Caffeine Needs Rules
Remember that your ‘need’ for caffeine, a stimulant, is mainly driven by your ‘need’ for sleep.
Also, your ‘need’ to use a depressant such as alcohol before bed is often driven by the overuse of the aforementioned stimulant.
Using caffeine as a performance-enhancing aid, which is what it’s really good at is different.
Caffeine should come with usage instructions.
But it generally doesn’t.
If the way you describe your sleep is ‘fine’ or ‘ok’, it’s also a fair sign your wake function is far from excellent.
Excellent sleep = Excellent wake function.
Some caffeine and sleep basics.
Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system and can significantly impact many things, some positive and some negative; most notable is sleep patterns.
Consuming caffeine blocks the action of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep and relaxation. As a result, caffeine promotes wakefulness and alertness and delays sleep onset.
If you consume caffeine after first the six to eight hours of waking, it can have several negative effects on your sleep:
Delayed sleep onset: Caffeine's stimulating effects can last several hours, with a half-life of about 5-6 hours. This means that if you consume caffeine in the afternoon, a significant portion of it may still be in your system when you get to bed, making it harder to fall asleep.
Reduced sleep quality: Caffeine disrupts the normal sleep cycle, particularly the deeper stages of sleep. It may decrease the total amount of time spent in restorative sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is essential for memory consolidation and overall cognitive function.
Increased awakenings: Caffeine can cause frequent awakenings during the night. Even if you fall asleep after consuming caffeine, you may experience more frequent interruptions or find it challenging to stay asleep throughout the night, for many these awakenings won’t even be acknowledged.
Shortened total sleep duration: The stimulating effects of caffeine can result in shorter overall sleep duration. If you consume caffeine too close to your bedtime, you may wake up earlier than desired, feeling less rested or recovered.
Sensitivity to caffeine varies from person to person. Some individuals may be more tolerant to its effects, while others are more sensitive and experience sleep disturbances even with smaller amounts or earlier consumption.
Don’t kid yourself. You’re an exception, though. Thats the biggest mistake.
Avoid caffeine for the first 60-90mins of your waking day. More on that another time, but in essence, that moves it into its window for performance enhancement.
Cut your usage after about 6-8 hours based on tolerance.
Caffeine is an incredible performance enhancing aid and facilitator, enjoy whatever mechanism you use to consume it but use it intelligently!