Caffeine and Sleep Apnea

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Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2022 at 3:31 pm    

Caffeine in the form of tea was discovered in China around 3000 years ago. As a species, we’ve been enjoying that stimulant’s buzz ever since. It’s rare to find someone today who doesn’t get their “caffeine fix” one way or another- whether it is through tea, coffee, soda pop, or an energy drink.

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may be curious about the effects that caffeine has on your sleep. Scientists have wondered that too, and have conducted multiple studies to determine whether there is a link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and caffeine consumption. We’ve compiled some of their findings for you.

The Positives of Caffeine

If you are reading this quickly and retaining what is being said, you may be enjoying caffeine’s primary selling point- it can improve focus and concentration. And when consumed in moderation, coffee and tea can decrease the risk of several cancers, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. Read on to decide if these benefits are worth the potential downsides, especially in relation to sleep.

The Cycle of Caffeine Reliance

Here’s a fun conundrum: what if the thing you use to fight grogginess makes it so you lose sleep and become groggy? We’ve all had those days when we rely on our favorite caffeinated beverage to get through it all without dozing off. Then, all the caffeine in our system gives us a jittery, fitful sleep, and we wake up the following day feeling even worse.

This cycle can be draining for anyone, especially someone dealing with sleep apnea. That’s why avoiding caffeine in the evening and maybe even the afternoon is important. Caffeine can take up to ten hours to completely clear your system.

The High Blood Pressure Connection

Caffeine consumption can be a contributing factor in the development of high blood pressure. If left unchecked, high blood pressure can cause sleep apnea. Suddenly, we have another destructive cycle. High blood pressure gives you sleep apnea, sleep apnea makes you need more caffeine during the day, and more caffeine during the day increases your blood pressure. You can see where this is all leading: moderation is best regarding caffeine consumption.

The Emotional Component of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

A lack of sleep can put someone on edge. Mood swings and depression are commonly reported by those with sleep apnea. The answer? Ingesting tons of caffeine to give you a lift, of course. Is this a good long-term solution? Not even close. By reducing your caffeine intake, you’ll sleep more soundly, feel better emotionally, and hopefully not need a chemical lift.

For Help with Your Sleep Apnea, Contact Us

If you have found yourself caught in a cycle of using caffeine to make up for a bad night’s sleep, contact Silent Night Therapy today. Take the first step in getting the sleep you need and call us at 631-983-2463.