How To Counteract Caffeine Before Bed?
These are the things you should know about caffeine and sleep. When you consumed high doses of caffeine, you will have a hard time sleeping. There are some people who are sensitive to caffeine and have sleep difficulties. So, as a general rule, avoid caffeine close to bedtime, and if you’re sensitive, you may avoid caffeine after lunch. Caffeine may stay in your system for up to 24 hours, and its amount varies across different foods and drinks. Thus, it’s very imperative important to know how to counteract caffeine before bed.
Caffeine is a substance that affects the brain and behavior and it can also be found in many drinks and foods like tea, coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, and even in some medications. Some people like to consume caffeine as it promotes alertness and inhibits chemicals that help sleep. Caffeine is absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream and reaches its peak levels within 30-70 minutes. You can feel its effects for 3 to 7 hours but it may take up to 24 hours to fully eliminate caffeine from the body.
Caffeine can affect our sleep in many ways. It could be harder for you to sleep or your sleep may be lighter and you may wake up more often. You may have to go to the toilet more during the night. There are different observations on how many hours before bed you should have your last caffeine intake. Some say that it’s not good to have caffeine for at least 3 to 7 hours before going to sleep while others say that no caffeine after lunchtime if you have sleep problems. Many drinkers find that their sleep improves with less caffeine.
Sleep disruptions that are caused by caffeine vary between individuals due to different sensitivity levels. Adults are more sensitive to the effects while genetics could also be a factor. Caffeine is metabolized by the body more rapidly using nicotine, but this process can be slower among pregnant women.
Moderate single doses of the caffeine of up to 200mg and a daily intake of less than 400mg do not seem to have negative health effects in healthy adults. But when in low to moderate doses, positive effects of caffeine can include alertness, mild euphoria, and better cognitive performance. In higher doses, caffeine may cause stomach upset, jitterness, and sleep disruption.
If you take caffeine regularly you may become independent on it and if you stop consuming it, you may have withdrawal effects like headaches, tiredness, and anxiety. So if you want to cut it down you have to do it gradually. The increase in caffeine intake combats sleepiness and keeps you stay awake and alert. It could be one cup of tea, soft drink, or half a cup of instant coffee every 1-2 hours.
Given that caffeine helps alertness, some people who have a sleeping disorder like sleep apnea use caffeine to mask sleepiness. Cutting down on caffeine is often advised to those experiencing with Restless Legs Syndrome and Insomnia. When you have your coffee passed 3 pm it can have a negative impact on your quality of sleep and there’s a chance for you to have a hard time sleeping.
How can caffeine give you such a rush of energy?
As our body produces adenosine, a sleep-inducing chemical that makes us sleepy. When caffeine ingested in our system, it blocks the adenosine from entering our brain and causes us to feel alert and awake. According to studies, it takes about 5 ½ hours of the caffeine in your system to dissipate. That is why it’s possible to fall asleep after you consume caffeine. Here are some helpful tips on how to counteract caffeine before bed and kick-off your body into sleep mode.
Stay away from your gadgets
Caffeine is a stimulant for your brain and when your gadgets are in constant buzzes or beeps. They prevent your brain from entering a relaxed state. The blue light from your electronics like cell phones, laptops, or television can make it more difficult to fall asleep. The light can halt your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. So, make sure to turn off all electronics and keep your phone away from your bedside.
When you’re trying to sleep after consuming caffeine, you need to meditate to make your body and mind relaxed. And one of the best ways to calm your mind is through meditation. When you do this, you just have to sit or lay down in a comfortable position and take deep but unforced breaths. As you inhale and exhale, focus on your breathing and boy movement. Light yoga is also a great way to relax both your mind and body. You may try these gentle poses for winding down at night after coffee:
- Child pose. This pose can relieve tension in your back, neck, and shoulders.
- Low lunge. This is a stretch for those people who sit down in an office. This pose can relieve tension in your hip flexors and stretches your hamstrings, glutes, and groin region.
- Seated side stretch. This pose is easy to do and is beneficial for your body and muscle. It strengthens your core and spine.
- Butterfly pose. This is another meditative movement that promotes relaxation as you gently stretch your inner thighs and lower back.
Take a brief walk
Light exercise is one of the best ways to make yourself feel tired. You can go on a 2-mile run at 10 p.m at night and a light walk in the evening (no too late in the evening). Walks can be a good way to wind your mind and body down before bed and could also help force some extra caffeine energy out of your system.
Read a book in bed
Reading a book is also an ideal way to reduce stress and induced tired eyes. Studies found that reading a book for only 6 minutes at night can reduce stress by up to 68%. So, when you’re attempting to fall asleep at night you can try reading a book.
If you have your own practice on how to counteract caffeine before bed and it works on you, then keep doing it.