Dwayne's Head

Editor’s note: This post reflects my brief slip into mental insanity last week. I have since regained my senses.

So, my triumphant return to blogging is going to be chock full of me bitching and complaining about something, which is something I normally leave to Amanda (because she’s very good at it.)

So a couple of weeks ago (or perhaps days ago—time is really fucked in my head right now), I had the misfortune of reading the results of a new caffeine study: essentially, people who drank three or more cups of coffee a day did not get as deep of a sleep as those who didn’t drink that much. I fall (like really, really fall) into the three or more category.

Now, this has never been an issue for me because I can drink coffee up until 5 or 6pm without having any trouble falling asleep. However, in spite of getting a decent amount of sleep most nights (at least 7+ hours) I have been fucking tired for a while now. At first I blamed it on the crying infant in my house, but now that he’s sleeping 12+ hours a night, I can no longer use him as an excuse.

Based on that study, I diagnosed my problem as too much caffeine preventing a deep sleep. So, three days ago (or maybe four, again, fucking time), I decide to give up coffee. Well, caffeinated coffee. I’ve still been drinking some decaf, which, as people like to remind me, still has some caffeine. But let me give you some context: before three-to-four days ago, I would regularly drink upwards of ten 10-ounce cups a day. I probably average out at around seven a day, but since starting night classes a few weeks ago, I definitely hit the over ten cups on a pretty regular bases.

So, even having two or three cups of decaf a day has dramatically reduced my caffeine consumption, and IT IS NOT FUCKING GOING WELL.

I won’t go into all the delightful details, but I did find the following side effects listed on the internet, and I can assure you I’ve experience almost all of these over the last few days:

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms vary in type and severity from person to person. These are common caffeine withdrawal symptoms:

  • Chills and/or hot spells
  • Decreased alertness
  • Depressed mood
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking
  • Digestive issues (usually constipation, but sometimes also nausea and / or vomiting)
  • Fatigue, lethargy and / or sleepiness
  • Headaches, ranging from moderate to severe, and usually starting behind the eyes before spreading
  • Irritability (moderate to extreme) and restlessness
  • Insomnia (Although it seems counterintuitive, this can be an issue for some people!)
  • Muscle stiffness and / or pain
  • Sinus issues (usually blocked sinuses or cold-like symptoms)

Also, my internet research has informed me that, according to a new edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, caffeine withdrawal is a now a M*TH#R FUCKING MENTAL DISORDER…

So, I drafted the first part of this post late last week. My next paragraph was going to detail what at the time was the “best” part of this little experiment: the in*fucking*sane dreams I was having (e.g., spiders I was trying to kill with bug spray suddenly turning into people I know who started looking through my wife’s closet for the appropriate socks to wear while dying…like I said, in*fucking*sane.)

But on Saturday I broke down and had one cup of fully caffeinated coffee. It. Was. Heaven. So I had another on Sunday. And a triple espresso today. I’ll probably have a cup or two tomorrow.

I’ll think about giving it up again soon, and if I do, I will be sure to write about it.


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