A coffee detox to improve mental health

Why I’m going to do a coffee detox to help improve my mental health (part one)

This month shines a light on Men’s Mental Health and as part of my journey of improving my own mental health, I have decided to try and take a coffee break in November, to improve my sleeping patterns which have been inconsistent lately.  So why stop coffee?

Coffee is a stimulant of the central nervous system and it’s something that I have been drinking since my early days working for media companies in London. I love coffee. A fresh brew was my ritual start to the day. But the problem is, my cut off point has gotten later and later. I used to have a strict coffee window from 8-11am, but as I’ve gotten older (possibly!) one cup just isn’t enough to beat the feeling of fatigue, and that spills into an after lunch Americano. 

I also recently started only drinking coffee after the first 90 minutes of being awake, and that’s because your body creates cortisol in the mornings. This is a natural energy booster and in fact, the caffeine won’t take much effect during this period. 

Both of these reasons have seen me drinking coffee later and later, and by proxy, I have been staying up later and not getting my cherished 8 hours sleep. So for the next 30 days I am going to stop drinking coffee, document its effects and try to replace it with someone energetic. Breathwork! 

My plan is to get through the first 5 days. This is apparently the worst time for stopping coffee. If the body becomes dependent on caffeine, which I suspect mine has, eliminating it from the diet can cause withdrawal symptoms that typically begin 12–24 hours after stopping caffeine and can affect anyone who regularly consumes caffeine. A medical diagnosis! Side effects can include headaches, fatigue, anxiety and irritability. As Matt Walker says, the timing and the dose are the poison!

I will record my sleep patterns, resting heart rate and document this process over the next few weeks. So stay tuned.