If you’re one of the many Americans whose day doesn’t start until you’ve had coffee, you could be setting yourself up for many sleepless nights. Research shows that people who drink more than three eight-ounce cups of coffee each day are at an increased risk of developing caffeine-related sleep problems. Symptoms of drinking too much caffeine may include anxiety, insomnia, headaches, rapid heartbeat, and nervousness. Sound familiar? If so, you may benefit from cutting back.
Whether you prefer coffee, tea, chocolate or soda, be aware that caffeine hides in many places. Cutting back may require a bit of work if you’re an addict, but the amount of sleep you’ll gain at night is well worth it. Start by becoming a label reader. Even some pain relievers contain caffeine! Gradually decrease the amount of processed foods and energy drinks you are consuming. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables instead and drink plenty of water to flush out toxins. After a few weeks, you’ll feel so good that you won’t need caffeine to get through the day.
If you’re having trouble kicking the habit, try alternating your caffeine fix with a non-caffeinated substance. Water is always best as it improves digestion and curbs your appetite. Follow up every cup of coffee with an eight-ounce glass of water. Exercising first thing in the morning might seem like a terrible idea as your alarm goes off at 6 am, but you’ll be more energized throughout the day. Grab an herbal tea in place of coffee for a hot, soothing beverage. Check out some of these other tips for cutting back on caffeine to improve your sleep.