On February 6, 2020, I had my first full caffeine-free day. Here is it September 15, 2023 and I’m still off caffeine. I glanced at a few previous posts on this issue and nothing has really changed. (It’s been 282 days since I quit caffeine; what I’ve learned.)
Turns out, caffeine really had nothing to do with my changing sleep habits. I just hit a point in my life where sleeping well became more difficult.
The few—very few—times I’ve had a bit of caffeine in larger quantities than I’d have in a cup of cocoa or decaf coffee, I’ve felt the difference in anxiousness and upset stomach to a marked degree.
I sometimes think the lack of caffeine might actually be to blame for the dramatic dive in my word counts that happened the same month, but there’s no way to be sure. There was a lot going on in my life during this downturn, so I can’t honestly say the lack of caffeine was to blame, despite the coinciding nature of the dive.
I think it’s just as possible that my sleep patterns are to blame. It’s hard to write (or do much of anything, to be honest) when you feel perpetually tired. Prioritizing sleep sounds easy, but when you can’t stay asleep even when you’re trying to, there’s not much you can do about that. (I never have trouble going to sleep; I have a lot of trouble going back to sleep!)
It’s taken me a remarkable amount of time to recover, and I’m not really there yet as you can see from the numbers. However, I don’t think I will ever know if the lack of caffeine played a role unless I start drinking caffeine again and I see a marked increase. :)
I don’t particularly want to test that. I’ve adapted to a life without regular caffeine, and I like how stable my moods are these days.
Anecdotally, on Monday, I drank a cup of jasmine and orange green tea, which has some caffeine (the first cup I’ve had in ages), and I didn’t have a big jump in my word count that day. The day before that, as you might remember (probably not), I posted my best day in a long while—caffeine free.