I haven’t had any coffee since April 1st. I’ve abstained from coffee and caffeine because of three different factors.

  1. I have high blood pressure and caffeine is not good for that.
  2. I’m not a good sleeper and caffeine is bad for sleep.
  3. I don’t have anxiety problems, but tend to be anxious which caffeine can aggravate too.

Going into this I had reduced my coffee intake. A few months ago I dropped my coffee consumption from 24oz a day to 12oz a day. When I did that I noticed no material changes and figured less was probably better. So when I decided to drop it entirely I figured it wouldn’t be that hard since I didn’t think I was having that much coffee.

I sure was wrong. Stopping coffee and caffeine was much harder than I expected. The first day was fine, but the second day I had a persistent headache. I felt like I was in slow-motion all day, kind of in a fog. And I was so tired in the afternoon and evening that it was all I could do to stay awake. The third day was the same. It wasn’t until the fourth and fifth days that I started to feel more normal.

I didn’t think the caffeine I was consuming was having any real impact on me — but the impact that the removal had tells a different story.

How about the three areas I was focusing on?

So far I haven’t seen any material change in blood pressure. That is disappointing to me but I think speaks to other factors being more impactful to that metric. The physiology still suggests that combining high blood pressure and caffeine is a bad idea. So abstaining from caffeine is still a good idea even if I’m not seeing it on the blood pressure sensor.

The thing that I have had the most profound improvement in is sleep. Removing caffeine entirely had a more profound impact on my sleep than I could have imagined. Both qualitative and quantitative with the data from the 8Sleep. I’m falling asleep much faster and earlier than I was before. I’m getting about 30 to 45 minutes more sleep a night, mostly by getting to sleep earlier at night and less waking time in the middle of the night. I’m waking up at 6am and feel rested. Something I genuinely have never experienced.

The last factor of anxiety doesn’t have any way for me to quantify. I don’t know of any clear differentiator that I can point to for this. My best indicator would be ease of achieving a peaceful mind when I meditate, but my meditation practice has been very sporadic this month.

I find the sleep improvements to be great. I also do like the lack of dependence on getting coffee in the morning. I do miss the ritual of coffee, particularly on the weekends. I’ve sourced some high quality caffeine free tea to give that a try for when I would like that experience.

I’m not ready to say that I’m not a coffee drinker. We’ll see where the future goes. I’ll just take it one day at a time. 😊