Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Deliberate Self Care: Sleep and Coffee

I haven't blogged for awhile, but I haven't fallen off the Deliberate Self Care bandwagon.  Three weeks ago, I decided to try to get to bed at a decent hour.  I'm a night owl.  Most nights I stay up to midnight or beyond.  I had wonderful plans to listen to my body--to go to bed when I felt tired.  I've been reading up on how maintaining a good sleep schedule is so important to the reduction of cortisol, the stress hormone.  If you stay up late at night, the body perceives this as stress and produces more cortisol. The more cortisol, the less able one is able to fall asleep.  A tough cycle to break. 

Anyway, I did good.  I got in bed at 10:30, and then...ended up tossing and turning trying to fall asleep because, as it turns out, I wasn't able to listen to my body because my body was listening to my three cup a day coffee habit.  I've felt guilty about the coffee for awhile.  But, hey, I'm in Seattle.  This is what Seattle folk do--they guzzle coffee all through the winter, well, all year long, really.

So, that was it for the coffee.  I quit cold turkey...which I've read since then is not the way to go.  I should have read about how to do it beforehand.  Apparently you're supposed to taper the caffeine a little each day...mix a little decaf in there so as not to shock the system.  I had pretty bad flu-like symptoms (minus the fever) and was achy for a full week.  My ache started at my neck and shoulders and carried through down to my legs.  By the last day of withdrawals, I was sore just in my legs.  Thank goodness for the muscle roller.  I don't know how I would have survived. 

So now I'm feeling pretty good about not being dependent on caffeine.  I'm drinking detox tea and have tried Teechino. I drink my hot water with chia in it.   I'm drinking water with a squirt of lemon in it. 

But here I am at 11:30 at night blogging away and still not really tired.  My kids have been having some seriously scary health issues, and my stress is through the roof.  I've been researching treatment, homeopathic remedies, and ways to build up the immune system.  I feel like I need to just stop because this is just a never ending maze of info, some of it helpful, but most of it not.

I just need to go to bed.

10 comments:

Chrissy in Chaos said...

In the UK here I am a tea drinker, I can't go with out it!! But I never drink it after about 4pm. Also try some exercise shortly before bed time and a lavender - worls a treat for me.

z barras said...

Sorry to here that your children are having health issues Joanna. Sending lots of warm wishes your way and fingers crossed your all feeling well again soon.
I am the same with sleep too, I try to switch off but am often wide awake into the early hours of the morning and then super groggy in the morning.

Rachael said...

Have you tried or looked into probiotics to help build up their immune system? I've been hearing a lot about it lately and know several people that have their kids taking it. It might be something worth looking into? I'm looking into it for my 22 month old since he seems to catch things so easily and he even got rotavirus in November after having the vaccine as a baby. Very scary. Hope your kids are better soon.

Joanna said...

Hey ladies--thanks for the warm wishes and suggestions!

Rachael, my kiddos are on long term antibiotics now, so we've been doing some pretty heavy duty probiotics. We're all taking them. Our doc says if you're not taking probiotics you should start. If you are taking them, double the dose. Sorry your little got rotavirus. I'm afraid I'm not a fan of vaccines anymore.

caitlyn said...

I hope the antibiotics and probiotics help, and that your kiddos feel better soon!

Chancy said...

I third the probiotics recommendation. My brother was diagnosed with Chrons' disease after a long period of testing and health issues when he was a teen. And my mom put him on a probiotic drink solution and all the doctors say he is their easiest case to deal with. It helped get things under control easier without having to go extreme with all the meds. He still has to take meds, but almost all at the lowest doses and he's had very few flare ups or health issues since.

But what I really wanted to write about, was that I used to have problems with sleeping that had to do with stress and anxiety and one of the best solutions I found was recommended to me by a psychologist was to write down everything I was thinking about right before bed. It doesn't need to be in detail; just a list. Kids, health, meeting tomorrow, car. Seriously, just doing this lets your mind shut down and feel like it can wait until the next day. It works! I even told a co-worker about it and it worked for her too.

Make It Happen Mama said...

I was off caffeine for a good decade, and then we moved back to Portland from Dallas. When in the Pacific Northwest...right? Good job kicking the java :-)

chelsea said...

My sleep is way more regular when I exercise. I joined the gym over a year ago and I'm now obsessed with yoga. Thanks for sharing your healthy tips by the way:)

Anonymous said...

I was amazed to hear your caffeine withdrawal symtoms- I am also a coffee fanatic in Seattle- I have had such a headache, aching shoulders and neck. I didn't realize it is becuase I stopped drinking coffee- Scary! Maybe I will just stick with no coffee if it is that nasty to get off it!

Elisana said...

Oh, I'm sorry that your kids were having health issues and hope they are all better now! FUnny I got to your blog exactly as my coffee is brewing, at 10:38pm..... which is early considering my bedtime has been after 2. About time I, too, listen to my body... I actually have been telling myself that for a few weeks...

Hope all is well with you!