In this guide you’re going to get tried and tested tips for getting restful sleep even when you have caffeine in your system.
Caffeine can appear in many different foods or drinks. That includes coffee beans, super charged energy drinks, cups of tea and even chocolate.
We’ve all had a cup of coffee late in the late afternoon, perhaps trying to get through the work day, but later regretted it when lying in bed at night.
Keep reading for ways to combat the effects of caffeine, but first let’s delve into how it actually affects your sleep cycles…
How does caffeine affect sleep cycles?
If you aren’t up to speed on the stages our brain goes through during sleep, have a quick read of our sleep cycle guide.
We go through 4 cycles during slumber, so how exactly does caffeine interfere with this?
Well, first we need to take a look at how caffeine affects our brains, here’s a brief breakdown…
This video from AsapSCIENCE gives a detailed description of the process, but I’m going to summarise.
When we are awake, our brain produces a chemical called Adenosine. The longer we stay awake, the more Adenosine binds to the receptors in our brain.
This chemical is responsible for making us feel tired, which is why we need sleep after being awake all day. As we sleep, the concentration of Adenosine declines, which is what wakes us up in the morning.
In comes the coffee…
Caffeine is very similar to Adenosine, and it can replace it by binding to our brain’s receptors in its place. But, because it is not Adenosine and doesn’t create the tired feeling, so we feel awake and energised.
You can probably see how this would affect sleep. Caffeine stops us feeling tired and keeps the brain alert, which can prevent us from falling into deep sleep. For some, it can even prevent them from falling sleep at all.
Not for my lovely readers though, oh no.
Have you caved in to the irresistible aroma of coffee in an evening and indulged in a cup or two?
Keep reading or my best tips on how to sleep with caffeine in your system…
How to sleep with caffeine in your system
It is possible my friends, take a look at my tried and tested tips…
Use essential oils
If sleep is the yin, essential oils are the yang. (What I’m trying to say is they go together really well)
Your brain will thank you 100 times over for introducing some heavenly, aromatic essential oils.
There’s nothing like inhaling an evening primrose oil or a couple of drops of magnesium oil to send your overworked brain into a peaceful state of slumber.
The caffeine in your system may be working hard, but some soothing essential oils will put up a good fight and help you drift off much quicker.
Read our Best essential oils for sleep guide to find out how exactly to use essential oils and how they can relax you.
Try the ‘Corpse’ position
Sounds a little sinister, but it just refers to a specific sleep position.
Lie on your back with your arms by your side and legs spread about shoulder width apart.
Although it seems like you’re just lying there, it’s actually a part of yoga that is designed to produce serotonin that aids with relaxation and sleep.
When lying on your back, feel how gravity pushes down as you sink into your cosy bed.
Breathe deeply and you’ll soon be paying the land of nod a visit without giving the caffeine content in your system a second thought.
Have a warm shower or bath (not too hot)
Having a warm bath or shower then entering a cooler room allows your body temperature to drop. Why is this good?
Well, our bodies lose heat during the night which helps us fall and stay fast asleep. Many studies have shown that we sleep better and more deeply in a cooler environment.
So, when you’re trying to battle the caffeine circulating in your system, a warm bath or shower might be just the trick for relaxing your brain and lowering your body temperature to get a restful slumber.
Create a relaxing environment
Your bedroom is mainly for sleep, so the design and feel of it needs to promote relaxation.
Here are a few ways you can easily create a zen-like bedroom:
- Use blackout curtains to remove all sources of light at night
- Use calming colours for your décor such as blue, green, violet, pink and grey.
- Don’t bring your work to the bedroom as your brain will start to associate this intense activity with the room, possibly affecting the quality of your sleep
It also helps to light a few candles and spritz a lavender room spray to create an ultra-relaxing environment when you’ve had a few too many coffees.
For more help, read our 10 tips for creating a relaxing bedroom.
Play calming music
As music can:
- Reduce stress
- Help you fall into a deeper, better quality state of sleep
- Reduce disturbances and sleep interruptions during the night
- Reduce depressive symptoms
- Help you drift off quicker
…it is a pretty simple solution for combatting the stimulating caffeine in your system.
If you’re going to put on a calming playlist to help relax your mind, avoid anything with words or lyrics.
This can keep the language processing part of your brain active, which is certainly not what we want when trying to switch off our brains.
Take deep breaths
Let me introduce you to the 4-7-8 breathing technique…
- Take a deep breath and then exhale out of your nose making a whoosh sound.
- Inhale softly through your nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds making a whoosh sound.
The whoosh sounds aren’t vital, it just helps you get the right force.
This technique forces your mind and body to focus on breathing, which distracts if from any other concerns or worries you may have had floating around your mind.
It can also help to soothe a racing heart and reduce anxiety symptoms. Not only will this take your mind off the coffee you guzzled a couple of hours prior, but it also helps to calm down the physical symptoms.