In my last post, we discussed a crucial topic.
Not a single person will want to necessarily follow the following advice, but it has to be said. For most of the world’s population, this has the potential to have a much bigger impact than just reading this article. You basically have to cut down on caffeine – and if you ask any caffeine drinker, this will be an extremely difficult task to endure.
As discussed in a previous article, it’s absolutely imperative to manage and control your emotions, remaining calm under mass amounts of pressure. The reason for this is, is that it has a direct link to your performance. If you suffer from terribly managing your motions (in other words, you get angry or pissed off really easily), caffeine actually adds to the negativity of it all.
Most people drink caffeine for a couple reasons. The first reason is that it makes you more alert. So, lets take a situation for example. Lets say that you go to bed at a decently early time because you have to wake up early. It doesn’t matter if you get 8 or even 10 hours of sleep – waking up at 5am absolutely sucks. So, in that case, most people drink caffeine and it wakes them right up. This is obviously extremely helpful for a lot of people, myself included. Trust me, I’ve tried giving up caffeine before and it totally sucks. I’m always tired, cranky, etc.
However, many studies suggest that caffeine actually improves your task performance – this means but does not limit to memory, attention span, among other things. However on the flip side, these studies fail to consider the persons’ caffeine habits. There was a popular study done which concluded that performance actually increases due to caffeine, resulting because of caffeine drinkers experiencing a short-term reversal of caffeine withdrawal. In essence, the university concluded that caffeine-related performance improvement is nonexistent without caffeine withdrawal. Therefore in conclusion, if you come off caffeine it actually reduces your cognitive performance, plus this has a negative impact on your mood. There really is only one way to get back to normal is to continue to drink caffeine. It is quite the vicious cycle!
There’s also some decently bad news when it comes to drinking coffee. Drinking caffeine – whether it comes from coffee, or any other sort of resource, triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is basically that “flight or fight” response. What flight or fight means essentially is the survival mechanism. This goes all the way back to the cave man days. Imagine you’re out during the day, outside of your cave with your family. And then BAM – a giant lion comes into the picture. He’s looking at you and your family fiercely. What do you do? Well, the flight or fight response simply kicks in. Your brain literally says to you within a second or less, “fight this thing or fly from it”. I hope any one cave man or cave woman would flee from the fight, cause surely they would die.
The issue with this whole pumping of adrenaline thing, is that it literally overrides rational thinking. You start to get irritable, anxious and make all sorts of terrible decisions when it comes to your professional life. Why? Because once again, your flight or fight response is taking over.
Yourself becoming irritable and anxious are actually the most common effects of caffeine, however there are physical effects as well. There was a study done once – and in this study, it was concluded that large doses of caffeine raise blood pressure, it also stimulates the heart, and lastly produces rapid shallow breathing. This deprives the brain oxygen needed to keep your thinking calm and rational. Wow. Those are some seriously terrible side effects! I should probably stop drinking coffee.
There’s another ugly side to drinking caffeine too.
When you sit down after a long day at work and head to bed, your brain literally recharges just like a battery would. Your brain shuffles through the day’s memories and either storing them, or discarding them (which actually causes dreams – insane eh!). However when you don’t get enough sleep, your self-control, your memory, your focus and your information processing speed go right out the window. In order for you to wake up and feel one hundred percent rested, your brain actually has to call through multiple sleep cycles called REM. You literally help your brain go through REM much more efficiently when you cut down on caffeine.
If you want to get off of caffeine, here is what you will have to do: caffeine has an approximate six-hour half-life. This means that it takes a full twenty four hours to work its way out of your system. So basically what you want to do is half a cup of coffee at eight AM, and you will still end up having roughly twenty five percent of the caffeine in your body by eight pm. If you end up drinking some coffee or anything with caffeine after twelve pm, it will be at fifty percent by the time you reach eight pm. In conclusion, this makes it extremely hard to actually go to bed in get a good night’s sleep.
And when you do fall asleep? Really bad things end up happening. Caffeine literally disrupts the quality of your sleep. How does it do this? It reduces rapid eye movement sleep. This is the deep sleep when your body recharges from the day and processes emotions. When caffeine actually ends up disrupting your sleep, you wake up the next day all groggy. You’re naturally going to reach for yet another cup of coffee or some sort of energy drink to try and wake yourself up – or to try and make yourself more alert. The caffeine that enters your body produces a very strong surge of adrenaline, which in turn just extends the day to day, vicious cycle that you must endure.
Well that’s it! Thank you very much for reading my article and stay tuned for more awesome articles. This is Jarryd Fillmore from Grimsby and St. Catharines.