7 Benefits of Quitting Caffeine That Make It Worth the Struggle

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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Some signs caffeine is wrecking your sleep include trouble falling asleep (of course), headaches, nausea, and feelings of nervousness. So, if you give up caffeine, you could end up getting much better rest, says Dr. Temple. (People with insomnia might find this to be especially helpful, per the Sleep Foundation.)

It’s worth noting that quitting might not feel so great at first. “Someone’s energy levels will drop when they quit caffeine, at least initially,” says O’Connor, so you might feel daytime drowsiness or sluggishness. It’s hard to say if your energy levels will go back to where they were before you started consuming coffee, but if you tend to drink coffee later in the day and decide to quit, you might simply have more energy because you’re getting more sleep at night, as O’Connor explains.

If your sleep schedule seems to be off after quitting (which it might be for a few days or, sometimes, a few weeks), try to wake up at the same time each day to get yourself on a more consistent track. Trouble falling asleep? Try a guided meditation or some simple pre-bedtime tricks for a more restful night.

2. Headaches might be less of a problem for you.

Caffeine can majorly contribute to daily or chronic headaches. It might also trigger migraine in people who are prone to them, according to the American Migraine Foundation. If you struggle with those, you might think going cold turkey will ease your discomfort—but that’s not always true, thanks to caffeine withdrawal, according to O’Connor. This could look like low energy, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and worsening headaches. Because caffeine narrows blood vessels around the brain, “a sudden lack of caffeine, especially when you’re drinking it daily or drinking a lot of it, can trigger a cascade of events that leads to dilated blood vessels which contribute to the headache,” says O’Connor.

In other words, your headaches will likely get worse before they get better. Gradually decreasing your caffeine intake over a week or two, rather than quitting cold turkey, “could help limit some of that severity,” O’Connor says—you could try slowly swapping your regular coffee for decaf.

3. Your caffeine-related jitters might disappear.

Caffeine might not be the best thing for your mental health: It stimulates the nervous system and can cause anxiety, and people diagnosed with panic disorders are especially vulnerable to feeling on edge following caffeine use.7,8,9

“Some people might have anxiety at baseline that’s exacerbated by caffeine, especially when it’s had in excess,” says O’Connor. For those people, she says that caffeine use might cause muscle tremors, a fast heart rate, and nervousness, which can work to make you feel even more anxious.

If you feel jittery after a Dr. Pepper (or three), you might find some relief if you kick the habit, says O’Connor—who also clarifies that how anxious caffeine makes you is different for everyone, so even if your habit is lighter or heavier, individual results here will vary.

4. Your digestive system might thank you.

Coffee poops are a real pain (literally) in the butt. Caffeine stimulates muscle contractions and gut motility in the body, which makes you go #2, says O’Connor: “If someone is really relying on their cup of coffee for a bowel movement, they might notice that they don’t use the bathroom as quickly in the morning [after quitting].”

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