Truth is I love coffee! I love the bold smell of fresh grounded coffee beans, the silky froth of a cappuccino, and that bitter but oh so satisfying taste after my first sip. Despite its sultry allure, I decided to say sayonara and quit my daily coffee routine. The saving grace is I still have the occasional cup of coffee, but I drink it as a treat (like how I think of dessert) versus succumbing to a daily dependency.
I am someone who is very sensitive to caffeine. A little bit of caffeine seriously goes a long way. I admit, by most standards, my past coffee ‘habit’ sounds like a joke. I’d only drank coffee everyday for about a week or two week bouts at a time, so I wasn’t highly addicted when I decided to quit. When I kicked off my daily dependency, I did notice some great victories. Let me share some of my coffee wisdom for those of you considering to ditch the beans forever.
Reason #1: YAY! I can finally SLEEP!
If I had coffee free days sandwiched between coffee induced days, I can guarantee on those days I drank coffee I will spend a few extra minutes laying wide awake staring into the dark before I was able to fall asleep at night. Restlessness, irritation, and sometimes just so alarmed at how long the alertness of coffee lasts in my body. I became eager to take action. What became clearer was how much quicker I fell asleep on the days I didn’t drink coffee. I literally would lay down and in less than 5-8 minutes I’m already in dreamland. That alone was enough to convince me to quit coffee!
Reason #2: Say goodbye to discomfort.
I can’t speak on behalf of everyone here, as this might be something to do with how sensitive I am to caffeine. Whenever I had a cup of coffee there’s an intense rush of energy which after a few minutes translates into pressure I feel around where my forehead is. The way I explain it to myself, it’s as if the rush of energy is causing my blood to pump so fast through my body that it’s creating slight pressure in my brain. It starts out feeling like a headrush, but after a few minutes this pressure turns into a mild headache. This tends to happen more when I drink a cup of coffee after a few days without it, but nevertheless it is frustrating when a cup of coffee (I could have avoided) is why I am experiencing such discomfort. This feeling is also usually coupled with anxiety which tends to distract me for the better half of a few hours.
Reason #3: No more midday crashes.
The crashes I got from coffee were troubling to my productivity the rest of the day. I would feel awesome at first, then after a few hours, sluggish and very sleepy. Also, without the caffeine my concentration lagged a lot more than if I had gone through the day without any coffee. At this point in the day is when I get tempted to refuel with another cup of coffee midday, but I would have guaranteed myself a sleepless, or at the very least, a restless night. Note: Drinking coffee past 11am impacted my sleep patterns too much. If you have difficulty in the sleep department, try to limit yourself to one cup of coffee a day and give yourself a cut off time before noon. Then see how this impacts your ability to fall asleep and the quality of your sleep.
Reason #4: The liberty of rejecting the addiction.
My mom is a coffee addict (sorry mom!). She can’t go a day without coffee because if she doesn’t have her coffee, headaches will creep up. Witnessing this I wanted to be able to say I wasn’t dependent on this substance to get through my day. Ditching coffee was liberating! Coffee is such a regular ingredient that I think a lot of us forget the addictive aspects to coffee. I can’t speak for everyone, but it is incredibly liberating to reject a dependency to something and refuse an addiction (even if it’s something as common as coffee)!
I’ll admit is, yes, coffee does help to create this boost of energy and concentration that amps up my productivity for a period of time. But, after weighing the pros and cons, I see that coffee is an addiction I’d rather give up.