Earlier in the semester, I decided to say goodbye to coffee. You’re probably thinking, “Oh my god, why would you ever do that to yourself?” To start, I was getting sick of the bitterness of coffee. I was also noticing myself becoming pretty damn addicted to the stuff. I hated not being able to make it through my mornings without a cup of coffee, only to end up crashing later in the afternoon unless I had another cup. So I did what many other former caffeine addicts did: I quit cold turkey. 

It’s been almost two months now since I’ve touched coffee, and even though the first week was the toughest with all my withdrawal symptoms, I’ve been noticing tons of changes in how I’m managing my energy, sleep, and overall health. Here are just five:

1. I Was Getting Better Sleep

Sleeping Cat

carianoff on Flickr

When I was still addicted to coffee, I had a terrible habit of sipping coffee throughout the day, so what ended up happening was that I would have a hard time falling asleep at night. Then, during the first week of quitting, I would take naps between every one of my classes, because my body was still getting used to having no coffee. Now that I’ve been coffee-free for quite some time, I’m noticing that I can sleep like a baby, and I experience more days of not needing naps to make it through my busy schedule.

2. I Was Saving Money

american dollars, currency, money, dollars, cash, coins, chocolate
Anna Arteaga

I wasn’t necessarily spending a lot on coffee (only about $2 a day for a grande black at Starbucks) to begin with. But over time, I found that I had more wiggle room in my wallet to buy other important things, like food and books (but mainly food, because I got my priorities straight).

3. I Got My Caffeine-Buzz Back

black beans, sweet, mocha, cappuccino, espresso, cereal, chocolate, coffee
Abby Reisinger

Since my body had been so used to having coffee every morning, I had developed such a high tolerance for caffeine. That meant drinking a cup of coffee felt almost the same to me as drinking a glass of water. I still haven’t touched coffee since I quit, but I know that if I try to finish even a short Americano from Starbucks, I would become so jittery that I would start jumping off the walls.

4. I Found My Appetite Again

pasture, sweet, juice, apple
Parisa Soraya

Personally, coffee often acted as an appetite suppressant. On the one hand, I thought I “needed” coffee to stay focused throughout the day, but what I didn’t realize was that the coffee totally blunted my appetite. So by the time lunch came around, I either didn’t feel very hungry or had a hard time finishing whatever food I had packed. After quitting coffee, I started noticing my hunger signals again, which is a good thing, especially considering how much I love food.

5. I Was Pooping Better!

tea, coffee
Hana Brannigan

Not to sound super gross, but I also relied on coffee to make my bowel movements more “regular.” By that, I mean that on days when I didn’t have coffee, I suffered from bouts of pretty bad constipation. Those feelings of constipation lasted throughout the first week or so of quitting coffee, but now, I have fewer problems when it comes to pooping.

soup, tea, matcha, green tea, cream
Marie Chantal Marauta

Overall, calling it quits with caffeine was a huge lifestyle change for me; it challenged me to not only re-evaluate my sleep habits and energy levels but also to find new ways to stay focused throughout the day.

Some strategies that I’ve found pretty helpful include prioritizing my sleep, listening to my body when it’s tired, consuming healthier sources of caffeine such as matcha and dark chocolate, and de-stressing through exercise or hangouts with friends. Not everyone has a reason to quit coffee, but for me, having no coffee changed my life for the better.