We see it as part of our every day life, but don’t realize that caffeine is the most widely used drug. Although fairly safe with moderate consumption, our culture over-consumes caffeine, which leads to significant health problems including insomnia and anxiety.
Caffeine has been consumed by humans for medicinal and recreational uses since before recorded history. It boosts our mood, metabolism, and increases mental & physical performance. What's not to love? Although safe in low to moderate dosages, many of us consume more than is necessary.
Alertness. Focus. Energy. Caffeine provides much use when we need it, but anxiety, nervousness, & headaches are common side effects we've all experienced. This leads to rapid breathing and increased stress levels. The goal should be to maximize the positive effects and minimize the negative ones. If we are in need of caffeine, spacing our consumption throughout the day can ease some of these side effects. It’s important to be aware of our tolerance and the amount of caffeine we consume.
Insomnia. It's one of the most commonly reported sleeping problems that many suffer with each night. If we underestimate how much caffeine we consume, we create problems for ourselves down the road. Caffeine prevents us from falling asleep and decreases the total amount of sleep we get. Easy ways to solve this issue are to consume less and to consume caffeine 6+ hours before bedtime.
Caffeine has many benefits, from focus & energy to improved reaction time & short-term memory, but the side effects are endless if we’re not careful. Caffeine comes in a variety from energy drinks to the food we eat, so we must be mindful of our consumption. In moderation, caffeine can be a wonderful tool to utilize — especially for those early Monday mornings.
“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?” -Cassandra Clare