Practical Steps How You Can Kick the Coffee Habit for Good.
Coffee is like a bad relationship I keep coming back to. I know I shouldn’t. It raises my blood pressure, makes me irritable and costs a small fortune. But it’s convenient and comforting. Every time I try to leave, I end up with a huge headache.
After years of an on again, off again relationship with coffee, I finally kicked the habit for good. Here’s how I quit my addiction to drinking coffee in 4 simple steps.
1. Wean Yourself.
This isn’t like pulling off a Band-Aid. It’s a chemical addiction. Caffeine is the culprit.
Caffeine works by preventing our brain cells from absorbing adenosine, the natural chemical that makes us feel tired. When adenosine is blocked, our natural stimulants run wild, creating a feeling of alertness. In response, our brain cells make more adenosine receptors in an effort to reach an equilibrium. This is why coffee drinkers build up a tolerance.
Instead of going cold turkey, take little steps. Start with using half decaf, half regular. Throttle the ratio until you’re drinking 100% decaf. Decaf makes for a nice stepping stone because it still contains roughly 7% of the caffeine in regular. This helps curb those fierce headaches.
2. Sleep Better.
One of caffeine’s nasty little tricks is to trap you in a cycle of occasional sleeplessness. The cycle goes like this. Drink coffee for an energy boost – which makes it hard to sleep – which makes you more tired – so you drink more coffee – and it continues.
The effect of caffeine lasts longer than you might think. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it can take up to six hours to eliminate one half of the caffeine in your body.
As you’re cutting the coffee cord, it’s important to get quality shut eye. To help speed up the process, try a sleep supplement. Something like Sleepyhead natural sleep-aid supplement should do the trick. Just mix with hot water to help you get good, deep sleep without feeling groggy the next day.
“You’re better off doing what your body is naturally wired to do; use sleep to reenergize.” Says Sleepyhead’s Co-Founder, Chuck Hamman. “Research shows 60% of Americans drink coffee every week to feel more awake. Good sleep is your strongest combatant.”
3. Keep Your Ritual.
There’s something to be said about ritualistically starting your day with a warm mug of coffee. Breaking this habit may be just as tough as fighting caffeine addiction.
Give in. Don’t fight the urge to drink something in the morning. Try substituting coffee with something else. Caffeine-free tea, decaf or hot coco are good places to start. Coffee shops can make all of your favorite specialty drinks with decaf.
Better yet, reach for a fruit smoothie. The natural sugars will give you a kickstart in the morning.
4. Thwart Relapses.
Quitting is one thing; quitting for good is another. Caffeine addictions rise quickly. It can take only 3-5 days of consecutive use to become dependent.
If you find yourself in dire need of caffeine, keep your intake low. Go back to step 1 and drink half decaf, half regular.
Once you have severed your dependence on caffeine, your tolerance goes down with it. Coffee boasts three times more caffeine than most energy drinks, so it doesn’t take much. A cup of half decaf, half regular should suffice.
I did this and it worked. I successfully quit drinking coffee. I’ve been clean for 4 years and counting. My brain, heart and bank account have been better ever since!