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Food / Diet

How Caffeine Works

Learn what caffeine actually does to your body. While you probably know that caffeine can keep you awake, you may not understand how the substance actually works. Myths abound when it comes to caffeine, and its effects vary from person to person. By understanding how caffeine works, you can use it more efficiently. How It Stimulates You While you’re awake, the neurons in your brain fire away and produce a compound called adenosine as a byproduct. Adenosine is constantly monitored by your nervous system through receptors. Typically, when adenosine levels drop and hit a certain low level in your spinal cord and brain, your body will signal to you to start relaxing to prepare for sleep….

Foods to Eat for a Good Night’s Sleep

Set yourself up for sound slumber with these calming foods and beverages. Chances are, you know that eating heavy meals and certain foods can keep you up at night, and you probably try to avoid them.But you may not realize that some foods and beverages can actually put you in the mood to snooze. In particular, foods that contain tryptophan (an amino acid that turns into relaxing brain chemicals like serotonin and melatonin), whole-grain carbs (which boost serotonin production), certain minerals (like calming calcium and magnesium), and some herbs (that have a relaxing effect) can put you in a soporific state. If you want a night of sound slumber, consider having a light sleep-inviting…

How Do I Wean Myself From Caffeine?

If it isn’t agreeing with you or it’s risky for your health, take these steps to cut back. C’mon, fess up: Are you a java junkie? Is all the caffeine you’re consuming good for your body and mind? As much as you love the kick that you get from caffeine, there may be circumstances where you’d be better off reducing your intake, consuming it only in the morning, or quitting it altogether. These include… You’re Sensitive to It: Caffeine affects people differently, so just because an afternoon or evening cup of coffee won’t affect your spouse’s sleep doesn’t mean that it won’t affect yours.  Remember that caffeine is a powerful stimulant and its effects can…

How Much Caffeine Should You Really Be Having?

The magic hour: when to stop drinking coffee It can be hard to keep up with all the information that’s out there regarding caffeine. Is it bad for us or not? How much is too much? And how, exactly, does caffeine interfere with sleep? In terms of how much caffeine you should have, the general consensus is that up to 500 milligrams per day—or roughly the equivalent of four eight-ounce cups of brewed coffee—is safe for adults. Children, on the other hand, should have no more than 100 milligrams of caffeine a day. Drinking more than the recommended amount of caffeine per day can cause adverse side effects, many of which interfere with proper sleep cycles….

Four Afternoon Snacks to Keep You Awake

Try putting these eats in your mouth to keep your eyes open—no coffee required! It’s 3:00pm and you’re tempted to reach for that office candy stash or hit up the vending machine before that afternoon meeting. It’s only natural to feel a slight drag in energy in the midafternoon. But stay away from the empty afternoon calories and reach for these healthy snacks instead. These five items won’t give you the big crash afterward that coffee is known for (or the increase in heart rate!). Below, find out what to put in your mouth to keep your eyes open when you want to stay alert. (Don’t worry—all of them are delicious!) Green Tea. Dehydration can make you…

Easy Breakfast Recipes to Refuel After a Good Night's Sleep

Try these easy-prep breakfast recipes to help keep you energized all morning. You’ve heard the saying: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Whoever came up with this well-known phrase wasn’t kidding. After getting a good night’s rest, you’ll need to fuel your body to ensure productivity throughout the day—so your usual cup of coffee alone just won’t cut it. It’s best to add ingredients that burn energy slowly (think whole grains, as opposed “bad carbs” that are full of sugar and give you more extreme highs and lows), contain filling fiber and protein (so you won’t overeat later in the day), give you a caffeine boost, have a little unsaturated fat (not saturated…

Easy Bedtime Snacks You Can Make Yourself

10 sleep-inducing recipes for nighttime noshing When hunger pangs hit at night, it can be tough to know what to eat. You don’t want to have anything that will make you too full and cause you to toss and turn, but you also have to eat something or your growling stomach will keep you from falling asleep. The solution: Whip up one of these simple snacks and satisfy your appetite while preparing your body slumber. Turkey Roll-Ups: Spread cream cheese on slices of turkey, top them with some thin slices of cucumber, and roll them up (no bread required!). Warmed Milk: Whether you heat it up in the microwave or on the stovetop, add a…