Caffeine and naps
By: Lisa Morrone, PT
Should you drink caffeine in the morning? Is a little okay? Is a lot okay?
Physical therapist and author Dr. Lisa Morrone acknowledges that many people drink caffeine in the morning to get a little kick as they start out their day. The reason that we like caffeine is that it actually helps our brain to not feel tired.
The results of studies have varied. Some research has said that a little caffeine is actually good for us. Others have cautioned against caffeine entirely.
Lisa shared that according to the National Institute of Health and the American Heart Association, drinking one to two cups of caffeinated beverages a day should be fine. It shouldn’t produce any adverse health affects.
However, when we’re drinking more than that, there’s a problem. The caffeine is causing our bodies to experience a continual flow of adrenaline that’s not natural.
“It starts to wreak havoc in our lives.”
Overdosing on caffeine is what we really need to stay away from. Individuals with high blood sugar or a fast heart rate especially need to avoid excessive caffeine because it will increase those things.
The worst mistake is to drink caffeine at the wrong time. Drinking caffeine before bed is hard on us because caffeine lasts several hours in our bodies. Use of caffeine goes hand in hand with sleep habits.
“We’re using caffeine to ward of tiredness when we actually should be sleeping to ward off tiredness.”
God didn’t create or bodies to rely on stimulants instead of sleep. We need to make sure that we’re getting a good amount of sleep. If, for some reason, we don’t get a good night’s sleep one night, we should take a nap the next day.
A full sleep cycle of 90 minutes is ideal. If we don’t have 90 minutes, a 15 minute nap is best. A 30-40 minute nap won’t be very helpful because we’ll wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle and won’t feel rested at all.
While naps are a good substitute for missing one nights sleep, they can’t be used to remedy consistent lack of sleep.
Lisa’s book is Sleep Well Again.