Living in Seattle we are surrounded by coffee shops, and I’ll admit it, I get it. A warm latte is like an oasis in this grey, dismal, and wet city. That is how many Seattlites operate; let’s face it, Starbucks was founded in 1971, and Microsoft followed soon there after in 1975. But as I was driving home from clinic this afternoon I spotted a billboard on the side of an espresso shop that said: “Good nights sleep? We can fix that!” Something about that sign did not sit well with me.
America is sleep deprived. We are working too hard and sleeping too little. Bedtimes get pushed back further and further in to the night as the television flickers in many homes each evening. As stress goes up and sleep goes down, our stress hormones skyrocket, which can help lead to obesity, another huge problem in America these days. To top off everything, the foods that we eat are not supportive of our health and this makes the situation even worse.
Drinking too much caffeine is like using a credit card. If you buy something that you can’t afford at the time, pretty soon, you will have to pay for it, plus interest. Having 3-4 cups of coffee a day to “keep you going” can drain out your supply of stress hormones causing severe exhaustion. Eventually you will have to build back your supply through proper eating and most importantly, sleep.
Everyone misses out on their 8 hours once in a while, but I believe it is important not to skimp on sleep too frequently. An afternoon latte or two wont hurt every so often, but every day it can be a detriment to achieving optimal health, not to mention each one runs you about 200 calories.
Do you depend on coffee for your afternoon boost? What other ways do you find energy to get you through the day?