It turns out that if you shovel copious amounts of caffeine into your system for a period of…decades, your sleep system and levels of tiredness get all sorts of fucked up. And, it seems, the only way to make it even wackier is to quit said caffeine totally cold turkey.
If, in the past decade or so, you have asked me, “How are you?” chances are that I said one of the following:
• “Good. But tired.”
• “Hanging in there. Tired. You know.”
• *bursts into tears and runs away*
My dominant fucking emotion is tired.
For a long time I have assumed that all the caffeine I drank made me paradoxically more tired because I am sure it interrupted my sleep cycle and kept me up too late and all sorts of vaguely bad things that I attribute to caffeine.
I also attribute some of my sleepiness to having to share a bed with a man who fucking insists on breathing no matter how often I kick him in the shins and tell him to shut up already. Seriously. All night, every night. Sometimes he snores too.
Since quitting caffeine, however—day nine! can I get a what what!—I spent several days waking up with eyes crawling with sleepiness and the desire to take at least one three-hour nap every day, often beginning at 8:38 am after my last kid gets on his bus.
(Is it a nap if you take it that early or does that count as a less slothful sounding “going back to bed”?)
Problematically, taking long naps during the day makes it harder to go to sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow at night. This is a problem because bedtime is like a race to go to sleep for Alex and me. Well, it’s kind of a one-sided race that Alex doesn’t know or care about. I always want to fall asleep first because that way breathing/snores have to wake me up to bother me instead of keeping me from falling asleep/making me want to murder Alex while he slumbers.
Alex has a job though, so Alex doesn’t nap, so Alex falls asleep almost immediately. Not to mention that lying in bed trying to force your mind to fall asleep will make your mind do almost anything except fall asleep.
I used to set my white noise machine on foghorn at top volume and put it right next to my head to drown out the sounds of quiet breathing. It’s a serious problem.
All of this is to say that I’m tired. And I am tired of being tired. And Alex is tired of being kicked in the shins.
Today is the first day in a long time that I not only haven’t taken a nap, but haven’t felt as if I’ll die without a nap. I sure do hope this is a sign of things to come because, frankly, if ditching caffeine doesn’t make me less tired, methamphetamine use is my next option. Fingers crossed!