I use to think that addiction specialists overstated the addictive nature of caffeine, but that was before I realized I had, myself, become a caffeine addict! It wasn’t until early this year that I really noticed how caffeine was a necessary part of my daily routine: Wake up, get coffee, go to work, sip coffee, finish work, go home. And this happened for several months without fail. If I was out on the weekend with friends or attended a sangria-filled brunch (don’t judge), we would have to make a special Starbucks stop afterward for fear that a severe headache would set in. I thought to myself, this is bad.
I’m not sure what changed for me, but about a few weeks ago I decided I was going to see if I could really go without coffee for an extended period of time. Could I really do it? Could I last through that dreaded 2 PM after-lunch lull? I wasn’t so sure. But, I gave it a shot and here’s what happened:
Day 1: 2-3 Hours after missing my daily dose I start yawning. As the day drags on, I can’t keep my eyes open. I’m talking sitting-at-my-desk-eyes closed-fake staring-at-my-computer screen tired. It’s possible I even dozed off for a few seconds (shhh, don’t tell anyone). 2 hours later, the headache creeps in…and then attacks. We’re talking full on forehead pouding cranial crush. A small Tylenol stash gets me through the rest of the workday.
Evening of day 1: Difficulty sleeping…ironic, isn’t it?
Day 2: After missing my dose for day 2, the headache creeps back in but is less intense. That’s progress! I’m a little irritable.
Day 3: I’m grouchy, like seriously grouchy. Irritability is even higher. Leave me alone.
Day 4: Good sleep, very sound sleep. I think I like this.
Day 5: I did it! Caffeine detox complete. Wait, does this mean I can never have caffeine again?!
Truth be told, a long night out for a birthday celebration led to a very satisfying relapse, but since that day I haven’t had another drop. No more daily coffee fix for me, café will be reserved solely for special occasions.
But why quit, you ask? Well, for me I ended up with a more even energy level throughout the day (no big rushes or crashes due to sugar and caffeine), I sleep better at night and I’m convinced that cutting back on the sugar and half and half has helped me lose a few pounds too. Not too bad, huh?
Have you tried to caffeine detox?
What was your experience like?
For more information on caffeine addiction and withdrawal check out the links below:
Caffeine: How much is too much? (Mayo Clinic)
Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms: Top 10 (Energy Fiend)