If you have problems with sleeping, then a good first step is to quit caffeine. The fact is that caffeine, blocks sleep neurotransmitters, which are the calming chemicals your body makes to make you sleepy. It depends on the person and their genes – some people handle caffeine fine, others absolutely don’t!
At the end of the day, caffeine is a powerful stimulant with effects that can last up to seven hours, and it must be respected and carefully handled. Indeed, for people who are taking oral contraceptives or other medications, caffeine’s effects can last even longer since caffeine interferes with the body’s natural regulatory rhythms and chronic use of it can leave one perpetually out of balance. And that affects sleep quality. No question.
So, are you ready to quit caffeine? Are you ready to free your body and wallet from the grip of caffeine addiction? Well, first things first, take it slow... Start by weaning yourself off the hidden caffeinated drinks, such as colas – both sweetened and diet.
Take a look at a can of soda/fizzy drinks, and you’ll be surprised that caffeine is prevalent in many famous brands. Then, of course, energy drinks are an obvious no no. Finally, chocolate also often contains caffeine, so watch out.
From there, it’s on to the big one: coffee – and green and black tea. The best proven method is to kick coffee and tea by tapering it off in small increments so as not to trigger the junkie-like withdrawal symptoms.
A lot of people get heavy long headaches from caffeine withdrawal, so the only way to do it is to slowly dial down your caffeine consumption so your body can acclimate over time.
Decaf can help because, for example, Swiss Water Decaf is 99.9% caffeine free and it helps replace the habitual drinking of coffee in the morning for example…Also herbal teas are good for the evenings.
But, how slow do we take it?
Well, this is an example of a 7-day plan and onward to go caffeine free:
- Day 1: Today, have your usual amount of coffee and tea.
- Day 2 -4: Blend your regular coffee with 50% decaf. This is what we call Half Caff.
- Day 5-6: Have a blend 25% regular coffee, 75% decaf for one day. You’re almost there…
- Day 7: Start drinking pure decaf.
- Week 2: Continued on pure decaf.
- Week 3: Try going cold turkey and stopping coffee altogether…see how it goes.
Decaf is often a great substitute and there are now some great tasting decaf coffees out there (if we don’t say so ourselves!) So, what are the benefits?
Kicking the caffeine habit can be incredibly difficult, but well worth your while. Your sleep will be longer and of higher quality and your body will be more balanced and in tune with itself. When you’re tired, you sleep.
When you’re awake, you feel more alive! There are lots of benefits of drinking decaf and dropping caffeine altogether on our comprehensive blog on all things decaffeinated, so please check it out!
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