Have you ever been so tired that you know your judgment is impaired but for whatever reason you couldn’t get any shuteye? What about getting up in the morning and feeling more tired than when you went to bed?
As I pointed out in Keeping Watch Once It’s Hit the Fan, if things go sideways there might be a need for you to stand watch. If it’s just you and your family, how can you make sure you stay alert enough to stand watch and keep everyone safe? The potential solution to this problem is caffeine.
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in a variety of plants. It can heighten your alertness and provide a boost of energy. Caffeine is commonly found in coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, energy drinks as well as some medications.
A safe daily limit is 200 – 300 milligrams, which equates to 2-4 cups of coffee. When used in moderation, caffeine can be used to wake you up in the morning or help you keep going through the day.
As was just stated, caffeine used in moderation has an upside. However, overuse can lead to dependency. If you’re drinking four cups of coffee to get going, a diet soft drink mid-morning, another with lunch and a couple throughout the rest of the day, there is a good chance you’re dependent on it. Diet Dr. Pepper is my drink of choice. I used to drink 8-10 a day! I used to say caffeine had no effect on me, that I could drink a Diet Dr. Pepper right before bed, go to bed and fall asleep just fine. I was abusing it and was dependent on it.
Once dependent on caffeine, the withdrawal headaches can be horrific. If you decide to being limiting your intake, it is suggested to cut it in half for a day or two, and then in half again and on and on until you’re consuming a healthy amount.
I am now only consuming two cans of Diet Dr. Pepper a day. I made the mistake of having a couple cans late one evening and I am definitely affected by it now; I think I saw the clock strike 02:00.
The idea of getting some of those energy shot drinks has occurred to me in the past. Before I limited my intake I took one on a day with little sleep, and surprise, surprise, it didn’t affect me. It only made me yawn louder. Now however, I think having a few on hand to help me be aware, should I ever need to be awake and alert late at night, is probably a good idea.
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