Many people depend upon the rich, dark aroma and stimulating feeling a cup of coffee provides in order to stay alert and productive throughout the day. This is often due to the caffeine drug that is naturally found in coffee beans. This stimulant is most likely the most popular drug in the world as it is entirely legal, and is found in many different plants used for consumption.
Unfortunately, it also has some drawbacks, one of them being the main source of sleep disruption. If you have wondered what the best way to fall asleep after drinking coffee is, this article may help explain how caffeine works, and what steps you can take to fall asleep faster after indulging.
Coffee and Caffeine: The Perfect Match?
Although you can always drink decaffeinated versions of coffee, the majority of people imbibing are doing so to get the feeling of energy caffeine provides. Caffeine, as mentioned, is a stimulant and works by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and by increasing adrenaline production. It is an excellent pick-me-up and provides a mental stimulation many depend on to focus and be productive.
Although it has no nutritional value, there is no health risk associated with moderate coffee consumption. Most doctors agree 24 ounces coffee, approximately 250 milligrams of caffeine is safe for daily use. Anything over is considered excessive and can have more serious side effects than what is discussed in this article some people. This is especially true for young, developing children and teens.
As you consume caffeine it enters into your bloodstream via the stomach and small intestine and its effects can be felt within 15 minutes. As it processes through your body it can take up to 6 hours or longer to be completely eliminated from your system. Despite it having to serious health risks, it can cause adverse reactions to those sensitive to its effects, may not mix well with certain medications, and studies have also suggested it can create a physical dependence due to withdrawal symptoms that occur. Although uncomfortable, they are not serious and include headaches, muscle pain, and fatigue.
Even those most comfortable with regular caffeine stimulation may find that they are occasionally plagued by ‘symptoms’ of its use. Perhaps you drank coffee on an empty stomach, have been ill, are taking a new medication, or simply are drinking it later in the day than usual. No matter the reason, it most definitely can create some minor discomforts and most certainly will disrupt your sleep. Common symptoms of caffeine include the following. If you have drunk coffee less than 6 hours prior to going to bed and are struggling with any of these, you might need to change a few habits to get the rest you deserve.
- Increased alertness and trouble focusing
- Reduction in fine motor skills
- Anxiety, nervousness, or dizziness
- Headaches and rapid heartbeat
- Excessive urination
Combating Caffeine Related Insomnia
If you are struggling with caffeine-related insomnia on a regular basis, you may want to cut back on your overall caffeine use. Also, consider when you are drinking coffee. If you like a cup after dinner, maybe you need to switch to decaf to avoid interrupting your much-needed sleep. But other than the obvious, these tips can help you find a balance between your own coffee drinking habits and the rest you deserve.
- Have a specific sleep schedule for going to bed and waking your body will recognize even when stimulated.
- Create a relaxing pre-bed routine, such as taking a hot shower or bath, dimming the lights, diffusing essential oils that soothe (such as lavender), and turning off all screens and hour or two before bed.
- Make sure you have the best mattress and pillow for your personal sleep position and overall comfort.
- Don’t use tobacco, eat food, or drink alcohol for 2 to 3 hours before bed.
- Maintain your bedroom only as a place to rest (and indulge in nocturnal activities).
Ways to Fall Asleep While Stimulated
The above-mentioned suggestions are all healthy ideas for a regular bedtime routine to help you both mentally and physically relax, but for some, it takes time to create those habits or recognition. If you find yourself more stimulated than usual or realized you are struggling to relax due to late caffeine indulgence, try some of the following for immediate relief:
- Diffuse relaxing essential oils
- Meditate or practice simple yoga poses
- Take a brief, relaxing walk
- Read a book
- Take a warm bath
- Drink warm milk
What if Coffee Makes Me Sleepy?
Well then, obviously this article really isn’t for you, but if coffee actual do the opposite you expect, may want to consider a few details about how caffeine works. First off, it can dehydrate you. If you are dehydrated, there is a good chance your body is slowing down, which makes you feel tired.
But most of all, it blocks adenosine receptors in the brain that regulate the sleep/wake cycle. It binds to these molecules to keep them from being received, but once it wears off the molecules will bind to their receptors which causes sleepiness. Most caffeine drinkers experience a ‘crash’ once the effects wear off- although it is often during the peak of the day and may not be very noticeable overall. For those who are more sensitive to caffeine, or who metabolize it faster, this ‘crash’ may come on much more strongly, or quickly.
You might want to check: Best Coffee Makers
If you are a late-night coffee drinker and struggle with insomnia, you need to create some healthier habits. Either design a schedule that allows your body to relax and recognize it is time for bed, or you need to rethink your caffeine use and its timing. For those who struggle from time to time from a late caffeine rush, take a brief timeout to help your body relax and reset itself to stimulate rest.