Reducing caffeine: One month later

Reducing my caffeine intake

Its been a month since I started reducing my caffeine intake. I thought I would take a moment to update how that has been going and what I want to do going forward. The main reason I started monitoring my caffeine intake was because I hoped it would help me sleep better. For the last month I have stuck to no more than 3 caffeinated drinks a day, so the big question is;

Has it made any difference?

It’s not a straightforward answer. On the one hand, yes I think I am feeling sleepier at bedtime because I’m not wired on caffeine. But I can’t honestly say that I’m falling asleep much easier. I wish I could be one of these people who puts their head on their pillow and goes to sleep but I’m not. I can lie awake for hours before finally dozing off and I’m such a light sleeper that little things such as sunlight or noise from outside can wake me up. When I was working and in a routine I found it much easier to get to sleep because frankly I was exhausted. At the moment I’m between jobs and until I start working again I’m not sure how much difference it will make.

Changes

After I few days I did start to get headaches and shaky hands, always at around 3pm. At the time I was trying to only drink 2 caffeinated drinks a day, when I woke up and at dinner time. First I tried moving my 2nd cup forward to 2pm. It stopped my 3pm symptoms but meant that I was feeling really shaky when I woke up in the morning. Now I have 3 cups a day and at the moment that is working for me. I can always try to reduce further later on.

Benefits

Since cutting my caffeine intake I have noticed some changes;

  • Like I said above, I do feel sleepier at bedtime. Unfortunately at the moment it isn’t having much effect on how quickly I’m falling asleep. I’m going to have to look into other ways of improving my sleep but every little helps!
  • I haven’t felt jumpy, jittery or irritable the way that I do when I’ve had too much caffeine, so that’s a big plus!
  • I haven’t been buying takeaway coffee so I’ve saved money on that over the last month.

The plan for now is to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Have you reduced your caffeine intake? Let me know in the comments.

Take care,

Hayley x

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Changing habits: Caffeine

We’ve all been there. Its a busy day, you’re rushed off your feet and fueled almost entirely by caffeine. Pick your poison; coffee, tea, energy drink? My personal low was gulping half a bottle of energy drink at 7.30am… the sugar rush was great for about 20 mins but it was all downhill from there. I don’t even really like energy drink so I must have been desperate. Also before anyone asks no, I wasn’t hung over but I must have been feeling particularly sleep deprived!

The problem

I can’t get going in the morning without a cup of tea, for many people its coffee but the feeling is the same, that need to drink something to wake us up. Recently I saw an article that stated that people who drink 6-8 cups a day of tea or coffee are likely to be dependent. It suddenly made me think, how many cups of tea do I drink a day? One first thing in the morning, then another when I eat breakfast. One with lunch and one with dinner obviously and usually one before bed. I thought “That’s not too bad, 5 over a whole day is nothing.” But over the next few days I started to pay more attention and realised that drinking tea with my meals was just the start.

A coffee when I’m out shopping with a friend. A cup of tea and a biscuit when I call in to see my grandparents. Every time I come home from wherever I have been, what is the first thing I do after taking my coat off? Put the kettle on. I realised that its easy to misjudge how many cups of tea or coffee we are drinking because it is so deeply ingrained into our daily routine. Normally I switch to decaf after dinner but I’m still firmly in the 6-8 cups a day bracket.

The benefits of cutting down

There are many benefits for decreasing our dependency on tea and/or coffee including:

  • Better sleep. It’s well known that caffeine messes with our sleep patterns. On an unrelated note, watch out for my next “Changing habits” post. Wonder what it could be…
  • Better mood. Too much caffeine can make us jittery, grumpy and generally moody.
  • Save money. The cost of grabbing a drink when you are out and about or on the way to the office soon adds up.

I’ve decided enough is enough so as I explained in my last post, I’m using my Bullet Journal to make a note of how many caffeinated drinks I’m having a day. I’m alternating with decaf and trying to stick to 3/4 regular cups of tea or coffee a day. I’ve been doing this for a few days and so far so good. I haven’t experienced the dreaded withdrawal symptoms. I don’t know at the moment if cutting down the way I am is going to make a big difference to my sleep pattern and mood but there’s only one way to find out. I’ll check in in a couple of weeks. Do you drink a lot of tea and coffee? Have you lowered your intake or considered it? Let me know in the comments.

Take care,

Hayley x

 

 

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Never be afraid to try something new

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Life is busy and complicated. I’m not complaining, it would be kind of boring otherwise. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of learning something new and if what I learn could help make life feel less busy and complicated, then even better! My main flaw is that whenever I have a brainwave and think “I’m going to do this/learn that!” I get overexcited, try to take on too much too fast and end up quitting, through either frustration or burnout. Or both in equal measure. Ever been there? Enthusiasm is good but I’ve come to realise that planning and organisation are crucial too. Throwing myself head first into something without really knowing what I’m doing is exciting at the time but in the end, unlikely to work out.

That is the purpose of this blog, to help me keep on track with what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. It’s a place to talk honestly about what I want to achieve, what’s working, what isn’t and what I’m going to do next. I have lots of goals and ideas floating around but almost all of them fall into three themes. I want to save myself time, money and effort.

Time. It’s something that you can’t buy and for most people, including myself, there never seems to be enough of it! I hope that by working on skills that improve my time management, I’ll have more time for the important things.

Money. My never ending quest to save for a house deposit. I’m doing my best but there’s always room for improvement. I’m a single buyer and don’t have a high income. I’m a nanny by trade, which I love and wouldn’t want to change any time soon, however childcare generally isn’t a well paid profession. It just means I have to save harder and look for more inventive ways of scrimping or  earning extra money. Like I said earlier, I enjoy a challenge, which is good because getting a mortgage in my circumstances will be a big one!

Effort. If a habit or skill can make life easier then fantastic. However often to save time and money you need to make an effort. That’s why effort is my third category because at the moment time and money are my priority.

I decided the best way to add a bit of order was to get everything out of my head and onto a scrap piece of paper. I sat for 10 minutes just scribbling down every idea that came into my head. Skills I want to learn, habits I want to make (or break!) goals I want to pursue, things that I want to research in the future, basically dumping everything out of my head and onto paper. When its all laid out in front of you its so much easier to group things together and make sense of everything. When I was done I had 3 main goals, 2 areas I want to research more into and a few skills and habits that I clustered together based on type.

Goals

  • Save for a house deposit: Not much more needs to be said about that, I need to save and earn as much as I can if I ever want to be a homeowner.
  •  Learn new skills: The whole reason I’m starting this blog is to teach myself new skills that will hopefully help me out with reaching my other goals.
  • Feel more organised: I just want to feel like I know what I’m doing and that my life isn’t disorganised chaos basically!

Skills/habits

  • Meal plan, meal prep and eat better. I’ve grouped these 3 because they all tie in together. I want to plan what I’m eating, prep beforehand so its easy to grab and go and that should mean eating better as a result.
  • Declutter, organise, make a capsule wardrobe. I have done all 3 of these before a couple of years ago and I was very happy with the results. Unfortunately then life happened and the clutter and clothes slowly crept back in. I’m going to try again but change my approach so that this time the habits stick.
  • Make a budget, shop smarter. I want to get a better understanding of how much I’m spending, what on and find ways of spending less.
  • Bullet Journal. I used to adore my Bullet Journal. It went everywhere with me in my bag and I always knew what I had to do that day and what was coming up that week. But then once again, life happened, habit slipped and then stopped completely. I plan on writing a full post about this soon and starting up my bullet journal again, I actually felt like an organised adult when I had one!

Research

  • Mindfulness
  • Forming habits

I plan on researching the above topics as they are both things that I’ve had an interest in for a while.

So that’s why I’m here! Feel free to join me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. In tomorrows post I’m going drill down into what I want to achieve in different areas and make an action plan! Have you taught yourself a new skill recently? If you could choose one new habit that would change your life, what would it be? Let me know in the comments below.

Take care,

Hayley x

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