The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 50 to 70 million people living in the US do not get enough sleep. For a long time, it was thought that the daily stresses of life were responsible for the insomnia. However, there are 2 other culprits thought to be responsible for insomnia: caffeine & smoking. If you still have doubts, check out the following caffeine & smoking statistics. And then read on for the effects of caffeine & smoking on sleep.
US Caffeine & Smoking Statistics
It is estimated that 90% of American take caffeine on a daily basis. In fact, coffee shops are the most popular social places in the US. Caffeine is not only consumed inform of coffee but also as an ingredient in sodas, chocolate and popular energy drinks.
Data from the CDC shows that there are close to 45.3 million smokers in the US. In fact, about 19.3% of persons above the age of 18 are smoke regularly. Needless to say, there are more men smokers than women. Apart from cause sleep problems, smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the US.
Clearly, the statistics above about caffeine & smoking speak for themselves. But how exactly does caffeine and smoking affect sleep or cause sleep problems?
Caffeine & Smoking: Effects on Sleep
Caffeine & smoking stimulate the mind. As you may know, for sleep to occur the body and mind needs to calm down and be relaxed. Caffeine & smoking block the production of chemicals such as melatonin that induce sleep. In addition, they stimulate the production of the hormone adrenaline which energizes your body. Remember that the two culprits – caffeine & smoking- do not replace sleep; they only delay or postpone sleep.
Half-life is the amount of time needed to be eliminated half of a substance from the body. Caffeine has a half-life of about 6 hours. This means that if you consume about 300mg of caffeine at around 12 noon, your blood will still have about 150 mg of caffeine at 6 pm. If you prefer sleeping at 9 or 10 pm, your body will still be having traces of caffeine in blood.
Nicotine has a shorter half-life of about 60 minutes. However, most smokers tend to smoke many sticks of cigarettes in a day. As you can see, caffeine & smoking stay in the body for a long time. Imagine how much a person addicted to caffeine & smoking can be sleep deprived!
Physiological Effects of Caffeine & Smoking:
- Makes the mind to be more alert.
- Leads to poor motor coordination.
- Can cause headaches and dizziness.
- Increases heartbeat.
- Increases the frequency of urination.
Caffeine & Smoking: Tips
Tips can be givem about caffeine & smoking. However, there is none that beat simply quitting caffeine & smoking. This is especially true for smoking which not only causes sleep difficulties but also serious health problems. Here are some other tips:
- Avoid taking caffeine in the second half of the day.
- Caffeine is not only found in caffeinated drinks but also cola, chocolate, tea and other soft drinks. Be sure to avoid these drinks/foods too.
- Optimize your sleep environment to be ideal for sleep.
- Use your bedroom for sleep and only.