Caffeine abstinence linked to increased sleep problems in older women

Caffeine abstinence linked to increased sleep problems in older women – A Dutch study found that abstaining from caffeine can increase sleep disturbances in older women. The study suggested that sleep quality and caffeine intake were linked in a sex-specific manner, with older women who abstained from consuming caffeine experiencing shorter and more disturbed sleep than those who did not abstain.

This association was not observed in older men. The findings highlight the potential impact of caffeine abstinence on sleep health, particularly in older women.

Background

  • Optimal sleep is crucial for well-being and health, particularly as we age.
  • Roughly 25% of adults over 65 experience poor sleep quality or duration, impacting physical and mental health.
  • Sleep can be affected by age-related factors like health conditions, medications, and behavioral factors.
  • Modifiable factors like diet, including caffeine intake, can also influence sleep.

About the Study

Researchers analyzed data from the Longitudinal Ageing Study Amsterdam, involving adults aged 55-85.

Data from 2018-2019 was used, including information from participants added later.

Two structured interviews assessed sleep disturbances (onset, continuity, early wake-up), sleep duration, and caffeine intake (tea and coffee, including decaffeinated options).
Sociodemographic factors and other potential confounders were also collected.

Results

The link between caffeine and sleep differed by sex.
Women who abstained from caffeine had shorter sleep and more disruptions than caffeine consumers.
No such association was observed in men, and there was no link between caffeine and longer sleep in either sex.

Comparison to Other Studies

Some studies support these findings, while others link high coffee intake with shorter sleep.
The authors suggest discrepancies may relate to how caffeine intake is measured (including all caffeinated beverages vs. just coffee).

Alternative ways to improve sleep quality in older women

Minimize or eliminate alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine: As we age, our ability to metabolize these substances changes, and minimizing or eliminating them can help improve sleep quality.

Maintain a routine: Going to bed at the same time every night and getting out of bed at the same time every morning can significantly improve sleep quality.

Stay active: Physical and social activity are cues for the body to be awake and can make you more ready for sleep at night.

Avoid afternoon naps: Napping during the day can make it harder to fall asleep at night, so it’s best to avoid or limit afternoon naps.

Relaxation techniques: Engaging in relaxation techniques before bed, such as taking a warm bath, meditating, or deep breathing, can help improve sleep quality.

Develop a bedtime routine: Taking time to relax before bedtime each night, such as reading a book or listening to soothing music, can signal to the body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.

These strategies can contribute to better sleep quality in older women by addressing various factors that can impact sleep.

What is the recommended daily caffeine intake for older women

The recommended daily caffeine intake for older women is up to 400 milligrams, as suggested by medical experts.

This is equivalent to about three to five cups of coffee, depending on the coffee strength and serving size.

It’s important for older women to monitor their caffeine consumption, as it is not only found in coffee but also in other beverages and products such as tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate.

Excessive caffeine intake can lead to various side effects, so it’s essential to stay within the recommended limit for better health, including improved sleep quality. Study source

Conclusion

This study suggests that caffeine abstinence may negatively impact sleep in older women. More research is needed to understand the complex relationship between caffeine, sleep, and sex differences.

ALSO READ: Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms and How Long They Last (Duration)

Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by shalw

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