Chances are, you or someone you know is suffering from sleep deprivation. Side effects include daytime fatigue, increased food consumption and slow reaction time.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, while adults need 7 to 9 hours. Unfortunately, many individuals don’t get the sleep they need due to busy schedules or difficulty sleeping. In addition, many people of all ages are consuming copious amounts of overly caffeinated beverages, which further complicates matters. Read on for more information on proper sleep and the dangers of energy drinks.
The Importance of Sleep
Humans’ natural wake and sleep cycles are determined by the body clock, known as the circadian rhythm. Sleep is essential to repair muscles, rebuild the immune system, store information into long-term memory, and be strong and focused for the next day. Stimulants such as external light, computer blue light and coffee and other caffeinated beverages or food products can easily disrupt the circadian rhythm. For example, individuals may choose to stay up late to hang out with friends or finish working on a project, grabbing a caffeinated beverage to stay alert along the way. This quick decision may have lasting effects on one’s sleep patterns, however.
Unfortunately, friendly marketing often overshadows the risks involved when consuming a highly caffeinated beverage. In addition to promising an energy boost, many drinks advertise increased focus, stamina and mental performance. Some brands highlight their vitamin-based additives, further distracting from the drink’s possible consequences. These beverages are readily available and accessible to children, teenagers and adults, and their popularity may make them seem safe. In reality, however, there are many possible negative side effects to consider.
The Dangers of Energy Drinks
Research published in 2013 and 2014 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that the number of emergency department visits involving such beverages doubled between 2007 and 2011 to more than 20,000 cases. Potential problems caused by the beverages can include:
- Dizziness or confusion
- Irregular or racing heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased blood sugar
- Insomnia and other difficulties sleeping
How could a can or two cause problems? Each can may contain five times as much caffeine as a single cup of coffee, so consuming them could lead to caffeine overdose. In addition, a 2015 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found a correlation between energy drinks and higher blood pressure, putting more strain on one’s system. The symptoms listed above may be amplified if the drink is consumed along with alcohol. It may not be worth these risks to continue a high-caffeine habit.
When to Visit eMedical Urgent Care
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above after drinking energy-boosting beverages, caffeine overdose could be the cause. Visit our walk-in clinic for a quick diagnosis and urgent medical care. We have convenient hours and locations in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, (908) 464-6700, and Middletown, New Jersey, (732) 957-0707.