Thursday, 27 January 2011
Growing up, whenever I drank caffeine of any sort I risked kicking my adrenal gland into overdrive for a week, and not sleeping at all for that period. No joke. One cup of coffee or can of coke sent me buzzing. People said it was because I'm so fair of skin and hair. Whatever--that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The material point is that I got used to the feeling of being messed up by caffeine. Okay? Okay.
Later in life, I got interested in the charms of black tea. In Earl Grey, specifically, which I started drinking because of Star Trek and Captain Picard. A cup of Earl Grey didn't seem to mess with my sleep. That was nice. I drank Earl Grey often after that.
Then I had a semester of school during which I had three days of classes that started at eight and ended at three. There was an espresso machine in the sort of break room at school. At this point in my life, I came to appreciate the advantages of a shot or two of strong coffee ingested quickly. Bzzzzzz, I say. The sudden plethora of colors and inability to sit still made the first fifteen minutes after those shots of espresso fun. And I was too exhausted to tell if the espresso was having any effect on my sleeping powers.
At this time, an odd thing began happening to me: on the days when I had a cup of Earl Grey tea I couldn't sleep the next night. It'd happened a few times, and I began blaming the tea. So I stopped drinking it, and that made me sad. The problem went away, though. The semester then ended, and I kept drinking a lot of coffee, and never had much trouble sleeping. I figured that my system had done a flip-flop, and coffee no longer effected me, but tea did. Sort of annoying, but not a problem if I policed myself.
Then, one day, I had some tea, just because I missed it, but no coffee. I had no trouble sleeping that night. Maybe, thought I, it was because it wasn't too big a cup early in the day. In honor of the scientific method, I had two big cups of tea and no coffee yesterday. Last night, I slept like a thing that sleeps soundly. And I have, therefore, come to the following conclusion: tea and coffee in the same day lead to a lack of sleep. I don't get it.
Have any of you ever had severe reactions to even small amounts of caffeine?