Caffeine is a stimulant, and too much can leave you feeling jittery and nervous. Items that can contain caffeine include:
- Hot cocoa
- Soft drinks such as colas, some root beers, etc. (check the ingredient list to see if caffeine is listed as an ingredient)
- Most energy drinks
Although we know it is hard to eliminate caffeine from your diet, you may want to limit your intake if it is inhibiting your ability to relax or sleep. If you normally drink coffee, consider switching to decaf (which usually still has some caffeine), or drink tea instead. Both green and black teas contain healthy antioxidants and don't raise our levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, like coffee can. Hot chocolate can also be a soothing drink, particularly if you make it with some warm milk.
Caffeine can stimulate you for a short time, and then cause a "crash" as this wears off. If you drink caffeinated beverages, it is best to drink them in small amounts, and wean off them if you are cutting back. Be careful not to drink caffeine too close to bedtime as its effect may last for up to 5 hours.