For many of us, coffee is the fuel that gets us started in the morning, and keeps us going throughout the work day. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation reported that 43% of Americans regularly use caffeine to stay alert during their day-to-day activities.
No matter what your preferred caffeine fix might be, it definitely does its job of keeping you going by increasing levels of adrenaline and lowering the other naturally occurring chemicals in your body that encourage sleep. Unfortunately, your coffee, tea, or soda is most likely also sabotaging your chance of getting a good night’s rest.
Caffeine stays in the body for hours, and could absolutely be the cause of your sleep woes if you’re having trouble falling asleep at night. Too much consumption of caffeine can cause insomnia, anxiety, irritability, nervousness, headaches, and rapid heart rate.
If you’ve been experiencing any of those symptoms, and find yourself unable to get at least the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep each night, it might be time to consider giving up the caffeine. The good news is that once you are getting high-quality sleep, your need for caffeine will diminish, and you will find that you can start your day easily without your morning fix.
But how do you cut down on your caffeine consumption effectively and safely? Follow these simple and safe tips to get started on cutting the cord on your caffeine dependency.
10 Ways to Cut Down on Caffeine
1. Know what you’re consuming.
Keep an eye out for caffeine in the food and drinks that you’re consuming. Caffeine is a common addition to many beverages – beware!
2. Decrease caffeine intake gradually.
Plan your caffeine cut down in stages. Start by decreasing the amount of caffeine that you are consuming by a third each day. Slow reduction of your caffeine habit will help keep withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and irritability to a bare minimum.
3. Water down your joe.
Try adding some water to your coffee and soda. They’ll still have the taste that you crave, but will carry less of a caffeine punch.
4. Try a new kind of caffeine.
Think about making the switch from coffee to herbal tea. Not only do they contain less caffeine, but green tea also holds many health benefits.
5. Switch to decaf.
Keep the taste and habit of your morning cup of joe, without the caffeine, by switching to decaf coffee or decaffeinated soda.
6. Don’t add to the problem.
Do you really need that extra cup of coffee in the morning to make it through the day? If not, just say no!
7. Try a shortcut.
Decrease the amount of caffeine in the tea that you drink by reducing the brewing time.
8. Take a size downgrade.
Go for a small frap or latte, instead of a medium or large. Not only will this cut down on your dependency on caffeine, it also cuts out empty calories.
9. Mix things up.
Alternate one cup of coffee with a cup of tea, or one cup of soda with a cup of juice. This really adds up to help ditch the caffeine when done throughout the day.
10. Watch what’s in your meds.
Many over-the-counter medications such as headache remedies and pain relievers contain caffeine. Switch to an alternative that offers you relief, without the added jolt.
By following through with these tips to cut down on your caffeine dependency, not only will you soon find yourself sleeping better at night
, you will also find that you can actually thrive in your newly caffeine-free life.