Lesson 6 Chapter 2
Next up, let’s talk about caffeine and alcohol and the role that they play in aiding or inhibiting your sleep at night.
So first up, caffeine. Science shows that caffeine late in the day can actually cause problems for our sleep. So, the question is, how late is too late? Well, what we know is that the half-life of caffeine in the body is around 6-8 hours. So, for example, if you have 100mg of coffee at 4pm then by 10pm you’re still going to have around 50mg of coffee or caffeine in your body. So, if you want to limit the amount of the effects of caffeine on your body, see if you can limit how much coffee or caffeine you have later in the day.
Now, it’s worth repeating here that my motto for this course is, “Find what works for you”. So, if you’re one of those people that can have an espresso after your dinner and still fall asleep just fine then by all means, keep on doing that. But my guess is the reason that you’re here, the reason you’re taking this course and watching this video is that your sleep is not so great. So, you might want to try experimenting with how much caffeine you take throughout the day. Some people find that limiting caffeine altogether or switching over to tea completely has a great impact on their ability to fall asleep at night. Personally, I try to limit my caffeine after 2pm.
Now, what about alcohol? Alcohol is the #1 sleep aid in the world. What does the science say? Unfortunately, the science shows that alcohol is not the sleep aid it’s cracked out to be. Yes, alcohol can help you fall asleep a little bit faster, but what it does is it actually reduces the quality of your sleep. When you have alcohol, it actually impairs you from reaping the benefits of deep sleep, particularly your REM sleep and your stages 3 and 4 of deep sleep.
So, in summary, avoid caffeine too late and don’t rely on alcohol to get you to bed.