problem?
Well, yes. Coffee contains caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. Its presence in coffee is one of the reasons the morning cup of joe helps you feel more awake. In general, it causes people to feel more alert and productive.
But coffee also causes sleep disruption. Too much caffeine can make it hard to go to sleep, especially if you drink coffee throughout the day or close to bedtime. It also can mean you don’t fully relax once you are asleep. It can cause you to wake up periodically, especially if you’ve consumed a lot.
As a result, you may feel fatigued the next day. Then, your tiredness becomes a vicious cycle. You drink coffee to feel rejuvenated; it makes it hard to have restorative sleep; you feel fatigued; you drink coffee to feel rejuvenated….like that.
Wondering how you’ll get through the day with no java? And how you’ll sleep better if caffeine is conflicting with your shut-eye. You don’t have to give up coffee completely. Read on for some tips to help you sleep.
You can have your morning cup of Joe! But researchers agree that the later in the day you drink, the more disrupted your sleep can be. Caffeine takes a while to cycle through your system. If you have a cup at 2:30, it might still be keeping you alert when it’s time to sleep. When 2 p.m. arrives, stop drinking coffee for the day.
Coffee is not the only food that contains caffeine. So does tea, chocolate, many soft drinks, and power drinks. Think about your consumption of all these foods. Cut down on coffee and the other substances that contain caffeine. Don’t expect just cutting off coffee in mid-afternoon to work completely if you’re also having soft drinks with caffeine or a power drink. It all counts.
All beverages containing caffeine also come in decaffeinated forms. It’s worth trying them to see if they make a difference in your sleep patterns. Frankly, people vary. Some people can sleep fine with decaffeinated coffee as their beverage of choice; some still feel a kick. Tea generally has less caffeine than coffee, as well.
Just because our suggested cut-off time for coffee is 2 p.m., your sleep may still be affected if you drank a lot earlier than that. People vary in how they process caffeine. (Also, of course, the effects depend on how early you are trying to go to sleep.) In other words, don’t chug-a-lug caffeine every hour on the hour until 2 p.m. Taper it off once your first jolt is over.
Caffeine is one of many factors that contribute to getting a great night’s rest so you feel refreshed in the morning. And maybe the biggest factor of all is sleeping on the right mattress — that’s where the friendly Sleep Specialists at Mattress World can help. Come in to one of our Portland-area mattress showrooms and try a variety of top-rated mattresses from leading brands. We’ll help you find the right one for you, and help you take the first step to getting the best sleep of your life.