Sleep problems affect millions of Americans for a number of different reasons. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently labeled insufficient sleep a public health epidemic. In many instances, people can blame their difficulties on behavioral patterns that promote sleeplessness. For some, this means watching television late at night, drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. That said, for a rising number of people, sleep problems occur due to the consumption of caffeinated energy drinks.
Recent Study Raises Concern
A study out of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research recently found that caffeinated energy drinks were responsible for causing widespread insomnia amongst U.S. combat troops deployed to Afghanistan. In conducting their study, researchers found that approximately 50 percent of these servicemen reported that they slept no more than five hours each day. Ultimately, the study showed a strong correlation between energy drink consumption and insufficient sleep, with soldiers who drank more energy drinks getting less sleep than troops who drank fewer.
Sleep Hygiene vs. Physical Problems
To promote better sleep, the CDC recommends that Americans practice better sleep hygiene. For many, this means heeding the following advice:
- Go to bed at the same time, every single night.
- Avoid vigorous exercise for several hours before bedtime.
- Don’t eat for three hours prior to sleeping.
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine for several hours before trying to sleep.
While these tips may be useful for many insomniacs; they won’t help people who suffer from sleep apnea. Since it causes breathing disturbances, this dangerous disorder promotes what’s called “maintenance insomnia,” which causes a person to awaken frequently during the night without being able to return to sleep.