Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on February 21, 2012

Sources

Michael J. Breus, PhD, American Board of Sleep Medicine, Clinical Psychology, Clinical Sleep Disorders, Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine, Atlanta.

© 2009 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD Archive

Video Transcript

Narrator: How can I tell if caffeine is the cause of my insomnia?

Michael Breus, PhD Sleep Specialist: Generally speaking, just looking at the overall amount of caffeine is the first place I tell people to go. You shouldn't be ingesting more than about 250 milligrams of caffeine in any particular day according to the National Sleep Foundation. And I like to use that as kind of a guide. And so, if you're ingesting more than that, I would say try to slow back, and cut back to that amount and see if it helps your sleep. But a lot of time, people tell me that they have racing thoughts. If they have caffeine induced insomnia, Uh people tell me that they have muscle tension and people tell me that they have sort of tingly jitters.

Narrator: Okay, and 250 milligrams of caffeine is approximately what?

Michael Breus, PhD Sleep Specialist: Well, it depends. So if you go and, that's, that could be almost a six pack of soda, because soda doesn't have as much caffeine as people think. It's got somewhere between 40 and 60 milligrams of caffeine, unless of course you're talking about the high caffeinated sodas like the Red Bulls, Jolt colas, things like that. And then brewed coffee turns out to have more caffeine in it than cappuccino or Uh lattes and things of that nature. So you can actually go and look and try to understand exactly how much caffeine is in each different substance.

Narrator: Wow, so it's not as easy as it looks.

Michael Breus, PhD Sleep Specialist: No, it's not.