I wouldn’t say that I was addicted to caffeine, but I admit that I have relied on it for a pick me up after a night of tossing and turning. I was looking forward to my coffee a little more than I probably should have. Really. I was excited to get in bed, because it meant I was one step closer to morning coffee. Over the top, right? So when I began these 30 Days to sleep better and longer, it seemed like a good move to give up caffeine. But I was worried about withdrawal headaches and crankiness. But even more than that I was worried about finding that energy each morning after the alarm. I worried I’d be too tired and sluggish to get by. That without the caffeine, I’d be miserable.
The plan was simple. Cut down from two cups to one before cutting out coffee completely. And while that might’ve been a beautiful plan, it didn’t work out. I ran out of caffeinated coffee before I was quite ready to give it up. But I took it as a sign, like the universe was telling me the time was right. So I went with it.
After a slump the first day, I discovered two things that have made all the difference: exercise and protein. Instead of my morning coffee, I’m enjoying a protein smoothie with spinach, blueberries, and Greek yogurt. And in the afternoons when I hit my my 2 p.m. slump, I reach for protein-filled snacks–hard boiled eggs, almonds, more Greek yogurt. I also increased how much I exercise. A morning run or some crunches when I would typically reach for the French press is another way to recharge and distract me from other habits.
I do find that I miss the morning ritual of preparing and enjoying hot coffee. But that craving is easily fulfilled with decaf tea. And I feel better overall because of these few small changes.
Do you drink caffeine? Have you ever tried to quit? What other methods have you found that help you deal with life without coffee?