In the Pursuit of Nap-iness

"I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee."  ~Flash Rosenberg

I didn't like coffee for a long time.  I had a coffee maker in college purely for it's use during all-nighters a couple times per semester.  (For all you non-procrastinators, an all-nighter is the 12-24 hours before a deadline when a student starts and finishes an entire month/unit/semester's worth of work with breaks only to pee and drink more coffee.)  After college, I moved to Denver and started my teaching career.  The first two years, I was concurrently teaching and getting my M.A. and daily had about 20 hours of work to do in 16.  So, I started drinking coffee and sleeping less.

Last full-caff latte, last weekend.
At first, I drank coffee because I needed it to wake up or keep moving throughout my day and to-do list while being  in a constant state of sleep deprivation.  As the years ticked by, necessity grew into desire.  I loved the taste, the smell, the tingle on my tongue of super hot, strong coffee.  All my senses sang "allelujah" to the heavens knowing that in mere moments I would feel more awake, more productive, friendlier and possibly, who knows, even slightly more attractive. 

It also was a social staple.  There is nothing more delightful than getting coffee with girlfriends and chatting an afternoon away.  Ok, I have a confession.  Before a date, a party, or some other event where I was really hoping to impress someone...I had to have coffee.  I didn't feel like "just me" would be fun enough, quick-witted enough, or chipper enough.  I wasn't whole till I had that cup or two in me.  Yeah.  Crutches.

Sadly, along with all the beautiful amaze-ocity that is caffeine...there is a down side.  Most my life, I took sleeping for granted.  I fell asleep easily, slept soundly, and woke up generally refreshed.  Once coffee (and stress and sleep deprivation) became a staple in my life, sleep was this fleeting whisp of a dream that I couldn't quite capture.  It often takes hours for me to get to sleep and it is normal for me to wake up 5-10 times a night for no apparent reason.  I would get so desperate at times, that I would take Nyquil or herbal aids to sleep.  I've learned to deal with it, because I've never been able to stay off the caffeine. 

There have been times, however, when I become obsessive about wanting my sleep to get better.  I have done "before bed yoga", aromatherapy on my pillow, read books about insomnia, had acupuncture for insomnia, and even wrote as one of my new year's resolutions:  I will learn how to nap.  Well, for all my scurrying about with a myriad of different solutions (which all worked at least a little for a while), I turned a blind eye to the pink elephant in the room: high as hell stress level and caffeine intake.  Duh.

Today, I haven't had caffeine for one solid week.  Luckily, I also have the freedom to sleep in with no alarm until next Monday, which helps.  I have had a couple headaches and the few days I did have to wake up to an alarm for appointments, I had to battle my whole being screaming, "COFFEEEE!!!" and just start moving.  But, here's the event that really matters during the first clean week: I took a nap today, and yesterday.  Granted it was only about 10 minutes that I was able to drift off to sleep.  But I napped...during the day...with the sun up...just cuz.  Hoooooooly crap.  Getting off the crack works.

So...here's the dealio.  The big test comes in a week, when I'm back at work, and stress becomes a part of my day-to-day again.  I want to have a plan.  I guess I started drinking caffeine because I had too much to do in too little time.  Step one: do less.  This is feasible.  I just need to keep to to a few things that I love and say no to everything else.  Keep it simple, stupid.  If I find myself wavering in caffeine world...that's a time to reevaluate what's on my plate.  Step two: figure out a way to wake up when an alarm wakes me up that's not delicous, hot and steamy in a cup.  I might start the day with some pushups and squats...get the blood moving.  Or go for a quick walk in the fresh air.  Or....?  This part is still in process.  What do you do to wake up?  Please post to comments anything I might be able to use to keep me on the clean train. 

One week down, 51 to go.  Thanks for all the support and a big shout out to all of you who have taken on personal challenges of your own!  I LOVE hearing about them!  You all are inspiring me to keep going in my own challenge, so keep me in the loop! 

I <3 naps!!!!


Ali Nichols said...

Honestly...Working out in the morning always gives me a great start to my day! Come to Verve with me in the AM! Getting up is hard, but once I arrive at Verve...life is so good. I get to start my day with positive people and I am always gauranteed to smile and laugh! I never need coffee in the morning cause I am so pumped from working out. Its the afternoon that I always hit a slump:(

Tiffany said...

I'm gonna do my best to get there in the AM. It is the "getting there" that is hard. LOL. Thanks for the suggestion! It's inspiring me to try again to be a morning person! =)

anniemetcalfe said...

turn off your alarm and then turn on your IPOD - make a WAKE UP list and use music to help. I used to do it and it used to make a huge difference:) Love reading!

Tiffany said...

Yes! I love that idea Annie! Thank you! :)

Tiffany said...

Annie, I totally cranked up Pitbull this morning and it helped SO MUCH! Thank you for that tip.