Food and Sleep
- strong dose of caffeine can stimulate the mind for a short time, and then cause an alertness crash as the effect wears off. The best way to benefit from the stimulating effect of caffeine is to consume small amounts frequently throughout the day. Be careful not to consume caffeine too close to bedtime as its effect may persist for several hours.
- Energy Drinks: Help or Hype?
Based solely on the advertising campaigns, you would think that energy drinks have the power to turn mortal men into superheroes. In reality, most energy drinks are made with caffeine, essential amino acids, and loads of sugar. Rather than give you wings, these ingredients may increase sleepiness after an initial short-lived alerting affect. There is no magic drink on the market that will allow you to safely skimp on sleep. The only effective way to combat fatigue is to get adequate sleep on a regular basis.
- Alcohol: Sedative or Sleep Thief?
Many people use beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages at bedtime to help them fall asleep. This is unfortunate considering that alcohol is a poor sleep aid. Alcohol may help you to relax and fall asleep in the short term, but it can disrupt sleep over the course of the night. It also keeps you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, which may cause you to wake up still feeling tired despite having spent an adequate amount of time in bed.
Reviewed by David G. Davila, MD (December 2009).
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