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.