Most mornings begin like this: Get in a little exercise, and then grab a soda the size of my head. I rely on my daily caffeine boost to give me the pick-me-up I need to face the rest of my day. I mean, if I’m going to do all the epic shit I need to do during the day, I need to be awake. I deserve it, I’ve earned it, and I do enough “healthy things” to justify my daily caffeine intake.
Also? These are just excuses I tell myself.
In reality, I am exhausted and grabbing for this magic formula because the night before I was up a few times to pee, then tossed and turned for a few hours because anxiety sucks. Come morning, I need that sweet elixir from the gods just to get through the morning shit show.
By the time 4 p.m. rolls around, I need another dose. Do I give in and enjoy an afternoon shock of caffeine just as much as I enjoy my morning fix? You better believe it. Every single day. It makes me a better mother and overall human being when I’m not tired and cranky.
Gimme that caffeine. All the caffeine.
Except you know what? All that caffeine that I consider my savior is actually the cause of my exhaustion.
I continue to tell myself caffeine is all natural, so how bad can it be? But an article in Sleep Education breaks it down saying, “caffeine is a type of drug that promotes alertness,” which we all know to be true. Most of us can’t start our day, or even look at another human being without it. And every morning after rolling out of bed, we can’t wait to get the caffeine running through our veins because the caffeine from the day before has robbed us of precious sleep.
Before I ran on caffeine, I slept like a rock. I would wake up and actually feel as though I’d slept, instead of having sheet burn from so much rolling around because Diet Coke makes me happy and the party in my brain wants to keep going until the wee hours of the morning.
I’m on the caffeine train to tired-as-fuck-ville, but I won’t fully admit it to myself. I don’t want anything (not even a good night’s rest), to get in between my time with a bubbly, cold soda that fills my soul with so much pleasure I look forward to it like a kid on Christmas morning.
For most of you, coffee fills this void. Same idea.
It’s a vicious cycle, yes, but I always thought the caffeine should be out of my system by the time I hit the sack because I wasn’t having any right before bed, right?
The article goes to on to say, caffeine keeps us from feeling sleepy, which is one reason it’s so wildly popular, and reaches “peak level in your blood” about an hour after consumption, but caffeine “has a half-life of 3 to 5 hours. The half-life is the time it takes for your body to eliminate half of the drug.”
So, for about 8-10 hours or so, your body is trying to get rid of all the caffeine you’ve gulped down. And most of us don’t get up at 7, have a cup of coffee, then cut ourselves off for the day. The afternoon slump hits and we need to get our hot little hands on something, so we reach for energy drinks, coffee, tea, or soda, just to make it through until bedtime. We need it!
Which is all fun and games because it works, but it’s just not enough time for our body to squeeze out all the stimulants from our favorite drinks.
So, if you find yourself struggling to sleep, there’s a good chance you are drinking too much caffeine, and you may want to rethink that afternoon jolt.
Or maybe not. I know, for me, I’d rather just complain about how tired I am while pouring myself another.
I can’t resist a free refill.