It might seem crazy to put caffeine in the same category as alcohol and nicotine but the truth is that together they are the most popular mood-affecting drugs in the entire world. When you're stopping by a Starbucks on the way to work or eating some chocolate while working, you might not think that the caffeine is affecting your body and mind. But just two to three servings a day has been found to alter most people in some way.

There are many different ways that caffeine can affect a person physically. For some, you might notice that your heart is beating a little faster or get a sort of jittery feeling as messages are being passed through your nervous system more quickly. When you're working or attending class you might liken this feeling to being more awake and alert but this is not really the case. There are also some that find they get an irritation in their stomach.

Mentally caffeine can stimulate the cortex of your brain and cause temporary increased awareness and less drowsiness. But you will find that it will also raise your anxiety levels and ability to get irritated. You shouldn't use caffeine regularly to make it through your class or to replace a good night's sleep. Increased amounts of caffeine can actually negatively affect your sleep patterns, as it can stay in your system for up to eight hours. For example, a Burlington contractor who works at told us that he had to stop drinking coffee past seven in the evening because he could not fall asleep at night and the sleep deprivation was causing issues at work.

Studies over the years have had mixed results on caffeine depending on the type of research that was done, who was sponsoring the tests, and the number of subjects that they were working with. Some have measured a few hundred people while others have had a more broad scope. Some studies have even found that consuming large quantities of caffeine can actually have long-term effects. But, other research has suggested that it might be able to help with other conditions, including heart disease.

Like with any other drug, if you're going to consume any you need to make sure that you're doing it in small doses. You don't need to completely give up the morning coffee that you've enjoyed for so long now. You just need to make sure that you're not dependent on caffeine to get you through the day and that you're stopping at just a couple of servings. If you do this than you will usually feel like you're living a healthier life. If you are addicted to caffeine than experts suggest that you wean yourself off of it at a relatively slow pace for best results.

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