• The Sound Sleeper

Too much caffeine ruining your sleep?

Caffeine can be a culprit if you’re having trouble sleeping. Even decaffeinated coffee contains a small amount of caffeine that can affect you if you’re sensitive to the stimulant. And even if you’re not a coffee drinker, caffeine can still sneak in through other beverages and foods.

Three ways to wean yourself from coffee

1) Best for those wanting to reduce/eliminate social caffeine drinking and who don’t have a strong physical dependency
Maintain your coffee volume and/or frequency, and start to substitute some decaffeinated coffee in your drinks. Over a period of days to weeks, move to all decaf, and then gradually reduce the volume and frequency of beverages.

2) Best for those with a physical dependency; can be combined with #1 if you have a strong psychological dependency
Maintain your fully caffeinated beverages, but reduce the frequency by eliminating the latest-in-the-day caffeine first, then work your way back to just one caffeinated beverage in the morning.

3) Best for those without a strong physical dependency
Quit cold turkey. If you have withdrawal symptoms (headache, fatigue, irregular heart rate, swings in blood pressure and mood), switch to one of the other methods.

Be aware of your caffeine count
Take a look at the amount of caffeine in common beverages and foods and avoid large amounts after 2 pm if possible.

Food/beverage (oz) Caffeine (mg)
Brewed coffee (8 oz)
Brewed decaf (8 oz)
Espresso (1 oz)
Black tea (8 oz)
Green tea (8 oz)
Soda (8 oz)
Energy drink (8 oz)
Chocolate milk (8 oz)
Milk chocolate (1 oz)
Dark chocolate (1 oz)
Coffee ice cream (2/3 cup)
Sources: Mayo Clinic, International Food Information Council Foundation, Center for Science in the Public Interest

Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after 2 pm. If you’re highly sensitive to caffeine, stop even earlier in the day.


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