If memory serves me right, this is the third week since I switched my regular morning Greek Frappe with a Decaf frappe, which according to the package has only 1/30 of the caffeine compared to the regular version. I guess that essentially means I have gone caffeine free.
The decaf frappe I have switched for. Product placement not intended
The main reason I decided to make the switch is some minor rec-curing anxiety issues I have. Also my sleeping habits were getting shittier and shittier the last 6 months and I couldn't get myself a good night of rest. And in case you don't know, I work for a newspaper which means that I get bombarded all day long with corona related news which certainly doesn't help :)
Anyways, I know caffeine doesn't mix well with anxiety and bad sleeping habits, so I figured to cut it down it and see how it goes. So, here's how my experience went:
Day 1 - Nothing
I didn't feel any different, although my decaf coffee didn't felt like real coffee. It tasted pretty much the same but my body knew there was something wrong with it. Something was missing.
Day 2 to 5 - Headaches and Falling Asleep Like A Brick
Again, at first I didn't feel anything different, other than then craving for a real coffee with real fucking caffeine... And then, at day 2, at around 2 pm I got one of the fucking weirdest headaches I ever got. It really felt like my brain was about to explode and at first I though I was having a brain aneurysm or something, lol.
After some quick googling, I figured it was either brain cancer or a symptom of caffeine withdrawal:
Change in cerebral blood flow is a readily measurable neurophysiological effect that may be relevant to caffeine withdrawal because acute caffeine administration decreases cerebral blood flow velocity
It has been widely speculated that the headache often associated with caffeine withdrawal is related to rebound dilatation of cerebral vasculature, possibly because of increased sensitivity to circulating adenosine which is a potent cerebral vasodilator source
This headache lasted I think for about 2-3 hours. It was manageable but really, really annoying. I had another one at day 3, which again lasted about the same time and was of similar intensity. I haven't had one since, so I think that rules out cancer :P
Now, another major symptom during day 2 to 5 concerned my sleep. Prior to my caffeine cessation, I had a bad relationship with sleep, usually taking me at least 20 minutes spinning in my bed before finally passing out, regardless of how tired I was. And that usually wasn't before 1 am. During these early days of my caffeine cessation at around 11 pm, a wave of sleepiness and drowsiness would suddenly hit. I was literally struggling to not fall asleep! For the first time for since I could remember myself, I was actually fighting to stay awake and not sleep, lol!
Day 6 and after
I think it was after day 6 that my body started to get used to working without any caffeine circulating in its veins. I still crave for a normal coffee but not as much as before. Also those waves of sleepiness and drowsiness are a thing of the past. However, when I decide it's time to call it a day and sleep, it takes me just 1-2 minutes. Furthermore, I now feel way more rejuvenated after waking up and I haven't had any anxiety issues since.
I still crave my regular coffee a bit and my decaf coffee stills doesn't feel like a real coffee. And that's probably because it isn't a real coffee.
But in return, my anxiety is way down, and for the first time in what feels like an eternity, I can say I can finally get a good night's rest! Maybe it's placebo effect. Or maybe caffeine was really fucking up with me.
In the end, it's the result that matters. If you have similar issues, hey give it a try! Switch your regular coffee with a decaf for a couple weeks and see how it goes :D