The Effects of Caffeine

By: Samantha Ortiz

Now I think most of us can agree high school is difficult and mornings are the worst. This explains as to why I haven’t written in a while. Amidst projects and papers, I haven’t found the time or motivation. Before this past winter break, I was drinking around a cup of coffee a day which, to be fair, isn’t the worst. That aside, the caffeine intake was still leaving an impact and I decided to go on a complete three week cleanse the week before and during winter break. These were my findings.

Image result for coffee

When regularly drinking coffee I experienced headaches, irritability, anxiety, and kept an irregular sleep schedule. These symptoms were both caused by the coffee and further influenced by each other. As I continuously drank coffee my sleep schedule became more warped. Paired with early mornings, I was faced with fatigue causing the cycle to repeat.

This was especially true if I decided to have coffee later in the day. Even if I did sleep, it wasn’t restful, and thus defeated the purpose of sleep. The coffee drained my available energy in one go, often leaving me drained as it wore off.  I was irritable and anxious due to the coffee’s effect and spent most of my time working on projects and fighting off headaches.

During the three week cleanse, I remained irritable and a little jittery. I was, of course, used to the caffeine and relied on sheer stubbornness to power through the three weeks. As time passed I got used to not relying on caffeine and my sleep schedule restored itself. This lowered the irritability caused by fatigue and the anxiousness from the heightened alertness caused by the coffee.

Despite my three weeks cleanse, I still occasionally drink coffee, though considerably less now. I still have late nights finishing up work. I still go through the routine of being a senior taking several AP classes. It isn’t easy, and finding balance is the real trick of it–I’m halfway into the year I still haven’t quite got it. I still push onward through a day at a time and with a clearer head with less coffee. If I have any advice to give it would be tough it out as you’ve made it this far and that takes strength.  

Picture Credits: Wikimedia Commons 2011