Without caffeine it can seem like life is running at a slow internet speed. Puttering along, separating you from good health and high productivity. You might mope around. Slump over your desk. Lack the pep needed to make worthy conversations. But you shouldn’t rely too deeply on the wonders of caffeine. You need the big rocks of health in your life. One such loadstone is sleep. Trying to make your mug make up for the misadventures of your pillow isn’t a smart idea.
A paper at Michigan State University found being sleep deprived, then taking caffeine to counterbalance your lack of shut eye, doesn’t work. It’s like Dracula sitting up from his coffin to ask for some chips with his stake. Why? Well, because caffeine has its limits and has a push-pull relationship with sleep. It will keep you awake and keep you on the task, but you won’t perform at your highest level. If you have a risk-heavy day job, like being surgeon or truck driver, these can be dangerous professions to perform poorly in, not only for yourself and the world around you. Nothing is a substitute for sleep and caffeine can impact sleep negatively when taken too late in the day. This can create a vicious loop which many people have become stuck in.
So, should you kick caffeine to the curb and move on? Not entirely, you should still have it moderately, but it’s best to become strategic about it. Step one is making sure that if you’re having caffeine late in the day, then you’ll have enough of a tolerance for it that it won’t stomp all over your sleep quality. To do this, you can make sure you exercise after the caffeine hit, because that way you’re putting it to good use. This can be a balancing act that may not always work. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can purge the caffeine from your system after you’ve used for your workout or big presentation.
- Drink more water
Aim to glug down at least 50% more water than you’d normally drink in that period. This is especially if you’ve had caffeine in the later afternoon, exercised then want to have a great night sleep. Increasing your water intake will certainly do the job and accelerate your recovery from exercise as a bonus.
- Try breath work
Try a mediation practice or do some breath work to calm down your mind and functions. This will aid in your overall relaxation and offset the caffeine’s hype.
- Eat healthy foods
Junk foods and those high in sugar will not help you. Instead, a heart healthy meal of high-quality produce is ideal for mopping up the caffeine in your system. Aim for high levels of cruciferous vegetables such a broccoli, cauliflower, and sprouts. These foods may not be the tastiest food options but the better they are for you, the more effective they’ll be at helping you to shed the wakefulness that too much caffeine can cause.
A new start
Is not that you should stop having caffeine all together, but when you have a big hit of it at any one time, this can fire up your entire body. Once you’ve used up that energy and it no longer serves you, it’s wise to take steps to purge it from your system so you can always enjoy the best of both worlds.