Sometimes we drink caffeine later in the day than we realize, or perhaps there is a paper due in tomorrow so a caffeine boost is needed in order to stay awake.
Whatever the reason, coffee is sometimes drunk a lot later in the day (or night) to help us get through something or important, or to even keep us awake as we drive late at night.
Even so, there are many simple ways to drink coffee later in the day and be able to have a good night’s sleep so you can feel relaxed in the morning rather than wired. In this article we shall take a look at what caffeine is, and how you can sleep better after a cup of coffee.
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is something that is naturally found within coffee beans, however, it is also found in other sources too such as chocolate (especially the dark variety), energy drinks, and tea.
Most people drink coffee as a way to wake themselves up in the morning, especially if they have a busy day ahead or they are going to work. In fact, it has become the norm to drink a cup of coffee with breakfast or on the go from somewhere like Starbucks.
To put it simply, caffeine is a stimulant and can keep a person feeling alert. How does this happen? Carry on reading to find out.
How Can Caffeine Affect A Person’s Body?
Naturally stimulating, caffeine helps to keep a person alert due to the way it can block adenosine and stop it from reaching your brain. Adenosine is a chemical that is produced naturally inside our bodies to make us feel sleepy.
So when caffeine blocks this, it means we stay alert. This can be useful in certain situations of course, however, it also means that if you drink coffee later in the day you might have trouble trying to catch some Zs.
Caffeine also has a tendency to stimulate both the nervous system and the activity within our brain. This is great for those who like caffeine to help them work, or to get that paper done for college.
However, when it stimulates the brain, it can also increase the amount of both the cortisol and adrenaline that is present within your system, which adds to the intensity of the alertness level you are feeling.
Whilst this is all fantastic to start your day, it isn’t as practical as the morning turns to afternoon, and the afternoon to evening. If you are still drinking coffee for a particular reason late into the day, you might find you are feeling too alert to sleep.
Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Coffee?
It is true, you can have too much of a good thing before you start really feeling those effects in a bad way. It is said you should drink up to 400 milligrams only, which amounts to around three to four cups of coffee each day.
However, this obviously changes depending on the strength of the coffee, for example if you drink an espresso, or add in energy drinks to your day, too.
If you find you are drinking even more than that, or have had one too many coffees spread throughout the day, there are ways to relax in order to get yourself to sleep.
What Are The Ways To Sleep After Drinking Coffee?
It can be difficult to switch off away from caffeine if you still have some left in the system. Having said that, there are ways to fall asleep, even if you are stimulated from caffeine.
A lot of it is to do with sleep hygiene, which is basically how you set your body and environment up ready for some shut eye. So, here are some tips to getting some sleep after coffee:
Water is key to not only getting a good night’s sleep, but also by keeping you hydrated. Whilst a person sleeps, they lose around 1 liter on average when it comes to water.
This means that by the time you wake up, you will want to have at least a glass of water to hydrate. But it doesn’t stop there either, drinking water throughout the day will keep your body hydrated, so it will improve the sleep you have too.
Coffee counteracts this due to caffeine being a diuretic. This means it makes you need the toilet a lot more, which in turn can make you dehydrated. Having water in between and before a coffee can help counteract this.
Also, the more water you drink, not only will it help with energy levels, but it might also mean you do not drink that extra cup of coffee.
Make Sure You Give Yourself a Caffeine Cut-Off
It is tempting to drink a caffeinated beverage late in the day, especially if you need to stay up late. Whilst it can help, did you know that caffeine will stay in your system for up to 12 hours? That means you will not be getting a good sleep if you drink it later into the day.
Rather than just picking a time, let’s say 3pm, experiment over a few days what your own personal cut off point is. Not everyone needs to stop drinking caffeine by lunchtime, afterall, we are all affected differently.
Just stick to the time you say, and you will notice the difference.
Exercise Is Important
Exercise can be a natural way to release high levels of cortisol and adrenaline, just in the same way coffee does. If you want to experiment with days that do not require coffee, then some light exercise in the morning may help.
However, exercise may also be a good way to burn off some energy later in the day, including the effects of caffeine. Do make sure not to do it too close to bedtime, as it could have the opposite effect of keeping you awake.
If you are really struggling to sleep, despite cutting off caffeine quite early on, then you could talk to your doctor about taking melatonin in supplement form.
Some people take these to aid sleep on a long flight because melatonin is the natural hormone that causes sleep. Having extra help could be just what you need, however always make sure that you are suitable to take a supplement without any adverse reactions.
Try To Relax
Your bedroom should be a place where you can relax. Even after several late cups of coffee, you will want to make sure that your bedroom promotes relaxation to aid in a good night’s sleep.
Think about reading a good novel in bed, or listening to a podcast all in the comfort of bed.
When you drink too much caffeine, trying to get a good night’s sleep can be a nightmare. Even so, it can be possible. With the right tips and tricks, and knowing when to cut the caffeine, sleep will just be around the corner.
Hopefully this article has helped you find ways to enjoy coffee, as well as get some much needed shut eye.
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