Lighter Side: Is coffee secretly sabotaging your success?

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Managing your emotions

TalentSmart recently surveyed more than a million people and found that 90 per cent of top performers are high in emotional intelligence. These individuals are skilled at managing their emotions and remain in control, even in times of high stress.

“The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance,” says Bradberry – but caffeine actually makes it harder for a person to control their emotions by triggering the release of adrenaline and ultimately our “fight-or-flight” response.

“The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favour of a faster response,” says Bradberry. “This is great when a bear is chasing you but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email.”

The vicious cycle of losing sleep

Self-control, focus, memory, and information-processing speed are all reduced when you don't get enough, or the right kind, of sleep and having even a small amount of caffeine in your system makes catching enough shut-eye much harder. Not only that, but the sleep you do get, isn’t as effective. 

“When caffeine disrupts your sleep, you wake up the next day with an emotional handicap,” says Bradberry. “You're naturally going to be inclined to grab a cup of coffee or an energy drink to try to make yourself feel better.”

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