Coffee Break? Let Me Ask My Phone!
Welcome back to Mental Marvels-where the focus is brain behavior and mental phenomenons.
Today I decided to revisit a topic that I had talked about in one of my first Mental Marvels entries: smartphone apps. Like I said in Treating Depression: There's an App for That!, it seems like there are apps for everything these days. I recently discovered another app specifically for the Apple iphone, ipod touch, and ipad that helps people know when to have a dose of caffeine.
What is it?
Caffeine Zone is an app for the iphone, ipod touch, and ipad that tells you when caffeine may provide a mental jump or impair your sleep pattern. Caffeine can be beneficial, but an improper amount can lead to nervousness and sleep issues.
How does it work?
This software allows your phone to obtain information about your caffeine use and combines it with the effects of caffeine to construct a graph illustrating how caffeine will affect the consumer over time. The app can also help you know when to adjust your caffeine intake.
What is the right amount?
Frank Ritter Ph.D who is a professor at Penn State University says "that if a person drinks a cup of coffee rapidly, they will experience a spike in mental alertness, but enough of the drug can linger in the bloodstream to cause sleep problems hours later." Researchers have concluded that the amount of caffeine in the bloodstream for ideal alertness is 200 and 400 milligrams. However, for sleep, researchers "set a lower threshold of 100 milligrams." They claim that people could potentially have sleep trouble if they stay above this amount. Having too much, too rapidly above the optimal level can generate nausea and nervousness. Ritter says, "If they, and others who drink coffee to stay awake, drink too much coffee on one shift, they may have trouble sleeping. So, the next day, they’ll drink even more coffee and have even more trouble sleeping.”
The app is currently available on itunes for free including advertisements or for purchase without advertisements.