Here’s the rest of my saga of separation from caffeine.
It’s a struggle when we’re separated, so I recently posted how to cope without caffeine.
This week I learned more about the brainy effects of living with caffeine.
(Can’t live with it, can’t live without it?)
You see, on the chemical cellular level, our brain has adenosine receptors.
Adenosine is a natural substance produced by most cells, and it performs many important functions for us. (Goodness sakes, it’s a building block for DNA, among other roles.)
Adenosine in our receptors also makes us feel sleepy.
It’s a natural cycle thing.
(Doesn’t your pet look sleepy when they first wake up?)
Now, caffeine has a similar molecular structure to adenosine, so it jumps in and sits on those receptors in the brain.
Thus, caffeine prevents us from feeling tired.
It blocks the sleepy thing and gives us a nice wake-up buzz.
(Zip! Zip! We love it.)
Meanwhile, Nature’s way of balancing those sleepy adenosine receptors is to rely upon wakeful norepinephrine receptors.
Norepinephrine (a.k.a. noradrenalin) is a stimulant hormone and neurotransmitter.
It makes us alert, naturally.
(This must be how our pets, small children, and caffeine teetotalers manage to become bright-eyed.)
Why is it that for some of us, the more caffeine we drink, the more we crave?
(And is the caffeine industry an unwitting conspiracy to keep us sleepy?)
When I block my adenosine receptors with more caffeine,
my brain instinctively manufactures more adenosine receptors,
attracting more adenosine,
which makes me sleepier.
Which makes me pour a bigger cup or two or three.
And my brain has noticed that I’m awfully perky on that caffeine,
so it reduces its own wakey-wakey norepinephrine receptors.
(Because I don’t need that natural stimulant – I’ve got Starbucks.)
Yes, my caffeine habit has tricked my brain into pumping up more inherent fatigue and less alertness.
(Can you say lobotomy?)
That’s how a daily caffeine habit changes the brain and its chemistry (sorry to say).
Thankfully those changes are reversible, a couple weeks after you kick the habit, if that’s what you want to do.
Not that I’m saying you should.
I’ve been kicking it and restarting it for decades.
I’m tired of it yanking my chain.
I might step off the roller coaster, and take another look at How to Energize Naturally without Caffeine.
Let me know what you think . . . oh, after a few more sips to clear your head.
Diane Stallings RN does distance healing, EFT tapping, and/or Biofield Tuning on the phone, energy healing sessions, Chakra Balancing, and health coaching. She gives you practical ways to lift your wellbeing. Make an appointment in Phoenix or Fountain Hills or on the phone anywhere.
(Thanks to Pxfuel for this image – I added the spark it deserves.)