Trouble sleeping? Then wake up and smell the coffee
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012 4:00 pm
By: By CHRIS MENEES, Staff Reporter
The Messenger 01.20.12
Caffeine should be a food group of its own.
Before you veto the notion, just hear me out.
I should first point out that caffeine is naturally found in certain leaves, beans and fruits of over 60 plants worldwide. In fact, coffee comes from a coffee bean. Yes, bean — as in vegetable.
Work with me here.
I’m not too proud to admit I’ve developed a caffeine addiction of late. I recognize the problem — and that’s the first step, right?
It started back around Christmas when my husband got me one of those super-fast single-cup coffee brewing systems I’d been eyeing for quite some time. I think that makes him an enabler or a partner in crime or an accessory after the fact.
Whoever invented the gadget is a genius. I just pop in a single-serving cup-like container of caffeine-laden coffee, press the button and watch as liquid happiness is dispensed in under 30 seconds.
It’s brilliant and convenient … and addictive.
After all, with the coffee maker right next to the refrigerator, why would I grab an ice-cold bottle of water during these chilly winter months when I could have a steaming cup of joe in mere seconds?
Like a magnet to metal, my husband and I soon found ourselves gravitating to the coffee section of any grocery, department, kitchen or home improvement store we visited. We were as giddy as kids in a candy store as we considered coffees with names like Dark Magic and Big Easy Bold and Jet Fuel.
It didn’t take long before my morning coffee was joined by a late afternoon cup (a treat after a day’s work) and then by an early evening cup (an after-dinner treat) and then by a pre-bedtime cup (for no reason whatsoever).
Nor did it take long to realize the reason I had suddenly turned into a night owl. I found the “dark” in the Dark Magic and there was nothing magical about it at 3 a.m.
I was in denial those first few nights of insomnia as I lay there wide awake, staring at the bright red numbers on my bedside alarm clock and pondering the meaning of life. My mind was wandering and I found myself wondering which blend of coffee would get me kick-started in the morning.
I entertained thoughts of checking out the late-night television infomercials that tout products like the Ninja Kitchen System (ooh, kitchens have coffee) and the Brazil Butt Lift (they also grow coffee in Brazil) and the Can’t Sleep pillow (perfect for a coffee-aholic). One shopping channel boasted “midnight markdowns” and I wondered if they sold coffee.
Instead, I decided to wake up and smell the coffee.
Coffee has its perks, but an online quiz confirmed I had stretched my limits.
Insomnia? Check. Restlessness? Check. Irritability? Check. Fast heartbeat? Check.
Do you sleep with your eyes open? Do you feel like a hummingbird on crack? Okay, I added those last two, but you get the point.
It was grounds for cutting back.
Sadly, the next morning, I stuck a yellow sticky-note with a crudely-drawn skull and crossbones next to the coffee machine. I brewed one for the road, a single cup, and turned off the power button.
Withdrawal symptoms aside, I slept like a baby that night.
But I’m still thinking about starting my own support group. We could meet at Higher Ground or the nearest Starbucks for coffee.
Decaf, of course.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ ucmessenger.com.
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