It’s Day 18 of the Mykidstime 21 Day Health & Fitness Challenge! If you missed yesterday’s video, catch up with Day 17 here.
Our health and wellbeing expert, Fiona O’Donnell, explains what’s involved for Day 18 in the video below. We want you to tell us during the challenge how you are getting on so tag us on social using #mkt21days and we’ll give you some encouragement!
Mykidstime 21 Day Health & Fitness Challenge: Day 18 – Caffeine
If you love a good cup of coffee as much as I do, then this one is going to be hard for you! I’m sorry but I too at one stage had a questionable caffeine habit and I didn’t recognize or realize at the time, but my caffeine consumption of maybe four or five cups a day was impacting my sleep. I didn’t think it was impacting my energy levels throughout the day, because caffeine is supposed to give you energy right?
Without going into the science of it, there are receptors in our brain and in our system that attach to a chemical, mop it all up and we don’t feel sleepy anymore and we move on throughout our day. But caffeine also binds to these receptors and when we drink our coffee first thing in the morning and then that coffee wears off, that’s how we end up having that slump where we need coffee and chocolate.
What I’ve attempted to do now is to give myself an hour to an hour and a half in the mornings drinking herbal tea before I begin to have my one or two cups of coffee of the day. You might feel that’s impossible, but if you’re waking up in the morning and dragging yourself out of bed, we need to go back and look at the previous two sleep videos – how much sleep are you getting and what are your barriers to sleep.
If your coffee or caffeine consumption is very high, then you might want to look at reducing it. I started by introducing some caffeine-free coffee which wasn’t the worst in the world, and slowly but surely those caffeine withdrawal headaches dissipated. I really enjoy the flavour of coffee, but I was also drinking coffee right up until 8pm and that was impacting my sleep.
Now, I try not to drink coffee beyond 3pm and by the time I’m getting ready to go to bed at about 10.30/10.45pm, the caffeine has reduced in my bloodstream in strength to about half of when I drank the first cup.
Caffeine has a half-life of about eight hours and that means that after approximately eight hours it has reduced in strength in our bloodstream by half, so that means that if we have a cup of coffee at 3pm, by 11pm we’re just about starting to wean ourselves down.
Your task for today is to look back at your caffeine consumption – tea, coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, etc – and look at when you have your first dose of caffeine in the day and when you have your last dose of the day.
Try to make sure that it doesn’t happen after 2/3pm, depending on what time you’re planning on going to bed, your last coffee/caffeine intake should be a little over eight hours before your planned bedtime so that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.
If you have any questions throughout the Challenge, email Fiona or send her a message on Instagram, Facebook and use hashtag #mkt21days to let us know how you are getting on with the Challenge!