Improve Your Sleeping Habits
You might think this is a bit too on the nose, but if youre feeling tired, chances are theres something off about the way youre sleeping.
You might have insomnia if it typically takes you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep, or if youre awake in the middle of the night for more than 30 minutes at a time a couple of nights a week . In this case, you should be evaluated by a healthcare provider, but there are other things you can do, too, to improve your sleeping behavior:
- Avoid alcohol and food two hours before bed.
- Sleep in a cool, dark room.
- Avoid electronic screens one hour before bed.
- Create a routine.
This last one is important: On average, you should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, so fine-tuning a sleep-wake schedule can help you create a space so you can pull that off. If you go to bed each night and wake up around the same time each day, your body will start depending on that schedule, which can improve insomnia.
If youre constantly feeling tired, sleep has to be a priority, Dr. Darling stresses.
Understanding Caffeine Withdrawal Headaches
Make Swaps That Soothe
If you delve deeper into your own psychology to identify your consumption habits, you may find that the caffeine itself isnt as important to you as the feeling of consuming it.
Consider how you can maintain your caffeine routines in caffeine-free ways.
- If you love sitting down in the morning with a warm, cozy cup of coffee, try replacing it with a warm, cozy mug of tea.
- If you crave the fizzy carbonation of a soda, see if a bubbly, sugar-free seltzer does the trick instead.
- If you want to join in the fun of getting Instagram-worthy drinks from the coffee shop with friends, go for brightly colored but unsweetened teas, such as dragonfruit and passionfruit.
Have faith in yourself
As with any substance, caffeine can be tough to quit but maybe not as tough as you think, Czerwony says. And it goes a long way.
If youre trying to hit the reset button on your health, cutting down on the caffeine while increasing water take is one of the simplest and most beneficial things you can do for yourself.
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Why You Shouldnt Be Consuming Much Caffeine Anyway
Everyone knows that caffeine can disrupt your sleep, but most people vastly underestimate just how easily it can do so. The standard advice to stop consuming caffeine in the afternoon actually doesnt go nearly far enough, because even a single moderate dose of caffeine consumed first thing in the morningsuch as a double espresso or two cups of coffeecan measurably reduce the amount of time spent in deep sleep later that night.
This reduction occurs despite the fact that by nighttime, the caffeine is almost entirely gone from your bloodstream that is, its effects seem to last beyond the active life of caffeine itself. Note that a much smaller dose of caffeine consumed in the afternoon, like a can of soda, will also have been metabolized by this time and thus could be expected to have the same effect.
Caffeine also causes anxietyin fact, this is likely a secondary mechanism behind its sleep-inhibiting effects. Even 150 mg of caffeine, usually considered a moderate dose, will significantly increase anxiety levels in most people.
When your cortisol levels are consistently high, youre likely to die sooner. As if that wasnt bad enough, higher cortisol levels can also cut your ability to recover from exercise in halfmeaning youll make half as much progress as you would with low cortisol and only be able to exercise half as much before experiencing symptoms of overtraining.
How To Avoid Caffeine Withdrawal Headaches
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Maybe you are one of millions of people who would like to quit caffeine once and for all, but you find the habit too difficult to break. This may be especially true if you experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Headaches are the most common complaint of people who try to cut back on caffeine. Luckily, there are some measures you can take to lessen – if not completely avoid – the headaches which occur as a result of caffeine withdrawal.
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Coffee Addiction: How To Know When Its Time For A Break
The Food and Drug Administration recommends limiting caffeine consumption to 400 milligrams per day, which translates to about four or five cups of coffee. However, this amount can vary, as some people may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine in the body.
This is because caffeine acts as a stimulant in the body, which alters the function of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. This leads to increased energy and alertness, but it can also cause other side effects like nausea, jitters, anxiety and headaches.
Caffeine is also highly addictive, which means that missing your morning cup can come with a number of nasty side effects. Some of the top signs of caffeine withdrawal can include:
How Is Caffeine Used In Medications
Caffeine is a common ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter headache remedies, pain relievers and cold medicines. Through caffeines effects on your central nervous system, it helps these drugs act more effectively. It helps your body absorb headache medicines quicker.
If you are concerned about your caffeine intake, read the product label on over-the-counter medications or the information sheet that comes with your prescriptions to determine whether a medication contains caffeine. The FDA requires that the medication labels list the amount of caffeine they contain.
Caffeine is also found in some herbal products that people take as supplements, including guarana, yerba mate, kola nut and green tea extract. These products are not required by law to show their caffeine content on the label, and there is no set standard for caffeine content.
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Slowly Back Away From The Caffeine
These tips can help you incrementally stop your caffeine intake.
- Set a time limit: Set a time by which you stop your caffeine intake each day. Medical professionals recommend 2 p.m., so as not to interfere with your sleep.
- Substitute a lower caffeine drink: Start with small changes. If you usually drink light roast coffee, switch to a dark roast, to start. If you usually drink black tea, try green or white tea instead.
- Lean on decaf: If you typically drink espresso or dark-roast coffees, which have more caffeine than other caffeinated drinks, start by cutting it with half or even a quarter decaf coffee. Then, every few days, cut it down further, slowly reducing your intake over time.
And dont rush it. Slowing ramping down is the best way to go about it, Czerwony advises.
How Quickly Does Caffeine Affect The Body
It varies. For most, caffeine begins affecting the body very quickly. It can be felt as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. It reaches a peak level in your blood within 30-60 minutes, with a half-life of three to five hours. Meaning, your body can eliminate some of the caffeine within three to five hours, but the remaining amount of caffeine can stay much longer. Ultimately, it depends on if youre a fast metabolizer or a slow metabolizer. This all comes down to our genes. The fast group breaks down caffeine more quickly than the slow group. And thus, the effects of caffeine dont last as long for this group.
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How To Quit Caffeine Without Becoming A Miserable Person
A few months ago, I was on vacation with my boyfriend when I decided it was time for me to say goodbye to my caffeine habit. Id been relying on a cup of coffee or loose leaf tea to get me through the workday slog, PM activities, and even yoga classes since college. I didnt need a health app to know my reliance on caffeine was psychologically unhealthy. And working in the health writing world made me aware that it can be physically damaging, too: The Mayo Clinic lists migraine headaches, insomnia, fast heartbeat, muscle tremors, and others, as side effects of drinking more than four cups of caffeinated coffee a day . I was no five shots of espresso a day gal, but, I wondered: If I eliminated caffeine from my daily routine, would I lose the late-night jitters and afternoon crashes I’ve become used to? In turn, would I have more energy, be more productive, and sleep better, too?
The first work week was brutal. I thanked heavens I worked from my apartment, and this 17-minute Yoga with Adriene Energy Practice on YouTube became my best friend. But, by the following week, the afternoon wall I hit faded away and I had a much easier time falling asleep. Fast forward to two months later, and Im happy to report I am stillsomehowcaffeine-free. All the benefits Id hoped for are real, and I even beat my mile time at Central Parks reservoir. The five simple guidelines that follow are ones Ive been living by:
Who Should Avoid Or Limit Caffeine
Some people may be more vulnerable to caffeine’s negative effects. It’s a good idea to speak to a healthcare provider about whether or not you should limit your caffeine intake or forgo it altogether. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this is particularly the case for the following groups:
- Pregnant people: The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists says research indicates consuming less than 200 mg doesn’t cause preterm birth or miscarriage.
- Breastfeeding people: ACOG also says consuming 200 mg of caffeine per day will likely not affect your baby while breastfeeding.
- Children: The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages caffeine consumption in children. There is no guideline set by the Food and Drug Administration .
- People with certain chronic health conditions, including anxiety, chronic headaches or migraines, sleep disorders such as insomnia, cardiac issues such as irregular heart rhythms and high blood pressure, gastrointestinal issues such as gastroesophageal reflux disease and ulcers.
Caffeine can also make diarrhea, one of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome , worse.
Some medications and supplements can interact with caffeine. Be sure to speak with a healthcare provider about what you’re taking and if you should avoid caffeine or adjust your intake.
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Caffeine Detox: How To Quit Caffeine And Break The Addiction
A caffeine detox may be needed for many reasons and some of those could include:
Most people experience some form of withdrawal symptoms when reducing caffeine. However these can be minimized using a carefully tapered dose.
It’s Been Three Months Since I Gave Up Coffee
I had no intentions to give up coffee for this long, but I love it. All of the things I mentioned like better sleep, more energy, increased productivity, and feeling calmer have all remained the same or got better which changed my daily routine. I start my day earlier with yoga first thing in the morning, go for a light stress-free jog, work more productively, and I don’t experience any type of 3 pm crash. I stay out later with my friends which I’m not sure is a benefit but I do have more energy to go out.
Bottom Line: I am fully aware that coffee has its perks like stimulating the metabolism and boosting energy because I used to drink it for all those reasons. But right now, without it, I have no plans to drink it anytime soon.
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How Long Does Caffeine Last In The Human Body
The effects of caffeine can be felt as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. The level of caffeine in your blood peaks about one hour later and stays at this level for several hours for most people. Six hours after caffeine is consumed, half of it is still in your body. It can take up to 10 hours to completely clear caffeine from your bloodstream.
How Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms Happen
Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant that decreases drowsiness by blocking adenosine receptors. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter connected to the bodys sleep-wake processes. By blocking the receptors, caffeine can allow a person to experience a temporary, improved feeling of wakefulness.
Caffeine also boosts other hormones and neurotransmitters like adrenaline and dopamine, and reduces blood flow to the brain.
The withdrawal symptoms happen as the brain works to adjust to functioning without caffeine. Fortunately, caffeine withdrawal does not last long and symptoms are considered to be relatively mild.
- mood changes
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Detoxing From Caffeine Is Hard To Do Heres Why
Approximately 90 percent of all adults in the world consume caffeine on a daily basis, mostly through teas, coffee and sodas. In their unprocessed forms, coffee and teas contain beneficial chemicals, including magnesium and chromium. These can help the body effectively use insulin, which controls blood sugar.
However, caffeine does not contribute to these benefits. Instead, caffeine is a stimulant that works on your central nervous system, and consequently affects all organs. Caffeine is hard to give up because we can develop strong dependency on it for physiologic, psychological and emotional reasons:
- Physiological: Caffeine has measurable physical effects on the body by increasing heart rate and respiration, and making us feel more alive.
- Psychological: Research shows that caffeine improves concentration and task performance. It can also help people feel more social and at ease, and we love to share the caffeine ritual with friends.
- Emotional: Perhaps the strongest aspect of dependency on caffeine is linked to its mood-lifting effects. Every day, we look forward to those treasured, oasis-like moments when we consume caffeine.
These symptoms are often uncomfortable enough to force women to continue consuming caffeine despite adverse side effects like insomnia and stomach upset. If youve decided to cut back or eliminate caffeine, there are some simple, effective ways to meet your goal without the discomfort of withdrawal.
Why Did I Quit Coffee
I have trouble sleeping and I carry on a lot of tension in my middle upper back and neck I was curious if caffeine could be my culprit.
Coffee is an expensive habit especially if youre buying Starbucks every day. A single $3 coffee per day costs you $1,095 per year. I can think of a few ways Id rather spend that money
Anne and I were about to take off on a 15 month trip around the world. Who knows if I could find coffee every day? Im no fun before my morning coffee, hopefully quitting coffee will help!
In the meantime, a friend of mine works a stressful job and the amount of coffee he has been drinking was starting to affect his health. His doctor said he either needed to quit his job or quit coffee immediately. Yikes.
Lastly, I think like an engineer and need to constantly be tinkering with something. I love experiments especially revolving around my health and productivity.
Why quit now?
Before quitting my desk job at Oracle, I decided to take a 2-week vacation and burn all my remaining vacation days! Since I didnt need to be productive at work for 2 weeks, I figured that would be a perfect time to ditch caffeine.
Vacation timing worked out so I can spend time with my family for the holidays before heading to Asia for some extended travel. This takes me to Minnesota, Colorado and Arizona. Lets call it the TOUR DE FAMILY.
As a bonus I always have a little extra energy while traveling and getting out my daily routine should help me beat the brown devil!
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Addicted To Coffee Same A Nutritionist Shares Simple Tips To Quit Caffeine
Don’t go cold turkey!
Its that time of year. Copious cups of coffee are just what the holidays ordered. Mellow, rich, bold, fruitycoffee keeps the holiday traditions alive. Caffeine also fuels endless to-do lists: Gift shopping, family activities, email replies, and everything else December entails. When presence feels impossible, we swiftly reach for an extra cup of joe. And while coffee is chock full of benefits, its easy to overdo it, especially during the holidays. If you think youve become too reliant on your cup of coffee, dont fret. Im a ball and chain to my coffee pot, too. Thankfully, it is possible to become less reliant on caffeine and still feel energized. If saying sayonara feels impossible, weve got you covered. Read on to learn how to quit caffeine . Good news! You dont have to quit cold turkey.
- Double-certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Nutrition Consultant
Edie is the founder of nutrition coaching business, Wellness with Edie. With her background and expertise, she specializes in womens health, including fertility, hormone balance, and postpartum wellness.