Andreu’s blog

Quitting coffee

I ran an experiment to find out the effects of quitting coffee. I have been drinking coffee since my twenties, and I am now 44 years old. I used to drink 4 or 5 cups per day. I never drank later than 4 pm, because it would interfere with my sleep.

Quitting was easy; I did not get any headache like some people report. It seemed to me that whether I drank coffee or not made no difference. Just to be sure, I used data from my smart watch to check after 30 days. The only significant change was in my bedtime. I now go to bed approximately 15 minutes earlier since I stopped drinking coffee. I also attempted to assess changes in stress, total sleep time and deep sleep duration. I only observed a small increase of 5 minutes in total sleep time. Additionally, my sleep duration is more consistent too. The standard deviation before quitting was 56 minutes, whereas it is now 37 minutes.

I did not account for confounders, nor did I exclude special days, such as New Year's Eve, where I stayed up late for reasons other than caffeine. During the experiment I drank one or two cups of green tea per day, so my caffeine intake, although low, was not zero.

It is likely healthier to reduce caffeine intake, so I don't plan to start drinking coffee again, but I am disappointed. Based on reports I read online, I was expecting quitting to be harder and the effects to be more dramatic. I am specially disappointed in that I did not start dreaming more or remembering my dreams, as this person did.

Conclusion: for some people, quitting coffee may be surprisingly easy, even if they drink 4 or 5 cups per day. The short-term effects may not be very noticeable, but on the long term quitting caffeine may help reduce some health risks. If you are considering it, I encourage you to give it a try.

Last updated: 2024-03-23