Students must become caffeine conscious

Nowadays, in zero and first period, students can be spotted with a cup of Joe from Peet’s Coffee or K’s Cafe. Despite the popularity of fun caffeinated drinks, caffeine intake has been linked to several negative side effects including poor physical and mental health, disrupted sleep patterns, increased anxiety, and behavioral patterns similar to people who are on drugs. Because of this, Berkeley High School students should carefully reevaluate their consumption of caffeine.

According to “Caffeine: Sleep and Daytime Sleepiness” a study by Timothy Roehrs, caffeine increased the time it took for people to fall asleep and also decreased the total duration of sleep. The study also found that caffeine reduced the amount of deep sleep people had. Another study, “Effects of Caffeine on Anxiety and Panic Attacks in Patients with Panic Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” by Lisa Klevebrant, showed that those who drank caffeine experienced an increased amount of anxiety and panic attacks.

“Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda,” a study by Johns Hopkins professor Steven E. Meredith, found those who consumed caffeine at a low to moderate level felt “increased well-being, energy, alertness, and sociability—drug effects that are qualitatively similar to some of the positive subjective effects produced by other stimulants.” This may initially seem like a benefit. However, due to this, a significant amount of people have developed a dependence on caffeine, including adolescents. The study also found that those who stopped taking caffeine felt symptoms of withdrawal, such as headaches, vomiting, and nausea.

Berkeley High School students should reconsider their caffeine consumption. Studies highlight the adverse effects of excessive caffeine intake, finding disrupted sleep patterns, increased anxiety, and potential long-term consequences. While some argue that the short-term benefits are more important than the risks, it is crucial to acknowledge the possibility of addiction to caffeine in the long run. Caffeine is not just any fun drink, it can have very serious side effects. As such, it is essential that BHS students take a more cautious and informed approach to their caffeine intake.