How to counter the effects of caffeine

Written by zachary mitton
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Caffeine is one of the most popularly used drugs in the world. People commonly get caffeine from coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate. The specific effects of caffeine vary from person to person but usually last for more than six hours. The increased level of alertness that caffeine causes is usually helpful but can become a problem if it keeps you up when you want to sleep.

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    Countering the Effects of Caffeine

  1. 1

    Try a deep-breathing technique to help relax your body and fall asleep. By focusing all your attention on your breathing, you take your mind off of other thoughts that might keep you awake. It also helps your body to enter a relaxed state. Slowly inhale, allowing the air to fill your lungs over the course of eight to 10 seconds. Focus on letting the air fill the lower part of your chest, then up to your upper chest. Hold your breath for about two seconds and slowly exhale. Keep doing this until you fall asleep.

  2. 2

    Try the quiet ears technique if deep breathing doesn't put you to sleep. Put your hands behind your head and relax them. Put your thumbs in your ear canals so that your ears are plugged. You should hear a high-pitched rushing sound. Hold this position for 10 to 15 minutes. Then place your arms at your sides and relax. You should now be able to fall asleep easily.

  3. 3

    Test to see whether you are addicted to caffeine. One problem with getting addicted to caffeine is that you will probably start to develop a cumulative loss of sleep, which will make you tired and drowsy all the time. A snowball effect usually occurs when a person starts to feel tired all day because he has used more caffeine to counter his tiredness, which in turn causes him to lose even more deep sleep at night. Try going a day without any caffeine and see how it affects you. If you start to feel tired, depressed or get headaches, you are probably addicted to caffeine.

  4. 4

    Cure your addiction. Fortunately, it isn't too difficult to cure a caffeine addiction without suffering severe symptoms of withdrawal. Don't stop taking caffeine cold turkey. Instead, slowly lower your caffeine intake each day. Start by drinking smaller and fewer cups of coffee. Try mixing some decaf coffee with your regular coffee. If you drink tea, boiling the tea bags for less time will put less caffeine in your tea. Try to drink only caffeine-free pop, or better yet, just drink water. While gradually lowering your caffeine consumption, you might still begin to suffer from some caffeine withdrawal symptoms. The best way to counter the withdrawal symptoms is with plenty of sleep and exercise.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't try drinking tons of water to flush caffeine out of your system quickly. You may be able to flush the caffeine out a little quicker but it will do you no good if you're rushing to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  • Don't try taking any medications to help fall asleep while under the effects of caffeine without first consulting your doctor. Mixing caffeine with certain drugs can be dangerous.

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