On average, Americans are working more and sleeping less. According to Gallup polls, full-time employed citizens work an average of 47 hours per week, which equates to nearly six full days. And of course, more work leaves less time to decompress and sleep properly, precisely why most adults only catch about 6.5 hours of sleep, or 1.5 less than the recommended eight hours. All this fatigue means we reach for more caffeine to stay productive in our over-demanding lives. But caffeine is a drug like any other, and while it may seem harmless, you may be unknowingly hooked. Read ahead for 5 Signs you’re Hooked on Caffeine, and How to Cut Back:
1. You are Always Exhausted
While coffee or soda can give you an extra spring in your step, too much can leave you exhausted by midday. Some call this a “crash” and for good reason. Like any drug, there are both effects and withdrawals, and they often work in opposition to each other. While a healthy amount of caffeine can safely boost your energy levels, too much will just leave you worse off than before. If you are constantly fighting to keep your eyes open at 3 pm, it may be a sign that you’ve gone overboard.Related: The Superfoods to Get Rid of Fatigue
2. You are Freaking Out
According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over 40 million adults struggle with some form of anxiety, making it the most common mental illness in our country. Some common forms are social anxiety, general anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or phobias. While these numbers sound bleak, most cases are highly treatable with different forms of therapy. However, caffeine, being a stimulant, only aggravates anxiety issues. If you are chugging a coffee before an important meeting or interview, you may want to reconsider.