It was triggered by a simple exchange with a colleague over lunch:
Me: “I’m gonna get some coffee. Wanna come with?”
Colleague: [With a kind smile] “I don’t drink coffee.”
It’s funny how, despite the walls of text I have already read on the benefits and downsides of caffeine intake, all it took was a simple statement from a colleague that lead me to think: hey. I can stop drinking coffee.
I’ve gone up to the point of needing I mug of coffee a day, which increased to two, then three on particularly heavy days. My strongest coffee intake was in 2010 when I was doing my MA’s (four scoops of finely ground arabica steeped in 500ml of boiling water, with 6 brown sugar cubes for one particular paper). I have tried to curb my caffeine fix via the consumption of black tea, but I still looked for that distinct aroma of coffee.
The statement was also a mental “BAM!” moment for me: I have trouble sleeping, which leads to me being sluggish in the morning where I will need my caffeine fix. Call it placebo effect, but I am affected by caffeine.
Then I decided to experiment: go for as long as I can without coffee.
I lasted two weeks until I had to sit down at a café with a friend, and I only had enough money for their simple brewed coffee. However, here’s what I observed during the time I forwent coffee:
1) I slept easier (ie. I come home and I don’t need so much time to “wind down”)
2) I slept deeper (more entertaining dreams; I don’t recall them all in detail, but I know that I was entertained)
3) I generally slept better
4) … which lead to me feeling more energetic and progressively less sluggish once my alarm goes off.
I have gone to the point of actually settling into a good sleeping rhythm. The habit went hand-in-hand of not doing anything that’s related to large screens/monitors (read: not using my notebook or watching anything) before I go to sleep. I’ve decided to wind down instead by writing notes and lists just to empty my mind. It felt good to have to doze off while writing — that hasn’t happened to me in a long while.
I’ve taken to having “streaks”, but two weeks is so far my longest. I am now trying to go through 50 days without coffee — no coffee, no black tea; and if I do take tea, I have to make sure it’s caffeine-free.
I think I’ve graduated from needing coffee, and turning it into a treat. Besides, I can use the P160 I spend on Starbucks on otoge stories instead 😛 ~