How to cope if you constantly crave coffee

How to cope if you constantly crave coffee

Pouring yourself a morning cup of coffee is part of the daily routine for many people. In fact, 66% of Americans age 18 or over drink a cup of coffee daily.

However, to realize the full benefits of coffee, it must be consumed in moderation. For many people, coffee is the main source of caffeine, a drug that serves as a central nervous system stimulant. It’s the world’s most used psychoactive drug.

“Patients who have trouble sleeping tend to also struggle with energy during the next day,” says Dr. Milind Mehta, a psychiatrist specializing in addiction at Aurora Health Care. “As their sleep is not refreshing, they will utilize the most common stimulant  – caffeine  – to improve their focus and energy. The effects start wearing off, which requires frequent administrations of [caffeine] to keep up the performance. This usually results in delayed onset and shorter duration of sleep – the same effects which are desirable during day time then become undesirable at night.”

Like any other drug, the clearest evidence you’re addicted to caffeine is that you experience withdrawal symptoms when you’re taking it. The most common symptom is a headache, but other symptoms can also include irritability, lack of concentration, depression, fatigue, lethargy and even nausea and vomiting.

But you can mitigate the withdrawal symptoms and reduce your dependency on caffeine:

  • Reduce your intake over time. If you are drinking eight cups a day, reduce it to six, then four, etc. over the course of a few weeks.
  • Slowly switch to decaf. If you love the taste of coffee, start by blending decaf and regular coffee before moving to only decaf.
  • Consider drinking lower caffeine or no-caffeine tea. A cup of coffee contains between 65- 150 mg of caffeine. By comparison, green tea contains 30 mg, and white tea contains 15-20 mg of caffeine per cup. Herbal teas like chamomile are caffeine-free.

“People need to keep the adverse effects of caffeine in mind when consuming a significant quantity of it,” says Dr. Mehta. “Therefore, I would recommend daily intake of no more than 250mg per day.”

While drinking coffee can increase your productivity and benefit your health, there is a risk of dependence, which can be detrimental. Monitoring and reducing your caffeine intake enables you to harness its benefits while keeping your health and well-being in check.

Do you have trouble sleeping? Learn more about sleep apnea by taking a free online quiz. 

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  1. Dr, john Steichen May 14, 2020 at 5:28 pm · Reply

    I am addicted and dependent on decaf coffee. Help me 😂
    Dr. John Steichen

  2. Barbara L Maas May 15, 2020 at 4:19 pm · Reply

    LOL If that’s the case, it’d be hilarious to see you after a few cups of caffeinated coffee. I have this mental image of scraping you down off the walls? LOL Wish I could find a good decaf though for when I’d like coffee in the evening.

  3. Jeanine Devoe May 15, 2020 at 6:56 pm · Reply

    I enjoy my cup of coffee in the morning.

  4. Recovering coffee addict here! What has helped me is replacing my black cup of coffee with carbonated mineral water. It has just the right kick to fill the void left by my coffee routine.

  5. I enjoy a cup or two in the morning reading the news on my iPad. The cat I’m babysitting cuddles up next to me, maybe she like the smell.

  6. Adrienne Nelson June 1, 2021 at 7:51 pm · Reply

    What is refreshing sleep? 76 years old and I still don’t know. I guess I never will.

  7. What about mentioning the benefits of drinking black coffee? I’ve seen research claiming drinking 5 cups of black coffee per day can ward off Alzheimers…

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.