You’ve probably noticed that I talk quite a lot about coffee and caffeine use within my tired community.
That’s because it is commonly used to help people stay awake and stimulated.
The reason I don’t promote it is that it is not known to enhance memory function or other executive function loss that is associated with fatigue – I’d much rather you had a day time nap if you are sleep deprived.
The nap will reduce your sleep debt, coffee won’t.
So, in the interest of balance on my blog here’s a video on some of the benefits of coffee:
Interestingly and importantly, please note the mention that coffee activates the ‘flight or flight’ response which keeps us alert.
However, if you are tired, this response (although important – “in the moment” – if you are driving home tired, for example) will also exhaust your adrenals if overused – so keep that in mind.
That’s part of “fatigue”, where stress, anxiety, worry, an overstimulated lifestyle, violent television etc causes our ‘fight or flight’ responses to kick in – sometimes unnecessarily. For example, if you are watching a violent television program you can unnecessarily evoke responses because our neurology doesn’t distinguish properly between real life and what we are watching on television.
There appears to be no getting round the fact that the only way to reduce sleep debt is by sleeping – which includes napping.
Remember that caffeine is addictive – so if you find yourself wanting more and more to get the same response be aware of that. Pull back your intake in a sensible way, because I’ve seen studies that indicate that you really aren’t functioning fantastically if you are not getting your normal caffeine hit. e.g. you might not reduce your caffeine intake during university exam periods – much better to do it well before exam season, and use napping during stu vac (study vacation) to integrate your revision and improve memory functions.
Look, I know most of you reading this are using coffee – I do myself – so lets share a few ways that coffee actually helps.
And from the video, the best coffee is real coffee (not instant), black, without sugar!
Not my preference: I’ll test out the waters to make a change!
What is your best use of coffee when you feel tired?