Although I didn't start drinking coffee until quite recently, I have come to really enjoy lingering over the breakfast table with a hot ...


Although I didn't start drinking coffee until quite recently, I have come to really enjoy lingering over the breakfast table with a hot cup of coffee. Maybe it's the beautiful garden view from our dining table or the time spent just sitting in the morning quiet with my husband, but it can be so soothing.

Unfortunately, I've noticed that, on the days I skip coffee, I am tired sooner and sleep more and better throughout the day and at night.

Why is that unfortunate? Well, it's become clear that I need the sleep my body naturally asks for.

In college, I didn't drink coffee partly to prevent myself from getting too little sleep. The 8+ hours I got every night in college kept me awake, alert and focused in class better than any triple shot could have. I attribute good sleep to much of my success in college. And, as my college coach pointed out, I become quite a pain when I'm tired.

I've always been a needy sleeper. It seems nothing has changed.

Training 3-5 hours a day, it seems that 9 hours is a bare minimum for sleep. Most days, I sleep 7.5-8.5 hours at night, plus 2-3 hours of sleep during the day. And every other week, I get in a full day of sleeping, spending over 12 hours with my eyes shut in a 24 hour period. (Usually, this is in the form of 9.5 hours of sleep plus a 2.5 hour nap.)

And so I'm learning to cut back on the coffee. Still, I'm attached to our morning ritual. The rough, slippery feel of a warm Heath mug, filled with rich, hot, not-quite-bitter brew calls to me. But, I'm a woman of solutions, and so we've started buying decaf.

I don't always pick the decaf. If I know I'll be working in the morning and napping in the afternoon, I welcome the caffeine. But on days where I expect to head to bed right after the morning row, more and more I'm reaching for the decaf.

Some random thoughts on coffee and sleeping:
- A good mattress makes all the difference! I was having issues with my back and was just exhausted all the time. We bought a new mattress and within a week things were back to normal. We made a pretty big jump in quality (the old mattress creaked and pinged when you sat on it), but I'm a firm believer in good mattresses.

- We love our Aeropress. I've never been willing to commit to having a coffee maker. We started with a french press, but when it broke, we wanted a temporary solution while we waited for Oxo to send the replacement part. Our temporary solution ended up replacing the french press. The Aeropress looks funky, but it makes a mean cup of coffee. Since we switched, I've dropped milk and sugar from my morning cup'o'joe.
Once the water is boiling, the whole coffee making process takes about 2 minutes. (45s to assemble/add coffee; 30s to brew; 45s to walk to the sink and clean up.) Awesome. Plus, it makes espresso, so iced coffee and homemade cappuccinos are not possibilities.

- Dan and I are opposite sleepers. He can fall asleep through anything, but wakes up in an instant. It takes near perfect conditions for me to fall asleep, but once I'm gone it takes an airhorn to wake me up!

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