Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Downside of Giving Up Caffeine

As it is after 4 AM, I am learning a valuable lesson in giving up caffeine.  About six weeks ago, I gave up caffeine, which was fairly hard for about three days, but otherwise, long term beneficial.  My caffeine delivery system of choice for the last 30 or so years was soda, usually a brown liquid capable of killing anything, but Sunkist has caffeine as well and if you are truly interested in caffeine, then you should know all of the ways to ingest it. 

Despite having made a clean break, I have an exception, which is the one soda a week rule.  Sometimes, you are out somewhere and it is difficult to either just have a water or find another available beverage that you are capable of drinking.  Think a bar, which might have juice, but without the alcohol, Tang is not acceptable for anything. 

So, the last few weeks, I had one and it was OK.  But tonight, I was having a moment and used my one soda at Target, where I had a Coke around 9:30 PM.  Well, the Coke certainly took the edge off how I was feeling, but at the same time, it left me wide awake.  So, I saw 1 AM and 2 AM and 3 AM and even 4 AM.  Sitting here, I'm not quite tired, but not quite awake and have that feeling that the stimulant factor is all that is stopping me from enjoying a few hours of sleep before the snow hits. 

But the stimulant is coursing through my veins.  Back in the day, I could have a Coke, then go straight to sleep.  Now admittedly, I slept poorly, but even after giving up caffeine, I wouldn't declare myself a good sleeper and still suffer from nightmares in the dark and waking up about every 90 minutes, just around the edges of REM sleep.  It's really terrible.  Of course, being full of caffeine, which used to be table stakes for existence, stimulates your mind and keeps you wide awake.  Horribly so, requiring me to write meaningless journal entries about my empty life at a time where the vast majority of the people in my time zone are dead to the world.

Lessons learned, I will work on not having that one soda per week so late, especially if I am just heading home to do nothing. On the other hand, I did learn that I can fit into my old pants today, so I can stave off finding new pants to purchase for another few months, so it was not an entirely bad trip into the day.

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