He says it’s important to avoid caffeine – whether in the form of soda, tea, coffee or an energy drink – for at least six hours before bedtime because it can remain in your bloodstream and affect your ability to get needed shut-eye.
“It can become a vicious cycle,” Dr. Owolabi says. “When you rely on caffeine to help get you through the day, it can impede your ability to sleep the following night, which can prompt you to turn to caffeine again to get through the next day.”
Ultimately, the more we depend on caffeine to compensate for poor sleep, the worse we’re likely to feel and perform over time, he says. That’s why it’s important to talk to your family medicine physician or another qualified provider if you are routinely struggling to sleep.
“We sleep for so many more reasons than being alert,” Owolabi says. “If it gets to the point that you need caffeine every day just to get going, that’s something you want to talk about with your physician. We’re here to help.”