What Time Should You Stop Drinking Coffee?
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
Drinking a cup of coffee and having a great night's sleep are two basic and the least demanding pleasures of life. But, when you put them together, they can be a recipe for disaster. You most likely know this if you have had coffee too close to bedtime and found yourself tossing and turning as the hour's tick. Luckily, you do not have to choose one or the other. Drinking caffeinated beverages and getting a good night's sleep can be real.
To fully understand what happened, you must understand how caffeinated beverages disrupt sleep and how close to bedtime you must stop drinking them.
How does caffeine affect sleep?
As you go throughout the day, your body uses a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for energy. As each ATP molecule is utilized by a cell, it is broken down into smaller molecules that are recycled in many different ways. What is left is adenosine, which builds up, and makes you sleepy, and that is how caffeine works.
Caffeine inhibits adenosine. So as the day progresses, the increasing levels of adenosine naturally make you feel more tired. Unless you drink caffeine, blocking the adenosine's effect and helping you to feel more alert. Research has also shown that caffeine, when consumed close to bedtime, delays your onset of sleepiness by disrupting your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is your body's internal clock. It is controlled by external factors (such as sunlight and darkness) and internal cellular processes (such as adenosine levels). So caffeine can disrupt this natural rhythm.
How long before bed should I avoid caffeine?
It is recommended to avoid caffeine six hours before sleep for most people, but if you are very sensitive, do not have it after lunch. Sleep is an individualized function, so finding what works for you is essential.
How long does caffeine last in the body?
The half-life of caffeine (the time it takes to decrease the amount by half) is typically 4 to 6 hours. Some factors, however, may change the speed at which you metabolize caffeine. These include:
What drinks are high in caffeine?
Knowing that caffeine can affect your sleep, you might be unsure what drinks are high in caffeine. Here are four types of drinks to keep a lookout for and how much caffeine they contain:
What can I drink before bed?
The following beverages may help in your quest:
What else can I do for a good night's sleep?
Look at the big picture regarding sleep hygiene, and focus on building a healthy sleep environment and schedule. The following are some tips:
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