September 25, 2021

Deeper Sleep for More Time

By r5l1nkg3n5

Of all the effects of caffeine, sleep quality and quantity may be the most studied, and for good reason. That huge spike in cortisol and adrenaline can be tough on your sleep quality, according to Michael Breus, PhD, Manhattan Beach, California–based author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan, and the biggest problem is its staying power.

“Caffeine can stay in your system for hours, so that afternoon pick-me-up can result in difficulty falling asleep later, or not getting deep sleep, but you may not connect the two,” he says. According to a study published in February 2017 in Sleep Medicine Reviews, caffeine can reduce total sleep time, worsen perceived sleep quality, and increase wakefulness, particularly among older adults.

What if you can’t imagine life without that morning mug of coffee? Like so much in nutrition, caffeine can be a “used in moderation” type of fix.

Dr. Nagelkirk says staying under 400 milligrams (mg) per day is a good target, which is still a robust amount — the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes that one 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee has 96 mg — but also to stay aware of how it affects you.

You can also dial back by choosing a less-caffeinated options, like black or green tea. The Mayo Clinic puts one 8-ounce (oz) cup of black tea at 47 mg and an 8-oz cup of green tea at 28 mg.

It’s worth noting that more research is needed to determine exact effects and dosage that may be causing adverse effects. Also, some people are genetically predisposed to be hypersensitive to caffeine, so their recommended amount may be different from someone without this predisposition. That’s another area where more research would be helpful.

That said, if you’re struggling with any of the issues on this list, try cutting out the jump juice and see if it brings some relief. And get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked, too.