Whether you’re a latte drinker or you take yours black, there’s no question that coffee is energising and unbelievably delicious. However, stimulants found in coffee may be interfering with your ability to gain restful and peaceful sleep. And, as we know, insomnia and anxiety is a vicious cycle, sleep deprivation can cause anxiety disorders, and those with chronic insomnia have an increased risk of developing an anxiety disorder.
You see, coffee is a stimulant – a class of substances that raise levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body. Other common stimulants include chocolate, sugar, caffeinated soft drink and nicotine. And yes, we did say chocolate! Sugar (in combination with milk fat) in chocolate produces an explosion of endorphins and serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain. Sometimes referred to as a “sugar high”, the combination can be a mood elevator. These stimulants work to block the part of your brain that detects the hormone responsible for sleepiness (adenosine, if you want to be science-y). While reducing tiredness in the morning is great, it’s no surprise that a surplus of stimulants is a red flag for a good night’s rest.
Now, if you’re like us, you may be wondering how you’ll ever survive without your late afternoon coffee or post-dinner chocolate. We’ve put together three easy tips on how to achieve sufficient sleep without entirely sacrificing these goodies: