Are you persuasive?
September 25, 2018

I started drinking coffee when I was nineteen. It was something to sip on, to get refills of, and to linger over during those wee-hours-of-the-morning study sessions (dates!) at the Denny’s just off the University of Nebraska campus in Lincoln.

I could have as much (black) coffee as I wanted and not gain weight. It was the perfect treat.

Coffee became my constant companion for decades. I was hooked. Darrell became a fan, as did Katie. None of us could imagine life without it.

When Dr. Jim Hardt invited me to spend a week at his Biocybernaut Institute last winter, I was surprised -- and disheartened -- to learn I’d have to be caffeine-free. Coffee wasn’t allowed on the premises. I hated that. But I wanted the experience, so I tapered down in time to abstain for the week.

I’d bought into the idea that sleep gets more elusive as you age, but this experiment changed all that. I started sleeping so much better. I fell asleep right away and I woke up rested. If I had to get up in the middle of the night I fell back asleep quickly. The joint pain that had nagged me for years was suddenly and most thoroughly gone, so there was none of that tossing and turning in an attempt to get comfortable enough to nod off.


Not only that, but Katie -- who initially expressed only dismay at the dismantling of a family tradition -- started cutting back after she realized coffee was affecting her sleep, too. Before long she was off of it entirely. Darrell, who’s never been a great sleeper, was inspired to quit. He’s been caffeine-free for almost a month now. And, yes. He's sleeping much better already.

Me? I miss coffee. I still feel mildly depressed. But the fake high comes at a price I’m no longer willing to pay. Doing without it works.

You know, for us.