Stimulants & I

So, I’m back to my favourite subject – sleep – once again. Or, at least, the effect of specific stimulants on the quality of my sleep and therefore my life in general.

Post-holiday, I’ve now consolidated my abstention of booze with the added sacrifice of caffeine – or at least, caffeine in it’s most potent and obvious form, ie coffee (nb – I have drunk green tea today which, I’m told, can contain more caffeine than regular tea).

For the last three years I’ve joked about being on the caffeine & nurofen diet – and whilst the latter factor is a nod to the adage that the facts shouldn’t get in the way of a good story, the truth is that my coffee consumption has veered between ‘excessive’ and ‘through the roof’.

As a non-smoker – and, at present, a non-drinker – I’m wary of sounding too evangelical about this kind of thing. However, although any benefit i once felt from having given up alcohol is long since forgotten, conceptually I know I’m significantly better off without it (and can swiftly reel off a number of perceived benefits). In my case at least, the reality is though that my body hasn’t actually felt any better than it did whilst drinking for some time – it’s only my memory that recalls how physically wretched it can make one feel.

This weekend was weird. I had no no highs/lows in energy whatsoever, which I assume is due to a further stabilising of my blood sugar through now also opting out of coffee – and consequently took great pleasure in doing the simple things with my family all weekend, which is exactly how it should be of course.

Unlike alcohol, I don’t think that an all or nothing approach is necessary with coffee, more a simple need to find some sort of balance rather than consuming one after another all day long, as I have been doing.

Strangely I haven’t actually slept very well the last week or so –
either one or both daughters have been up every night – and yet I feel more rested. Perhaps the gym is also a factor as somehow I managed to go every other day last week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday – which has left me achy but keen for more.

So, I’m not quite sure where all this is headed but I’m certainly enjoying the lack of reliance on certain habits and the resulting impact it seems to be having on my physiology. Having apparently cracked the willpower element, I’m conscious not to become too puritanical about all this and will probably start re-introducing all these factors back into my life on a gradual and careful basis, to see how it goes.

Perhaps not quite yet though.