Insomnia tip #2
Are you one of the Americans who have to have your morning cup of coffee to get going? One cup is usually okay, but many cups of caffeinated coffee, or other caffeinated beverages, throughout the day, and especially in the evening, can lead to poor quality of sleep. Caffeine boosts alertness, activates stress hormones, and elevates heart rate and blood pressure. It also robs your body of calcium, which also affects sleep. People do react differently to caffeine, but in general, it is not good for you in excess. You may find that as you age, you become more sensitive to caffeine based on age-related changes in your body that can affect the speed at which caffeine is metabolized. The time it takes for your body to break down half of the amount of caffeine you consume can be as long as seven hours, so if you have an espresso at dessert, the caffeine could still be affecting your body throughout the night. Women should also note that estrogen may slow down caffeine metabolism even further. Between ovulation and menstruation, you take about 25% longer to eliminate it, and if you are on birth control pills, you take about twice the normal time.
If you are awaking in the middle of the night with a racing heart, ask yourself if you had too much caffeine before bed. It is unthinkable to many of you to consider giving up your daily coffee, and for most, a cup in the morning is just fine. For those of you that are more sensitive to caffeine, you may consider caffeine-free herbal tea. Many times it is the psychological component of caffeine that people are really afraid to let go of, not the actual caffeine itself. Camomile tea can actually help promote relaxation and lead to better sleep, so this is a nice evening alternative to add to your sleep hygiene ritual.