It’s been about two months since I’ve given up caffeine (more or less), and I’ve noticed some rather marked changes in my physiology:
For the last 15 years or so, I’ve had chronic insomnia; never being able to go to sleep quickly, waking up several times a night, having dreamless periods of fitfulness, etc, etc. I didn’t think this was directly related to caffeine, because I never was brushing my teeth with Pepsi before going to bed or anything… there were always several hours between my last drink and when my head would hit the pillow.
It would seem, though, that my veins were apparently coursing with caffeine in such high amounts that it actually was having an effect… but not as much as I had hoped. Now, I can fall asleep fairly quickly, don’t really wake up at night that often, and dream almost every night. BUT, I can still stay up all night without being phased and I still don’t sleep that much, only now I get all my sleep out of the way right up front, and wake up super early for no apparent reason… even on weekends… or after staying up until 3… or after (theoretically) running 10 miles. This morning, I woke up at 6:00 (my alarm is set for 7:30; which, by the way, I haven’t actually heard in weeks). I find this frustrating.
>The other thing I’ve gotten back after quitting caffeine is the aforementioned ability to dream. The only problem with that is that they have all, to date, been nightmares. Not chased through the woods naked and stabbed to death by a chupacabra nightmare, but the kind where I have horrible arguments with people I know and love (last night, Mom was featured). I invariably wake up with a sore jaw (from clenching?), my face in a scowl, and my hear beating quickly in anger.
My personal theory is that I have a backlog of 15 years of internal arguments to get through before I can get to the dreams where I’m a superhero saving the world and the Playboy Mansion from certain destruction, with sexy results.
In the meantime, though, I’m having a hard time resiting the motivation to fall off the wagon… if only so I can get a crappy night’s sleep again.