Beating anxiety with sleep – Part 2

July 9, 2012
Category: Mindfulness,Sleep

Drugs

Last month I talked briefly about eating and the ways I got back to eating breakfast and lunch again. I find I am a lot calmer, focused and relaxed. But his was not the case until I got off the drugs! My drugs were caffeine, alcohol, and occasionally cigarettes. All of these drugs work with each other to cause havoc in life, the caffeine keeps you wired, lack of food increases the caffeine consumption, alcohol brings you back down and cigarettes…well they play a much more complicated part:

coffee beans

CC image courtesy of puuikibeach on Flickr

“In one study, investigators asked male smokers to smoke regular or denicotinized cigarettes while performing a progressively more demanding task that was rewarded with the opportunity to drink alcoholic beverages. Under these conditions, participants who smoked nicotine-containing cigarettes worked harder and drank more alcohol than did those who smoked the denicotinized cigarettes (Barrett et al. 2006)”

stolen image from Google

Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee almost as much as this kid loves colouring…but coffee is just one part of the puzzle  and in order to reduce anxiety and increase good quality sleep, it was one thing that needed to go.

I was recently at a training event when I mentioned that I had a pocketful of herb cause I don’t do drugs like I used to. When asked about it I explained that I only drink one cup of coffee per day, and that I had a pocketful of herbal tea with me because usually one only finds two varieties of hot drink at a coffee/tea station. She asked me how I went from 10 cups to 1 because the though of giving up coffee made her cringe. I explained the process of moving to a diet where I had three meals per day which had helped me replace breakfast coffee with breakfast food and how that had helped to reduce the cravings for coffee immediately after arriving at work. I think it was Dr Karl who said that you can get just the same good feelings and energy with fresh juice in the morning as you can with coffee, so the juicer came out of the cupboard as well.

There are lots of good feelings associated with coffee at work, the time away from the screen, the conversation in the tea room (coffee room), the not doing any work at all part, and the smell of freshly ground coffee beans slowly rising to the surface of a clean glass plunger! See what I mean? So taking 5 types of herbal tea to work meant that most of that remained (except the coffee smell and joy of grinding) and I keep hydrated which is especially difficult in winter when the heaters don’t work. Staying hydrated is very important when you want to reduce your alcohol content.Next week – Alcohol (Drugs)

For the complete article quoted above see here http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh293/186-192.pdf

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