Is Caffeine An Angel Or A Devil?

We find joy and comfort in our coffee and tea rituals. Socially, physically and mentally — we get uplifted. It seems caffeine is beneficial for a good deal of people. It’s also true, caffeine can work against our health, for many of us.

When caffeine is slow to process through our system it can wreck havoc with our sleep, our moods, and our bodies’ defenses. Things can change. Maybe my body could deal with caffeine efficiently a few years ago and now it’s not working that way! And deciphering what’s not working can take courage. Changing habits is not a small deal!

So yes, as you probably know, caffeine can be either devil or angel depending on your unique body and how much caffeine you are getting daily.

Consuming caffeine is much like flipping the switch for your body to go into fight or flight mode. This is just the opposite of what we need to sleep well! Some of us just don’t detox it out of our bodies fast enough, so we spend way too much time feeling anxious, hyper-alert, and feeling other effects; such as, caffeine being a diuretic. The detoxing problem is compounded for many of us, because much of our body’s detoxing takes place while we sleep. If we aren’t sleeping enough and using caffeine;  whoopsie, slide right into a downward spiral.

How do you know the effects of caffeine on your body? The best way to know is to stop using it. I realize this is not necessarily an easy task. Caffeine is addictive. You might experience some real withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are usually a headache, a drop in blood pressure, nausea, fatigue, irritability, anxiety and depression. They tend to show  up with in hours of missing your usual dose of caffeine. Cutting back slowly is a road many choose to take, over going cold turkey.

Be prepared to experience a bit of withdrawal if you stop consuming caffeine.

Stopping caffeine may cause a drop in blood pressure.

When you are off caffeine you will get in touch with your body’s natural rhythms. That means stopping coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, yerba mate, hot cocoa, many sodas, any over the counter pain killers that contain caffeine, and some “energy” waters.  It’s even possible to buy caffeinated gum and now there’s a caffeinated oatmeal available in stores! As you can see, it takes diligence to avoid caffeine. Click here and checkout a fairly comprehensive list of foods, drinks and medicines containing caffeine.

I’m not suggesting people need to abstain from caffeine forever or even a few months. Going “caffeine free”, for a time, is a step toward determining how much caffeine, if any, is right for you. I believe each person can discern the amount of caffeine that works for their body and life.

Drop caffeine from your routine and sleep better.

Fresh veggie or fruit juices are energizing.

How to get to your sweet spot? Making adjustments in the amount of caffeine you have may be fairly easy. For some, it can seem like a mile high road block. Caffeine is addictive and a big part of many people’s culture. Talk therapy, acupressure and wellness coaching are ways to get support in releasing yourself from caffeine. Putting in the effort is so worth it, if it’s become an addiction and is negatively impacting your health.

As I’ve said, caffeine is not a problem for many people and may even be regarded as angelic. For those of us having challenges with getting the an optimum amount of renewing sleep, it might be devilish! Caffeine can definitely be addictive. How fast we can detox after drinking it varies greatly from person to person. It gives us a high that can interfere with our moods and sleep. After the high of caffeine, there is a low that follows. Trying out life without caffeine can be an eye opener, no kidding. You just might find you like your natural energy cycles. Your sleep may improve with this one change. When I say change, I mean adjusting your caffeine intake to match what works for your body. Experimenting with no caffeine for a period of time might be part of getting to finding what’s best for you.

What are your sleep challenges? I’m here for a consult to assist you in getting more and better renewing sleep. Please call 413-282-8556 or email to schedule a complimentary discovery session, if you want to create a better relationship with sleep. 

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