Coffee, Sleep & Health
Your morning cup of java – friend or foe?
Can’t decide whether to fill your favorite mug with coffee or tea this morning? Ask a health-conscious friend about coffee and sleep and you may hear a laundry list of reasons why coffee is evil incarnate. Trouble is, ask another friend and you’ll be showered with the glorious hidden health benefits of this miracle drink.
Coffee has been linked to improved memory recall and has been cited as a strong defender against Alzheimer’s, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and breast, rectal and colon cancers. As well, it’s thought to ease asthma attacks and reduce flare-ups of gout.
But it may also cause restlessness, insomnia and anxiety…
Sorting out the coffee conundrum
If you’re a coffee person, giving up your morning cup-a-joe may be too high a price for better sleep. While no one can tell you exactly how much coffee is safe before life with less sleep is your reality, research is helping us understand what constitutes sensible consumption.
We’ve found a few articles online this week that we think will help you understand the role coffee plays in your sleep health. The underlying theme? Moderation is the secret key to safe enjoyment of the wonderful elixir we call coffee.
The perks of coffee drinks
Anything this good must be bad. We crave it. We guzzle it. Drinking coffee makes us feel good — better able to handle an overbearing boss or an unruly pack of toddlers. But then… we feel guilty about it, suspecting that sooner or later, it’s going to do us in. In reality, it’s not the guilty pleasure everyone makes it out to be — in fact, caffeine side effects can do you good. Read more on WomensHealth.com.
Why you sleep like crap
Is your evening shuteye paying the price for that afternoon cup of coffee? “Morning people” (those who say they’re productive in the a.m.) who consume caffeine throughout their day are more likely to have trouble sleeping compared to late risers, says a recent study published in the journal Sleep. Read more at MensHealth.com.
The mind-blowing science of sleep
Sleep is way more important than we realize. It’s also, according to David Randall author of Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, “the largest overlooked part of your life and … it affects you even if you don’t have a sleep problem.” It is obviously not a good idea to drink coffee in the evening if it keeps you up at night. Read more at BusinessInsider.com.
Coffee and health – what does the research say?
Coffee has a long history of being blamed for many ills — from the humorous “It will stunt your growth” to the not-so-humorous claim that it causes heart disease and cancer. But recent research indicates that coffee may not be so bad after all. So which is it — good or bad? The best answer may be that for most people the health benefits outweigh the risks. Read more at MayoClinic.org.
Say no to coffee after noon
Your morning mug gets a pass, but guzzling it all day is a big no-no. Here’s why: It’s often said that caffeine has a half-life of about five hours—which means if you eat an early enough dinner, that after-supper cappuccino should be out of your system by bedtime, right? Unfortunately, that’s not quite right. After seven hours, much of the stimulant will be gone from your system, depending on your sensitivity to it—but 25% of it could still be there. Read more at Prevention.com.
It’s your turn to weigh in? Do you drink coffee all day long? Do you use coffee as a stimulant to get through the mid-afternoon slump or just a jump start in the morning? Would you change when you drink coffee if you knew it was robbing you of a good night’s sleep?