Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the US. According to an estimate, about 40 million adults fall prey to anxiety disorders every year.
Anxiety is a monster that engulfs your brain, your heart and your whole existence until you are a nervous wreck. So, for coffee and tea lovers with anxiety disorders, it is disappointing that caffeine and anxiety are interlinked. Coffee can make you feel jittery and on edge, According to the research.
Now, if you are not suffering from anxiety disorder, this may not be true for you. You can continue your love affair with coffee without any interventions.
But for people with anxiety disorders, the struggle is real. Without caffeine in your system, you feel drained, and your brain feels foggy. But with caffeine running through your veins, you feel anxious and jumpy.
And that is the reason why experts think caffeine is a trouble brewer for people with anxiety disorders. This stems from the fact that caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system due to which lots of symptoms related to anxiety can manifest.
Caffeine and Anxiety – Everything You Need to Know!
The fact that caffeine and anxiety are connected to each other is evident from the point that the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostics and statistical manual of mental disorders listed down caffeine-induced anxiety as a recognized mental disorder by caffeine.
Symptoms of Caffeine Triggered Anxiety
Caffeine is so widely used all over the world that people easily forget that it is a psychoactive drug. Many people will notice a range of symptoms after caffeine consumption that is somewhat similar to anxiety symptoms.
- Faster heartbeat
- Faster breathing rate
- The rise in body temperature
- Trouble falling asleep
- Feeling on edge
- Feeling Restless
- Ringing in the ears
So if you are a caffeine consumer with an anxiety disorder, you might want to look out for any of the above mentioned symptoms. It is better to halt your caffeine intake once you notice that caffeine is the culprit behind your anxiety.
Caffeine and Insomnia
Sleep deprivation is one of the common triggers for anxiety. Bad sleeping pattern directly affects our mental health. People with anxiety disorders suffer from a lack of sleep.
Caffeine is also known to induce insomnia. In fact, caffeine-induced insomnia is a psychiatric disorder recognized by psychiatrists. Caffeine is proven to reduce sleep, especially stage 3 and stage 4, which is particularly important for our mental well-being as the brain does its repairing routine at this stage of sleep.
No wonder, Caffeine, and anxiety, together with insomnia, is a recipe for disaster.
How Much Caffeine is Too Much?
Like with everything else, caffeine consumption also works on one basic rule “moderation is key”. According to the studies, taking more than 200 mg of caffeine (equivalent to two cups of coffee) can cause the caffeine-induced anxiety and panic attacks.
But here is an interesting thing about caffeine. It does not affect everyone in the same way. For some people, the caffeine threshold may be higher than others which is why they can consume more caffeine than others without any anxiety.
It all depends on how much your body is sensitive to caffeine. The best way to deal with it is to take notes and keep an eye on how your body reacts to a certain amount of caffeine per day.
How to Prevent Caffeine-Induced Anxiety?
Caffeine and anxiety are directly related to each other. People who are seriously dependent on Caffeine cannot function without it. The vicious cycle of caffeine-induced anxiety actually makes you crave and consume even more caffeine.
You had caffeine in any form; it induced anxiety, due to which you couldn’t sleep at night. In the morning, you feel drained and fatigued. What do you do as a coffee lover? That’s right; you will find yourself reaching for that coffee pot, again and again, to feel energized and be more productive.
And then you will get anxious again. And so the cycle continues.
Until you stop the cycle, but you need to be sure that it is indeed caffeine that is triggering your anxiety.
One method is to start noting down every gram of caffeine you consume. Caffeine can now be found in every other product such as chocolate, mints, gummy bears, energy drinks and pain medicines.
Next, you can cut back on your caffeine consumption. Take it slow. First, reduce your caffeine consumption by half and then go cold-turkey. Many people notice a positive change in their life, and they become less prone to anxiety disorder.
The Final Word
Some people might say that anxiety is just what it is, and nothing helps it. So stopping the caffeine consumption is not going to help. While i agree with the fact that anxiety is indeed a mental disorder that needs no reason, still knowing the anxiety cause can help you in one way or another.
Knowing that caffeine is responsible in the increase of your anxiety level, you can take do something about it. You can use that knowledge to your benefit and make the suitable changes to your lifestyle to better cope with the anxiety disorder.