Many people enjoy a cup of coffee, or two, every single day. And many people suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, insomnia and depression. Is it just a coincidence or could there be a correlation between these mental health issues and caffeine intake?
According to mindbodygreen.com, “if you happen to suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, insomnia or depression, and you consume caffeine, it’s time to recognize that caffeine very likely plays a role in your symptoms.”
For those suffering with stress-induced disorders, the symptoms only get worse when caffeine enters the mix. That is because caffeine promotes the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which triggers a stress response in the body. For some people, this can cause panic and anxiety.
Those who suffer from insomnia should steer clear of caffeine, as well. Because caffeine has a half life of five to seven hours, that means that the caffeine from your 9 a.m. cup of Joe may still be lingering in your system at bedtime. It’s even stronger if you drink caffeine later in the day.
And we all know the cycle of drinking coffee to make up for lost sleep, and consequently not being able to sleep because of drinking said coffee.
If anxiety is more of a concern, then listen up. According to mindbodygreen.com, “put simply, coffee, tea, soda and other caffeine-containing products lower the stress threshold and augment your stress response.”
This means that “drinking caffeine makes your nervous system eager for a fight at all times.” Que the stress-inducing triggers: the scary email from your boss or the impending public speaking engagement, and your body will wreak havoc on itself. But remove the caffeine, and the anxiety response is less likely to happen.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, try going caffeine free for a week. If your symptoms subside, then you’ve found the culprit. And wouldn’t we all like to reduce some stress in our lives?