Drinking energy drinks regularly can trigger sleep problems like insomnia. Here are the side effects of energy drinks on sleep and what you should drink instead!

Whether it is late-night study sessions or a stretched day at work, energy drinks are the first thing you grab the moment tiredness takes over! While it gives you a boost of energy, have you ever wondered if they are healthy for you or not? Well, having energy drinks might not be the best for you after all! It turns out that these caffeinated drinks can lead to sleep problems. A new study has found a troubling link between energy drink consumption and the inability to sleep properly.

A study published in the BMJ Open found that consuming energy drinks regularly can lead to poor quality sleep and insomnia among college students. It was found that the more people drank these drinks, the fewer hours of sleep they got. so, think before adding these drinks to your nighttime routine!

What are the side effects of energy drinks on your sleep pattern?

For the study, the researchers included more than 53 thousand people between the ages of 18 and 35. They were asked multiple questions regarding the consumption of energy drinks – daily, weekly, and monthly. They were also questioned about their sleep patterns to evaluate how energy drinks affected their sleep cycle.

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After a thorough analysis, it was found that both men and women who consumed energy drinks daily slept more than half an hour than those who drank them occasionally. The more the consumption of these drinks, the poorer their sleep efficiency. Also, men and women who consumed these drinks regularly experienced insomnia more than the people who drank them occasionally or never.

Daily consumption of energy drinks also increases the risk of sleeping fewer than 6 hours a night in men. Women were 87 percent more likely to do so. However, it was found that people who drink them more than 1-3 times a month were also at an increased risk of sleep problems.

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Why does drinking energy drinks lead to sleep problems?

Regular or daily consumption of three or more of these drinks per day can lead to negative sleep outcomes. Dr Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietitian at Manipal Hospital, says it has a lot to do with your body’s circadian rhythm. “The body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, plays a vital role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. This circadian rhythm is responsible for making a person feel sleepy at night and awake during the day this gets totally disturbed with excess energy drinks intake,” she explains.

The high levels of sugar in these drinks can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, which can make you feel lethargic and sluggish which also affects your sleep cycle. Did you know that 50 percent of the caffeine in these drinks stays in your body even after six hours? So, you should make sure that you are not relying on these drinks to keep you energetic throughout the day.

How much energy drink is enough for you?

It is clear that you should not drink energy drinks on a regular basis. Dr Raj recommends not drinking over 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, which is equal to 4 cups of coffee a day. However, an energy drink may contain more caffeine than the recommended amount.

Plus, drinking too many of these drinks or consuming them regularly has been associated with dehydration, irregular heart beats and anxiety.

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Dinking too many energy drinks can trigger problems. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Healthy drinks you should have instead

Since energy drinks are not the healthiest for you, it is time for you to try its substitutes that are better for your body and does not disrupt your sleep patterns.

Coffee, black tea, green tea, dark chocolate, milkshakes, fruit juice, tender coconut water, infused water, fruit or vegetable smoothie, and protein shakes are still better than caffeinated drinks that you can have, recommends the dietitian.

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