A 5-Step Process for Conquering Your Caffeine Addiction
Caffeine addiction is common. There’s something unsettling about knowing you’re addicted to a substance. It’s also challenging to quit. The detoxification symptoms are far less severe than quitting an opiate, but the elimination of caffeine has a unique set of withdrawal symptoms. Always remember that the symptoms are temporary.
In a few short weeks, you’ll feel amazing.
Discover how caffeine can be hazardous to your health:
1. Caffeine can raise blood pressure. Blood pressure is elevated for 2-3 hours after caffeine consumption. Hypertension causes damage to internal organs and the interior of blood vessels.
2. Caffeine can affect your bones. Caffeine has been shown to limit the metabolism and absorption of calcium. Excessive caffeine intake can increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis.
3. Caffeine can cause indigestion. Those that regularly consume caffeinated beverages are more likely to complain of an upset stomach.
4. Caffeine can affect the quality of sleep. Excessive caffeine consumption can lower the quality of sleep and cause insomnia.
5. Caffeine consumption can lead to adrenal fatigue. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands and increases alertness. Your adrenal glands can only take so much stimulation. Over stimulation can lead to exhaustion, a decreased ability to handle stress, and memory loss.
This is just the short list. Further research will show even more health hazards of caffeine. You’ll be surprised by how many of your body’s systems are impacted by caffeine.
Beat caffeine addiction one step at a time with these strategies:
1. Make a list of reasons for quitting. List the damage to your health and the financial impact. How much are you spending each month on caffeinated drinks? Give yourself a list of good reasons to remove caffeine from your life. Maximize your motivation for quitting.
2. Find a suitable substitute. It’s not just the caffeine that you enjoy. Whether it’s reading the paper at the local coffee shop with a latte or drinking soda with your chips at lunch, there’s a secondary benefit. Perhaps you can have green tea with your morning paper or try decaffeinated soda at lunch. Find a beverage that you enjoy that preserves the social benefits.
3. Decide if you want to change quickly or slowly. You can go cold turkey or decrease your caffeine consumption slowly over time. Taking the slow route has a better track record. Few are able to drop all caffeine in a single day and remain compliant.
Cut down your caffeine consumption by 20% for the first week. If you’re drinking five cups of coffee each day, limit yourself to four. Add in one cup of your substitute drink.
Continue reducing your consumption until you’re free of caffeine. In five short weeks, caffeine will become a thing of the past.
4. Take a nap. Studies have shown that a 20-minute nap can increase alertness more than a cup of coffee. If you can get away with it, close your office door and take a short nap. Remember to set an alarm! Consider taking a nap in your car during lunch and eating your lunch at another time.
5. Expect some discomfort. It’s likely that you’ll experience a small amount of discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with any headaches or other aches and pains. See your physician if you’re having serious issues.
Caffeine addiction is common, and while it probably won’t ruin your life, there are consequences to both your health and sense of well-being. Beating caffeine addiction is best accomplished in steps. The discomfort will be lessened and the likelihood of a positive outcome is increased. Cut back on your caffeine intake by 20% today.
By the Urban Life Center Team