Easy wins: resist caffeine after midday and maybe score an afternoon nap | Life and style


Do you have trouble falling asleep straight away or are you prone to waking up in the middle of the night? Of the many things that could be interrupting your restful slumber, caffeine is among the most likely culprits.

Caffeine has a quarter life of 10 to 12 hours, meaning that if you have coffee to get through an early afternoon meeting, you could still have caffeine coursing through your system at midnight.

But as those who have ever tried cutting caffeine out entirely soon discover, the cure can be worse than the disease. Caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches for a week or more after, and that comes on top of the lethargy of no longer being able to indulge in your favourite pick-me-up.

The solution is simple, although not always easy to stick to: no caffeine after midday. Of course a piccolo at 2pm will taste great, but you’ll be cursing when you can’t switch your brain off later. Even tea, or a coke – best avoid them all.

Of course you’ll likely crash mid-afternoon. Have a piece of fruit. Or go for a run. But caffeine is not your friend. Did you know the uptake of caffeine was linked with the rise of capitalism and bosses squeezing more out of your work day?

Have one for yourself in the morning because it tastes great but don’t feel the need to sacrifice your sleep for ever greater levels of productivity in the day. Cut down and who knows, you might even be able to manage an afternoon nap!

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