Caffeine Comedown

I love coffee. I really do. Quitting caffeine has been one of the hardest but most liberating things I’ve had to do for my health yet.

I read Dr. Sara Gottfried’s “Hormone Reset Diet” and learned that caffeine can contribute to estrogen imbalance in women. It’s one of her first recommendations to cut out to balance estrogen. I haven’t had my hormone levels tested, but I had noticed some new “symptoms” around my period - namely increased breast tenderness, a minor sign of high estrogen levels.

image via shutterstock

image via shutterstock

In my practice, I feel like the body is your own personal lab where you can experiment and find what actually works. I really just wanted to see what might happen! The pain was enough that I was willing to try it. I was also experiencing withdrawal headaches if I didn’t have my required amount by 1 PM. And historically I only ever had a single cup per day! My body was still painfully addicted.

The withdrawal headaches from quitting coffee were debilitating. They were on par with the worst migraines I’ve ever had. I actually was debating take a day or two off of work and setting myself up for a long weekend so I could detox. Then I got hit with a nasty flu! I decided to just ride it out, since I couldn’t feel worse than I already did. My 4 day stint with the flu was also my caffeine comedown.

I had always drank coffee since I was around 15 or 16, so there hasn’t been a time in my life that I’ve been off of caffeine… Except now! I’ve been off since early February, and the biggest change that I’m finding it easier to fall asleep and to wake up. Falling asleep used to take me about 2 hours, but now it’s probably more like a half hour.

Waking up used to be worse than an actual nightmare. My body never was prepared for it and my brain was strung out until I drank a cup. I didn’t want to have to rely on this substance anymore in order to be nice to people or to feel like I can function. Now I can wake up on time and adjust to my life more quickly and happily. I also sleep more deeply and soundly.

I hope that this might help you to consider lessening the amount of coffee you take in, or to be more mindful around it in general. Everything we put into our bodies has an effect. If you’ve ever wanted to see how your body self-regulates, try cutting back or eliminating different substances for a set time. You might be surprised that once you move past the ritual, the physical body is so happy to be free!