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When Should One Stop Drinking Coffee Before Bed?

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Coffee is a well known stimulant which has pros and cons. Assuming one is okay with ingesting the caffeine that coffee possesses, the big question is: how late in the day can one drink it? At what point will it affect sleep. Sure, there are people who can go to sleep soon after drinking coffee, but is it healthy? We conducted a survey (results below) and also researched general attributes of caffeine. 

What is Caffeine?

Scientifically speaking, caffeine is defined as a bitter alkaloid C8H10N4O2 found mostly  in coffee, tea, cacao, and kola nuts. It is used both medicinally, and as a stimulant and diuretic. The Coffea Arabica seed is the most common source of caffeine. Caffeine is extracted from the plant by steeping it in water. This process is known as infusion.

The Coffee Science Information Center says that caffeine serves as a drug that activates the central nervous system, which then causes temporary stimulating effects. The Center states that it is the most widely consumed pharmacologically active substance in the entire world.

Coffee & Caffeine

How much caffeine is found in coffee? A typical brewed 8 oz cup will contain between 95 – 200 mg of caffeine. Instant coffee contains a tad less, as an 8 oz cup will only have between 27 – 173 mg of caffeine. A specialty drink such as a latte will contain between 63 – 175 mg of caffeine. The CSI Center conducted a study in 2013 whih found that 63% of Americans drink coffee every day.

Coffee Effects on Sleep

The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine conducted a study which tested the effects of caffeine on sleep when ingested 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed. The results were conclusive: when compared with a placebo, caffeine ingested at both 0, 3 and 6 hours before bedtime caused significant effects on sleep disturbance. That is why the absolute the minimum that one should ingest caffeine before bed is 6 hours.

It should be noted that caffeine ingestion at 6 hours before bedtime was less disruptive than at 3 or 0 hours. At 6 hours, roughly 1 hour of sleep was lost. This study noted that 68.5% of people consume caffeine in the evening (between 6 pm and 12 am) which would prove to be very detrimental to these people’s nightly sleep sessions.

Other studies support the hypothesis of caffeine’s harmful effects. The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology conducted a study in 1974 which explored overall sleep disturbances from those who ingested 300 milligrams of caffeine at night. Not only did the subjects experience trouble falling asleep, but were unable to read deep sleep stages and woke often.

Caffeine: Coffee vs Tea, Soda, Energy Drinks & Medicine

Black tea 8 oz. 14-70 mg
Black tea, decaffeinated 8 oz. 0-12 mg
Green tea 8 oz. 24-45 mg
Coca Cola 12 oz. (237 mL) 23-35 mg
Pepsi 12 oz. 32-39 mg
Sprite 12 oz. 0 mg
Red Bull 8.4 oz. 75-80 mg
5 Hour Energy 2 oz. 200 mg
Excedrin Extra Strength 1 tablet 65 mg

 

Sleep Experts Weigh In

We asked a number of sleep experts when they think one should stop drinking coffee during the day/night. The full survey and experts’ information and websites can be seen in our published sleep experts survey.

  1. James- 6 hours
  2. Kathryn- 4 hours
  3. Bea – 6 hours
  4. Jordan – 12 hours
  5. Hannah – 5 hours
  6. Shannon – For adults, usually 6 hours, but for people who are really sensitive to caffeine, nothing after12pm.  
  7. Laura- This doesn’t apply to children,but refraining from caffeine completely is ideal.
  8. Jenn- Depends on how it affects you, but should stop drinking coffee after lunch. (~8 hrs).
  9. Angelique – 6 hours
  10. Dr Emsellem- At least 6 hours
  11. Mayah- No coffee of caffeine after lunch
  12. Niam -4 hours
  13. Debbie – Depends on the person. I would say 4 hours.

What Are The Best Sheets For Night Sweats?

Night Sweats

What are the best sheets for night sweats?

Night sweats can be the arch-nemesis of a good nights sleep. Brought on by a hot summer, finicky furnaces, or even menopause, drenched sheets in the morning are never any fun. If this is happening to you, you’re probably on the lookout for solutions to your sweating sorrows.

The fact is, that different types of bedding have a big impact on your level of nightly perspiration, and the over all comfort level of your bed, if you do sweat a lot. Changing your style of sheets can be a way to improve your sleep and negotiate undesired sweating.

One of the first key factors to look in new sheets is the thread count. Thread count refers to the number of threads packed into each inch of the fabric, therefore the higher the thread count, the denser the material will be. High thread count makes for durable, luxurious sheets, but also means that the material will be less air-permeable, and thus tend to generate conditions that lead to sweating more easily. To keep things aired out, try getting 300 or less thread count sheets. The lower density of threads makes for easier airflow and dryer sleeping environment.

The next thing to consider is the type of fabric employed. In general, natural fabrics are going to win out over manmade materials. This means cotton, silk, and rayon will do better in general then polyester. Wool is a good for moisture control in clothing, but with its rough surface, probably not a good choice for sheets!

Having chosen the fabric, you then want to consider the type of weave. Flannel, being fuzzy and warm, is commonly laid down in winter months, so if you’re having sweaty nights, probably avoid this.

Satin gets the reputation of being good at moisture control, keeping the body cool and its sleek surface allowing the body to slid and be free amongst the sheets, without being tangled up in a hot sweaty mess. Satin is usually made from silk or polyester.

Sateen Sheets

Sateen, the cousin of satin, is essentially satin that is made from cotton. This makes it a good choice for the night sweats, combining the cool, silky weave of satin and the soft, air permeable, moisture absorbing qualities of cotton. Sateen is more durable then satin.

Percale is another good option, providing a cool to the touch weave, though more prone to wrinkles then other sheets.

If none of these options work, you might want to try getting a double layered sheet specifically designed to wick moisture from high-sweating individuals. Using dual fabric types allows for high performance wicking combined with tolerable texture for comfortable sleep.

Whatever your case, no one deserves to suffer in a sweating situation. Examine your bedding situation, and consider implementing any of the mentioned changes to improve your sleep.

How To Prevent Sheets From Balling Up In The Dryer

“Ka-Thump!…Ka-Thump!…Ka-Thump!…”

No, it’s not a robber in your basement, it’s merely your washing machine’s next stage of evolution – fledgeling attempt to ambulate across the room. And of course, it sucks to hear the buzz of the dryer, go and open the door, and be greeted with a tangled mass of fabric still damp in the middle. Thankfully, this need not be a repeating problem; in fact, just a few points of laundry 101 can help reduce the dreaded sheet-ball phenomena.

1.Make sure there is adequate room in the dryer. Do not overfill.

As you’ve probably noticed, the dryer tends to be less effective the fuller it gets. Aside from lowering the air/clothing ratio, having more items in the dryer mean the sheets won’t be able to flop around as freely, increasing their chances of getting tangled up with other clothing. This is even more an issue if you have larger sheets.

Yes this may mean more quarters spend on laundry, or more natural gas used to dry up your kingsize silken bedding, but spinning the load again is going to cost you the same as splitting it up into smaller, more manageable loads first.

2.Toss a small object like a tennis ball into the dryer with the sheets.

My mom always put a shoe in the dryer when we washed our sleeping bags. The logic was that the shoe would break up clumps of down and result in a properly fluffed sleeping bag at the end of the cycle. Well, a shoe is probably a bit more rough on your clothing then necessary, but a tennis ball or similar object will do just fine. The ball will knock the sheet around and should help prevent it from folding in on itself.

3.Make sure the sheet is untangled before you put it in the dryer.

This may seem obvious, but do you simply throw the damp mass of clothing from the washer straight into the dryer without a second thought? I know I do this.

The fact is, that the dryer could have a hard time undoing the twists imparted by the washing machine (can silk sheets be machine washed?), leading to less then satisfactory drying. In order to prevent this, when you’re removing your sheets and other large fabrics from the washer, take a moment to open them up, untwist them, and separate any other bits of clothing that may be stuck to them. When you put it in the dryer, take care to avoid folding or twisting up the sheet, so that it can turn and tumble as freely as possible.

To summarize, the moral of the story is to reduce the load, so that you don’t have to recycle the dryer. And throw in a tennis ball. Because who doesn’t like having a ball between the sheets?:)

Do Satin Sheets Make You Sweat?

Night Sweats

If you’re looking into purchasing new sheets, it’s a good idea to check out the options available to you. Are you a hot sleeper? Cool sleeper? Different types of sheets have their own unique strengths. In my family, winter usually meant throwing on the warm fuzzy flannel sheets, while summer brought with it the thin, basic cotton variety.

If you’re leaning towards the sleek, silky smoothness of satin sheets, you might be wondering if sweat will be a issue. Maybe you’re prone to night sweats, going through menopause, or just wonder if the shiny surface of good satin sheets makes them prone to sweaty nights (not to mention romance induced fervor..)

The word satin itself refers to the type of weave, and can be made from a variety of different fabrics, with cotton, polyester, and silk being the most common. In the 12th century, silk was first exported to Europe via the Arab countries, largely from a port in China called Zeyton by the Arabs. The name “Zeyton” made its way to Europe and became the ‘Satin’ we know today. Being made of expensive silk and having a high thread count (thread count measures the quantity of threads used per inch, and thus overall fineness of the fabric), satin was reserved for the families the wealthy and royals. This ‘royal’ and luxurious aura of satin still persists to this day.

Setting aside the satin weave, silk itself has had a longstanding reputation for possessing unparalleled wicking qualities and thus providing sweat-proof warmth, which explains its history of being used to make the best quality cold weather long underwear. These properties make silk satin sheets good bet for preventing sweat related Satin Sheetsissues in bed.

Looking at satin woven of cotton or polyester, we see some of the same principles at play. Cotton, though not as good as silk, is known to be very absorbent. Polyester though very durable and inexpensive, isn’t known for being as absorbent. That being said, many online reviews indicate that even polyester satin helped them avoid over sweating.

If sweat is a concern, another good thing to consider is the impacts of thread count. Although a high thread count makes for a very sleek look, when taking into account the presence of sweat, a lower thread count means that there are more minute gaps between the threads, which will allow for greater airflow, and thus reduce moisture build up. Satin pillowcases could be helpful for this increased airflow.

To summarize, silk satin sheets can provide sweat-proof warmth. Polyester satin can help protect against sweat, and pure satin can as well. Satin sheets can be a great choice for a variety of seasons, but make sure to do your research regarding thread count, material choice, and consider your personal sleeping habits before investing in a good set of sheets!

 

How to Prevent Sheets from Pilling

By definition, a “pill” is a surface defect made up of a small ball of fibers. A pill starts to form when fibers rub against themselves or another surface. As agitation of the pill continues, a collection of fiber will appear as clinging balls. When sheets develop pills they can be unsightly and uncomfortable, causing your sheets to become scratchy. You can prevent pilling on organic cotton sheets or any type of cotton sheets by practicing proper care and by purchasing the right kind of sheets to begin with. Though nearly all fibers can experience pilling, cloths such as silk and linen are less likely to pill than others. 100 Cotton sheets and other types of delicate fabrics that go through long-term usage and repeated washings will experience frayed fiber endings that become tangled, leading to tiny knots or pilling that can pick up lint, dust, and other ripped and tangled fibers.

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Any fabrics made from shorter fibers, such as cotton, will experience a higher likelihood of pilling. Cotton sheets that are made from a mixture of blended fabric, such as cotton-polyester, are more likely to pill than 100 cotton sheets. Shop for a 100% cotton sheet that is smooth to the touch. Try to avoid sheets that look thin or rough and those that contain polyester. A good investment would be Pima, Egyptian, or Supine Cotton. These fibers are high quality and won’t be easily knotted.

To prevent pilling, always wash your sheets in a short wash cycle and use gentle liquid detergent. A front load washer set horizontally is more gentle on the sheets than a top load washer with a spindle or agitator. Make sure to dilute the detergent and don’t overuse it as this can cause stiff and discolored fabric. Avoid hot temperatures when washing and drying as this can weaken the fibers. Stay away from using brighteners or bleach as this can also weaken the material. Add ½ cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle as this will help prevent future pilling. Use the lowest heat setting when drying, although the best option would be to hang dry on a line. Store laundered sheets in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

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If your sheets do start to pill, trim away the raised surface with a clothes shaver. A hardware store, online appliance distributor or a fabric store often stocks these hand-held shavers. A disposable razor has also been known to work and inexpensive to use. Just run the razor over the pills in short strokes while holding the fabric tight. You may find afterwards that your sheets look like new again with this simple technique! Also, you can look into purchasing bed sheet grippers to keep the sheets on the bed – though this is more of a secondary solution to pilling, and not as effective as using a clothes shaver.

By investing in high quality cotton sheets and following simple steps during the wash and dry process, you can prevent future pills and knots from ruining your sheets.