When I worked at Author Solutions, I was in the office by 7:00 a.m. I am historically a night owl. In college, I managed to have only one 8:00 a.m. class in my entire four years and I hated it! So my new start time was quite a shock to the system.
To combat that drowsiness, I mainlined black tea and sometime not-so-black coffee from 6:30 to the end of the workday (that boring desk job required all the caffeine I could find to just stay awake). The problem, then, was the weekends.
I would wake up at 10:30 with a roaring headache because by body was used to having four hours worth of caffeine pumped into it at that point. The weekend I’d so looked forward to ended up entirely devoted to fighting my aching head. Something had to go. It was either the caffeine or my head.
But I was not ready to give it all up. I like the taste of black tea and I like that boost of energy. I figured out a way to get my kick without having to fight caffeine withdrawal.
- Variate your intake times. Instead of having my first caffeinated drink every day at 6:30, I started some days at 7, some days at 9, or any hour in between. This unpredictability reduced my body’s need to be fed at a certain time, which went a long way in reducing my dependancy.
- Change up the amount of caffeine. If you’re a coffee drinker, switch to 1/2 regular and 1/2 decaf a couple days a week. If you’re a tea drinker, switch to green or white teas occasionally. Keeping your routine always on the flux prevent withdrawal because the body can’t set expectations of a certain time or amount.
- Keep drinking… something else. If you’re a multiple glasses a day kind of person, chances are that mug on your desk is as much of a comforting habit as it is a need. So fill it with something good for you like water, (low-sugar) juice, or herbal tea. You can keep up that habit of mug-in-hand without the nasty side affects. And keeping hydrated will reduce the affects of the caffeine.
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach*. The affects of caffeine are intensified when you don’t have anything in your stomach to soften the punch. Reducing the affects, however slightly, will reduce the need, which will reduce the withdrawal symptoms.
After two weeks of implementing these methods, I woke that Saturday with a clear head, ready to fully enjoy the weekend. Reducing my dependency on caffeine helped me feel happier and healthier and gave me the freedom I needed to enjoy every day.
Has caffeine withdrawal inhibited you from doing something you love? Have you tried to fight caffeine withdrawal before? Which methods would you consider trying?
Tips 1-3 are methods devised and tried by yours truly. They have not been tested or verified by medical professionals.