CAFFEINE ADDICTION CAUSES SLEEP DEPRIVATION, ANXIETY

NICOLE HASEK, TRUMPET GUEST WRITER

Coffee is one way to help college students have more energy when feeling stressed and worn out because of classes, homework, sports or other activities. With the convenience of the Konditorei, Wartburg’s campus coffee shop, students have easy access to coffee any time during the day.

However, not all the effects of caffeine are positive.

“I feel more alert and aware after drinking coffee and more motivated,” Eva Schoell, first-year Wartburg student, said. “I’m also more calm having it in my system.”

Schoell has worked at the Konditorei for four months and drinks one to two cups of coffee a day. Even without the Konditorei within walking distance, students have access to coffee makers in the dorm rooms, the Den, the Zesty Orange and the Mensa.

Though some students claim the caffeine in coffee helps them focus enough to finish homework and pay attention in class, drinking too much can lead to negative side effects. A common side effect is sleep deprivation, according to Life Sciences Journal.

Students tend to get coffee from the Konditorei more during weekdays than weekends, which is when there are the most student activities on campus, according to Schoell. By drinking coffee every day, students can become dependent on it.

Small doses of caffeine can have positive effects on productivity and alertness, while larger amounts can cause an increase in anxiety, according to the New York Times.

Many students may drink coffee later in the day to maintain focus in the late afternoon. In 2008, over 76% of surveyed students at the University of Kentucky reported that they used caffeine to stay awake, according to Life Sciences.

Frequently drinking coffee to stay up late can lead to unhealthy sleep schedules, which can negatively affect concentration the following day. This is especially true when students have to wake up early for classes. To prevent this, students should avoid drinking coffee during the late afternoon, according to Life Sciences.

Most people who are addicted to caffeine are not true addicts, and can stop drinking coffee or other caffeinated products without much difficulty. However, frequent coffee drinkers often suffer temporary headaches and depression if a sudden decrease in coffee occurs, according to The New York Times.

To some students, coffee is a major source of energy. However, instead of relying on coffee to increase focus and productivity, students can practice healthier habits. This includes getting enough sleep and working on time management between schoolwork and other activities.

For more information about the effects of caffeine on the body and mind, go to heretohelp.bc.ca/infosheet/ learn-about-caffeine.

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