I have come to a realization. I am a Coffee Addict. It has come to pass that a day does not happen without coffee or caffeine of some type. This probably has to do with only getting 6-7 hours of sleep every night and being up at 5am every morning. That’s not an excuse, just an observation on my part. It isn’t the first time I’ve been addicted to caffeine, when I worked the 5am shift at Stream I also became addicted to it. Your reaction may be: “why is this important?” which is a valid point. But remember regardless of social acceptably it’s still an addiction. Last time I managed to quit and stayed off of caffeine for a few months, and didn’t go back to being a daily drinker. I started drinking it about once a week when I went out for coffee with people. I enjoy my coffee. I don’t like needing my coffee. I realized I was an addict again when I was running late one day and didn’t have any coffee. It was a busy day at work and I didn’t get a chance to go get a cup. Then the headache started. It stayed with me the rest of the day, and into the next until I had my coffee in the morning. It was then that I knew that I was an addict. But what of that? Caffeine is a socially acceptable drug. It wakes you up, increases your thinking ability, and doesn’t have any downsides does it? Actually the big one is that once the caffeine wears off you’re body realizes that it needs to catch up on rest and you get extreme fatigue, lack of mental alertness, and irritability. And those side effects happen whenever you have less caffeine in a day than your body is used to. So if you’re a two cup a day person and only have one cup, yep, you’re hooped. That being said it’s surprisingly easy to kick the habit, as long as you’re prepared for a few days of irritability and zombieness. Rather than not taking the caffeine you need to reduce it. Start by decreasing your intake by one cup a day, until you’re down to only one coffee a day. Then comes the hard part. It’s very difficult to go from this point to nothing. So you have to reduce your caffeine intake even more. Apparently the way to do this is to change to a similar but lower caffeine or caffeine free version. So if you like drip coffee change to decaf, or tea. Even if the tea has caffeine in it it is normaly less than in coffee. If you drink a caffinated pop then switch to something with less caffeine in it or caffeine free. And you don’t have to cut caffeine out entirely, you can go with the occasional one, as long as it isn’t what gets you up in the morning or keeps you awake. My plan to reduce my depenence on caffeine:
- Reduce to one cup per day (tall espresso based coffee): 100mg caffeine
- If I can handle that for the next week I will start having hot chocolate instead on alternating days
- After Christmas change to only hot chocolate and no more coffee to be active and awake
- Decrease chocolate
If this works I’ll change to only the occasional coffee rather than being dependent on it. Anyone want to join me in this?