Sleeping Better Tip Number One
Here's a little more detail on why we need to be careful with caffeine if we
want a good night's sleep.
From the moment we wake in the morning, the brain is producing a chemical called adenosine that makes us want to sleep. Adenosine usually hits it peak between 12 and 16 hours after waking up and that is when we feel most sleepy. So, imagine you’re staying up late working or studying or just watching the end of a late-night film. You’ll hear two voices in your head – one encouraging you to fall asleep and get some rest, the other urging you to get the job done or find out how the film ends.
If you have a cup a coffee, it will drown out the “go to sleep” voice and turn up the “stay awake” voice and is most effective thirty minutes after drinking it. Also, when the immediate waking effect of the coffee wears off, you will get a caffeine “crash” because the adenosine (the “go to sleep” voice) has continued to build up in your brain. Also, coffee has a “half-life” of at least 5 hours, which means that if you drank a cup at 10 pm, you would still have half the caffeine in your system at 3 am – drastically disturbing your sleep.
So, a key tip, especially at times such as these when sleep might be hard to come by, is to cut back or avoid caffeine after lunchtime and allow adenosine to knock you out!