Wednesday, September 17, 2008


It started back in college, I suppose, at Daybreak Coffee in Lubbock, TX. I'd go up there with Danny, Sarah, occassionally Dale. I was never a coffee man until then. But there I was, drinking it with a pull of cream and a lesser helping of sugar. It'd be freaking 10:00 at night and I'd be on my fifth cup of some Brazilian bean. And I wonder why I couldn't crawl out of bed in the morning. I was like Jessie Spano singing, "I'm So Excited."

My lovely wife and I started talking about my caffeine intake the other day as well as my sleeping habits. I usually go to bed at 10:30, start stirring at about 2:30 or so, crawl out of bed at about 5:00-5:45 and then drink about 12 cups (standard cups, or about 4-5 mugs of coffee) and then proceed with my day. I do all of my consumption before the hour of 8:00 and rarely do I drink anything at work. What do I do during those early hours? This.

We figured that my sleeping habits were not really sound and I was settling for really bad sleep. I mean, when you see me, I'm running on about four hours of good sleep and an additional three hours of tossing and turning. We started a quick rundown of my caffeine intake and determined that, if the recommended daily allowance of caffeine is 200-300mg of caffeine, I was getting close to (brace for it) 1100mg--close to four or five times the recommended amount. And, remember, I get that before you even make it to work in the morning.

At that level, I'm prone to muscle tremors, nausea, irritability (let's go ahead and throw bruxism [teeth grinding] in there too), high heart rate, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, low bone density, increased risk of fractures, anxiety, wild mood changes, decreased attentiveness, reduced fertility. One lady I found online says she suffers from hallucinations--the most common being a black cat disappearing around a corner. I'm chased home by a witch on a broom who looks like Barbara Streisand. Freaky.

With my lovely wife's support, I've made an effort and have already succeeded to cut my intake in more than half to a more acceptable 400mg a day. I've noticed a deeper sleep at night. Of course, my energy during the day is less, but that's probably better. I've managed to curb the troubling frothing at the mouth and my focus seems much stronger. Add to the mix an hour of good cardio (jogging is my preference) and I can feel my body reaching a new norm. Does it mean less early morning posts? Yep, you bet. I'm just going to have to find a better time for that.

Caffeinism is no joke, kids. Ask Jessie Spano.

Today is People Under the Stairs day. Get it on.


Anonymous said...

I love you honey. Keep working hard and sleeping peacefully!

sarahsmile3 said...

Oh the daybreak days. That is where I met you, Danny, and my husband. I remember drinking so much coffee, one night, I thought I was having a heart attack. Now, I drink quad lattes every morning. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

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