You can drink coffee just before bed or after dinner and still pass right out.

Some of us are more sensitive to caffeine than others, but no one is completely immune to the stimulant's effects, says Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist and the author of The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight through Better Sleep. The EEG machines that show increased brain activity post-coffee don't lie—but some people swear that caffeine doesn't affect them. What's probably happening with these caffeine denialists, says Breus, is that they're so exhausted that their levels of calm-inducing neurotransmitters are very high. These neurotransmitters help override caffeine's effects, or they set to work on a different area of the brain to kick-start the sleep process—so the caffeine is working, but the coffee drinkers aren't reacting to it. In other words, they're not superhuman; they're just super-tired.

You feel like your acid reflux has gotten much worse, even though you've given up spicy and citrusy foods.

Stress hasn't been shown to cause acid reflux; however, it can make it feel more intense, found a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. When patients diagnosed with acid regurgitation had to perform an anxiety-inducing task, their perception of pain was much higher than fellow acid reflux sufferers who hadn't been stressed. Tests showed no increase in the amount of esophageal acid but did reveal elevated levels of cortisol.

Your scalp feels weirdly sensitive when you shampoo your hair.

Stress often leads to the release of neuropeptides and other natural chemicals in the skin, and that causes inflammation, explains Richard Fried, MD, PhD, a clinical psychologist and dermatologist with a private practice in Yardley, Pennsylvania. In some people, that inflammation erupts in angry pimples or a flare-up of rosacea. In others, the neuropeptides, which are part of our innate immune response, can cause blood vessels to constrict, making skin all over the face and head feel tight, tingly and overly sensitive. You've also probably been tensing your facial muscles for weeks (unconsciously bracing for a confrontation), so they're tired and slightly sore. Fried says the feeling should subside when you start to feel more relaxed.

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As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


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