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How’s Your Caffeine Habit?

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caffeine-habit-coffeeIs your caffeine habit keeping you awake?

Do you sleep like a baby, or do you wake up for a pee? If you’re the waker, man can I relate! I’d not slept through the night for 13 years, since my first pregnancy actually, but those days are gone. Sleep doesn’t have to be broken; you can make lifestyle choices without quitting anything that will have you sawing the zzzzs all night long.

Adequate sleep is important for health and wellbeing. When we sleep, our bodies slow down. Let me say that again….slow down, something we’re all sorely in need of. Our muscles relax, we dream and our bodies repair themselves. Cool stuff! That’s why we send the kids off to bed early, so they can grow and be healthy. Ok I’ll come clean….it might also be to have some private time and maybe a glass of wine. I’ve digressed.

Many things can impact your sleep quality, but when it comes to nighttime peeing, caffeine intake is right up there. I’m not about quitting things, so I’m not going to tell you to give up your caffeine. Though, if you choose to do so, I’d definitely support the decision as a healthy lifestyle choice.

I encourage that the decisions you make around how much caffeine you’re going to consume should come from a place of knowledge. So let’s dive into the pros and cons of caffeine consumption and its effects.

Benefits of caffeine

  • Increased alertness –When the pressure’s on and you have to prepare a presentation or finish a project, and you’re feeling a little sluggish, a hit of caffeine may give you the edge you’re looking for.
  • Faster effects of medication – As a former migraine sufferer, my pain meds often contained caffeine to speed absorption. I’m happy to report, I’ve cleaned up my diet and no longer suffer from migraines….Yippee!!!
  • Source of antioxidants – These help to stabilize free radicals that attack healthy cells and cause damage such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
  • Enhanced performance – Caffeine decreases the use glycogen, allowing for longer workouts before muscle exhaustion kicks in.

Less than favorable side-effects of caffeine

  • Emotional disturbances – Feeling jittery and anxious, inability to fall asleep or being irritable are all classic signs of too much caffeine in your body.
  • Increases Blood Pressure – Increased blood pressure leads to increased cardiovascular risk.
  • Adrenal fatigue – Using caffeinated beverages to plow forward with our lives, even when our bodies are screaming slow down, can have a detrimental effect on our adrenals and may result in fatigue. This is exactly what we are trying to avoid.
  • Nutritional deficiencies – Calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium are major minerals that play roles in our bone health, heart health and energy levels.
  • Diuretic – Can cause you to visit the toilet when you should be sleeping. This robs you of valuable sleep, hydration and results in further loss of energy and vitality.

How much is too much?

One person can tolerate lots of coffee, tea and chocolate while another can have very little and be buzzing all day. It’s all about you and, like everything, there is a fine tipping balance between enough and too much. It’s all about portion control.

It boils down to making choices that will serve or hinder you in any given moment. It will depend what’s on your plate for the day. Do you have a lot to get done? If so, caffeine might be part of your healthy lifestyle choice because it helps you to accomplish your daily tasks.

If caffeine is having an effect on your sleep, it’s a sign that your intake is too high for you. Now might be the time to rethink how much is too much for you and pare it back for your sleep and your health.

I’m very happy for a good night sleep, how about you?

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Thanks a zillion.
Together we grow happier, healthier, stronger and more resilient to lifestyle disease.

Much love, Allison

 

Photo Credit: http://drjessechappus.com/

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