book review

Spooky Halloween Stories- Sleep and Caffeine

During the month of October, in the spirit of Halloween (get it, spirit?) I am writing posts about things that scare me, or should scare me. Imagine this read aloud in a verry spoooooky voice.

I’m reading the book  Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. He’s got a podcast, and I first heard about him on Katy Bowman’s Nutritious Movement podcast. The book is a really interesting take on why sleep matters for health (stylistically it is one of those conversational, quick-read style books, but he has a lot of references to science, rather than just his own ideas. )

I sleep next to a snorer, and across the street from a security light maniac, so I am interested in getting better sleep (I’d also like the guy who snores to sleep better, but you can lead a horse to water, right?)


Here’s the spookiness: coffee in the morning might make it hard to sleep at night. I have known that caffeine at night affects my sleep, but even in the morning? Really? He has  tips to solve it. The first: quit coffee (argh! but I love coffee…) or go off 3 days, on 2 (but I love coffee) or take a month off (what?! But I love coffee!!!)

The monster caffeine isn’t like one of those shambling zombie monsters, or a tentacled swamp thing of eldritch horror. Caffeine is like a sexy vampire. Not a sparkly, stalk-y borderline abusive one, though.  Like an old-fashioned sexy vampire, where you know he’s bad for you, but he swoops in with his cape and his evening wear and his Transylvanian accent, saying, “vake up, my love.”  Sigh. 

How could I quit coffee? Or Coke with pizza? Or tea in the afternoon when I’m dragging…Funny story- I went into the lounge at work real quick the other day to make tea, grabbed a mug, tossed in some sugar, added hot water and dashed off to where I needed to go. Kept drinking out of the mug, wondering when the caffeine would kick in, wondering what tasted “off.” You guessed it- I forgot to put in a tea bag. Didn’t realize it until 90 minutes later, when the students had left the building and I went back to the lounge to wash my cup. 

How do you feel about caffeine and sleep? Is it an addiction, or something that works for you? What is your spookiest caffeine deprivation story?

4 thoughts on “Spooky Halloween Stories- Sleep and Caffeine

  1. Susan, I always enjoy your musings whether I can relate or not. This is one of those “or not” situations.
    Early in college I used to drink Tab to stay up and study a little too late. The next day, on too little sleep, I was neither chirpy nor particularly brilliant on the exam that motivated the late night. News came out about lab rats that got some horrible disease and died thanks to Tab’s sweetener ingredient. I mostly gave up any caffeine back then. Once per month is plenty for me and I don’t feel deprived.

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