If you're like a lot of people, you roll out of bed and head straight for Mr. Coffee.
Don't get us wrong, Mr. Coffee is a great guy. But sometimes he does more harm than good.
Ask yourself these questions:
Do you need caffeine to stay awake?
Do you have low energy?
Do you have trouble focusing or falling asleep?
Did you answer "Yes" to any of those? Caffeine might be the reason you're feeling sleepy, fatigued… and unable to think fast!
Hey, we know what it's like, and we want to help you feel focused and productive. Keep reading for more about:
How caffeine helps you stay awake
Common foods with caffeine
Caffeine's negative impacts and vicious cycle
How to stay awake without coffee
Don't worry, there won't be a quiz… unless you really want one. 😉
Caffeine in a Nutshell
Caffeine is a drug that makes you feel energetic and alert. It works by blocking a molecule in your brain called adenosine (1). Adenosine makes you sleepy — so when caffeine blocks it, you don't feel sleepy anymore. Easy as (coffee) cake, Jake!
Caffeine only takes 15-45 minutes (2) to kick in, but its effects can last for up to 6 hours. It stays in your body all day long, even after you stop feeling it.
You can find caffeine in lots of things:
Coffee (Obviously! But, did you know that even decaf coffee has a little bit of caffeine in it?)
Weight loss pills and headache meds
Side Effects... and the Vicious Cycle
Okay, let's say you depend on coffee to stay awake, and you drink it a lot. Like, 5-6 cups a day… or maybe even more!
Do you feel jittery or have frequent headaches?
Do you get fatigued or feel like you're using the restroom too often?
Do you ever have…
Depression and/or anxiety
Higher heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure
If so, you might be overdosing on caffeine.
It's easy to fall into that trap because your brain can develop a tolerance for caffeine (1). Over time, you have to drink more coffee to get the same effects…
And then your brain increases its tolerance…
And so you start drinking even more…
And the vicious cycle continues.
But Don't Worry! It's Not All Doom and Gloom
If you haven't guessed by now, you don't need caffeine to stay awake. You can feel more focused and productive by doing one simple thing: getting good sleep!
That's right, the best way to stay awake is to focus on getting a great night's sleep.
Don't believe us? Well, a lot of super successful people do. Check out these tips to improve your sleep, and get ready to start snoozing like a billionaire!
That being said, if you’ve been drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks for a long time, don’t quit caffeine cold turkey.
If you do, the side effects could get worse and turn into full-blown withdrawal. Instead, wean yourself off caffeine so your brain doesn't make you feel miserable.
Ready, Set, Stay Awake Without Mr. Coffee
By now you know that caffeine makes you feel energized and alert by blocking adenosine in your brain. But too much caffeine can give you headaches, jitters, and other nasty side effects.
You also know that you can develop a tolerance for caffeine, forcing you to drink more and more coffee.
But here's the most important thing: You don't even need caffeine to stay awake.
Sure, it might be hard to break out of that vicious cycle. We know how difficult it can be… but the rewards of focusing on sleep quality are huge!
You'll get better sleep, feel better, and be more productive at work.
And before you know it, you might be rolling out of bed without even thinking about Mr. Coffee. So long, good sir!
(1) Qasim, Hanan. "How does caffeine keep us awake?" TED-Ed, www.ed.ted.com/lessons/how-does-caffeine-keep-us-awake-hanan-qasim#watch. Accessed 20 August 2018.
(2) Johnson, John. "How long does a cup of coffee keep you awake?" Medical News Today, 13 May 2018, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321784.php
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website or provided through our blog, e-mails, or programs is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment that can be provided by your healthcare professionals.