How’s everyone’s week going? My week has finally slowed down and I feel like some of the fog has lifted. My midterm is over, my allergies took a turn for the better today, and a good night’s sleep helps!

I’m also on Day 2 of my caffeine detox. Granted, it’s a forced detox after I got so sick from coffee, but it’s still led me to reflect a bit. Also-caffeine withdrawal is very real. I felt like I was in such a fog yesterday, but thankfully it seems much better today!

Since skipping the coffee these past few days, I’ve realized how I feel so much more in tune with my body. I was drinking it so often this quarter that I felt like I had a constant buzz. Before overdosing on it, I was wondering what effects it would have. It made me happier, perkier, more engaged, but it was always there, and I would often be at the verge of mild overcaffeination.


But more importantly, I feel like I was using it as a crutch. Don’t have enough time to sleep? That’s fine, I’ll just drink coffee. I was trying to do it all-stay on top of work, socialize, workout early every morning-and I neglected sleep. I could stay awake because COFFEE but after a few weeks of this, I was starting to feel worn down. While coffee may seem like a great solution when you’re tired, it’s important that we don’t use it to mask a symptom of a deeper problem. Sure, you may FEEL better, but lack of sleep can wreck havoc on your body. Here are some of the ways how:

1. Interferes with ability to concentrate and learn new things.

2.Impairs decision making and creativity.

3.Weakened immune system.

4. Weight gain: “Sleep deprivation increases production of the stress hormone cortisol. Lack of sleep lowers your levels of a hormone called leptin, which tells your brain that you’ve had enough to eat. In addition, it raises levels of a biochemical called ghrelin, which is an appetite stimulant.

Sleep deprivation prompts your body to release higher levels of insulin after you eat, promoting fat storage and increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

-This basically means sleep messes with the hormones that regulate appetite to cause you to eat more and store more fat.

5. Risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.



Although caffeine treats the symptom (sleepiness), it is definitely not a replacement for sleep. I’m definitely going to try and make sleep more of a priority. I know we’re all busy, but it IS possible if it is important to you!

Do you get enough sleep?

5 comments on “Why Caffeine is Not a Substitute for Sleep

  1. Matt

    I’ve weaned myself down to just a small cup of coffee a day. It’s the perfect amount!

  2. Elsie @ Sharing Healthiness

    I strive for at least 7 hours of rested sleep each day. I also try to make sure that I go to bed and wake up at the same time every day because I feel it is more effective keeping a sleeping schedule so as not to mess up your intenal clock.. 🙂

    1. astottler Post author

      That’s very smart!

  3. Rina

    Ha ha. As a college student, I should be getting more than 6.5-7.5 hours of sleep! Overall, though, I try to shoot for around 7 hours, and go to bed and wake up around the same time (both of which are ridiculously early!). I used to chug a lot of caffeine, especially during season, but now that I’m off season, I’m only taking 1-2 moderate cups of coffee a day.

    1. astottler Post author

      It can be rely hard to stay on a good sleep schedule in college!

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