When you have a long day ahead of you, your go-to energy booster may be a huge cup of coffee — or two. While coffee itself isn’t inherently bad for you, too much of it can pose a hazard to your overall wellbeing and your sleep. In fact, chronic use of high levels of caffeine may lead to conditions such as insomnia.
At Carolina Wellness Psychiatry, our team members are experts in a number of different conditions that affect your mental health, including insomnia. Whether your insomnia is caused by excess caffeine or something else, our three specially trained psychiatrists can help. Dr. Elizabeth Bullard, Dr. Brian Moore, and Dr. Allison Foroobar are experts in getting you the help you need when you can’t seem to sleep.
What is considered "too much" caffeine
Many people enjoy a cup or two of coffee a day and don’t suffer any repercussions. However, are you finding yourself pouring three, four, or five large cups of coffee a day? If so, you may be overwhelming your body with too much caffeine.
But is there truly such a thing as too much caffeine? According to the FDA, 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is not associated with negative health concerns. That boils down to about four or five cups of coffee a day.
However, your limit may be less if you’re a little more sensitive to caffeine. Your body may not break down the caffeine as quickly as someone else, which may limit you to less than 400 milligrams a day. You’ll likely know if you’ve consumed more caffeine than you can handle by feeling symptoms like:
Insomnia, or trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, is another side effect of overconsumption of caffeine. This can affect you long-term, and have ramifications on your overall health and wellbeing too.
Does caffeine affect your health?
Caffeine does have the ability to wreak havoc on your health if consumed in high amounts day after day. However, it takes about 1200 milligrams of caffeine intake to cause dangerous consequences such as seizures, according to the FDA.
High amounts of caffeine consumed rapidly can pose a threat to your health, as it can lead to a very fast heart rate and toxicity. High amounts of caffeine are often found in weight loss supplements, which can be deadly if your heart goes into an irregular rhythm.
However, a few cups of coffee over your normal day may not pose a significant risk to your health, but could cause issues such as:
- High blood pressure
- Upset stomach
Caffeine may really affect the amount of sleep you get, which can lead to a number of other problems. With a habitual high caffeine intake, your sleep cycle can be disturbed, leading to insomnia. This makes it hard for you to not only fall asleep, but also stay asleep throughout the night. This affects your body’s ability to refresh and replenish itself.
When your caffeine intake is causing you trouble sleeping, our team suggests that you slowly cut down to avoid caffeine withdrawal. This helps you to get your caffeine consumption under control, so you can hopefully kick the side effects and get a good night’s sleep.
Cutting down on caffeine safely
When your caffeine intake is troubling you and you just aren’t getting the sleep you need, our team helps you to figure out the best way to decrease your intake.
Our team gets you the help you need to successfully cut down your consumption of caffeine — both safely and effectively. The best way to help you do this is to figure out what you’re drinking every day that contains caffeine.
Once you realize how many cups of coffee or cans of soda you’re taking in on a daily basis, our team helps you to cut down safety, so you don’t suffer the discomfort of caffeine withdrawal.
Getting rid of caffeine doesn’t happen overnight — in fact, it may take weeks for you to slowly cut down to a more manageable level. Once you’ve cut back on your caffeine intake, you should be on your way to less uncomfortable side effects and a much better night’s sleep.
However, if your insomnia doesn’t get better after cutting down on caffeine, it may be due to a number of other issues. With the help of our team, you’ll be able to identify what else may be causing you to lose sleep at night. Our doctors then provide you with the treatment you need to finally get the sleep you’ve been craving.
When your sleep is suffering, don't hesitate to call us today at 919-446-3232, or request a consultation using our online booking tool.