I work shift work and my doctor told me to cut down on coffee.

I work shift work and my doctor told me to cut down on coffee. I bring a thermos of coffee to work, so I do need the caffeine. But, it’s giving me irregular heartbeats. Should I just cut the coffee out cold turkey?

Symptoms of too much caffeine (a headache, tremor, nervousness, irritability, increased sensitivity), results from an intake of 200 to 500 milligrams of caffeine daily (two to five cups of coffee or four to ten cups of tea). Depending on the size of your thermos (1 quart?), you may be drinking four cups just at work. In addition, how much coffee do you drink when you are not at work?

If you are having irregular heartbeats, you need to follow your doctor’s advice and cut down on your coffee drinking. But don’t stop cold turkey or you will probably suffer from caffeine withdrawal. In addition to the irregular heartbeats, you probably experience some of the other symptoms of caffeinism listed above.

Persons who work different shifts do have problems adjusting and often use caffeine-containing beverages to stay awake. Eat a meal containing lean meat before work to help you stay awake. Meat and other protein foods will help you stay awake. Starches or sweets high in carbohydrate, high-fat foods, and large meals will make you sleepy.

Make sure you get enough sleep before work, especially when you work 11 P.M. to 7 A.M. These are the most difficult hours to stay awake.