No Really, Coffee Isn't Good For You

by Florence Cardinal Patient Expert

The Coffee Habit Morning coffee Do you, like hundreds of people all over the world, drag yourself out of bed in the morning and stagger into the kitchen for the first cup of coffee?

This habit might be hiding the real problem - a lack of sleep caused by a
common sleep disorder. A study, led by Dr Joshua Septimus, an internist with The Methodist Hospital in Houston (USA), stated that the energy that
a person gets from caffeine could be more safely obtained from a good night's sleep.

Caffeine is a Drug

Caffeine is a drug. Coffee contains caffeine, and about 90% of Americans drink coffee, many of them pour more than 300 milligrams of caffeine into their systems every day. Caffeine is a mild stimulant. It makes you more alert by fending off sleep. It's the most widely used drug in the world and is contained in many foods and also in numerous stay awake medications like No Doz.

Never forget, however, that caffeine is a drug. It has, on occasion, even been considered a drug of abuse. Although it can keep you awake and make you feel more alert, it does not necessarily improve your performance.

Like other drugs, including alcohol, you may think you're doing great at a task, but a later check could reveal errors in thinking. These errors are caused by the disorientation and irritable headaches of something called coffee nerves.

Kicking the Habit

  • Keep track of how much caffeine you consume each day. A list of foods and beverages that contain caffeine appears at the end of this article. Also check the contents of any medication you take, including over-the-counter products.

  • Gradually reduce your intake of coffee. If you start to get withdrawal symptoms, stay at that level until they disappear.

  • Exercise in place of coffee. It gets your blood running, and increases energy. It also gets your mind off your usual cup of coffee.

  • Drink herbal teas, coffee substitutes and decaffeinated beverages.

  • If you are a smoker, try to cut back. Coffee and smoking are often linked together in the mind.

  • Whenever you find yourself craving a cup of coffee, do something else. Take up a distracting hobby.

  • Suck on a mint. This often relieves the craving for coffee.

Don't forget that coffee is not the only culprit. Don't let your craving for caffeine lead you to over indulge in some other caffeine-laden beverage or food. These products all contain caffeine in varying amounts:

  • Coffee

  • Cola type soft drinks

  • Cocoa

  • Chocolate

  • Tea

  • Many medications, like No Doz and Excedrin.

Kick the caffeine habit and benefit with a better sleep.

Florence Cardinal
Meet Our Writer
Florence Cardinal

Florence wrote for HealthCentral as patient expert for Sleep Disorders.