Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in America. Starbucks can be found on nearly every street corner and in many supermarkets. And, while a good cup of coffee is delicious and provides a quick “boost,” too much caffeine can actually drain healthcare professionals of their energy.
If you’re feeling a bit sluggish throughout the day, here are 4 reasons to consider reducing your caffeine intake:
- Brain Chemistry – This gets a bit complicated, but a person’s sleep cycle is largely regulated by a chemical called, “adenosine.” This chemical binds to receptors in the brain in a specific way that dictates when people are sleepy and when we are awake. To put it simply, too much caffeine can limit the receptors’ ability to bind to the adenosine, which results in feeling “tired.”
- Sleep Patterns – While caffeine can provide a quick boost of energy, it’s also unpredictable when taken in the hours prior to bedtime. Different people respond differently. But, nurses and healthcare workers who consume large amounts of caffeine in late afternoon or evening hours may suffer from disruptive sleep patterns. It can both affect a person’s ability to fall asleep and also disrupt the quality of sleep itself.
- Anxiety – Once again, the effects of caffeine vary from person to person. However, caffeine does exaggerate feelings of anxiety among many. This anxiety further contributes to insomnia and disruptive sleep patterns. It can also be physically draining even during the day.
- Dependency – While the question of caffeine dependency is complex, we do know that most heavy consumers suffer from some withdraw symptoms when breaking the habit. These can include headache, irritability, and depression. Furthermore, there’s an issue of psychological dependency. A coffee drinker who misses her morning cup of joe may feel sluggish simply because she knows she didn’t have it. By reducing overall caffeine consumption, people help to break free of the perceived “need.”
There’s nothing wrong with healthcare professionals consuming moderate amounts of caffeine. Some studies have actually suggested that coffee may have health benefits. However, many workers fall into the trap of over-indulgence. If you find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, think twice before reaching for that fourth cup of coffee.
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