I believe I have discovered a new equation that explains the relationship between caffeine, free time, and the lack of sleep:
daily performance = hours awake * amount of caffeine consumed / hours alseep
I’ve never been a proponent of coffee or any stimulant for that matter. I just prefer to be a bit grumpy in the morning. I’ll drink and enjoy coffee and caffeinated soft drinks on rare occasions, but it has never been a daily habit for me. I’ve always believe that if you don’t have enough will to get enough sleep and then get up in the morning and do what you have to do, you are not disciplined enough.
After having started going back to school part-time, the amount of work I’ve had to do has increased and my free time has decreased. I’ve gotten less sleep because of this. I awoke (barely) in a very unmotivated mood earlier this week, due in large part to sleep deprivation. I decided to have a cup of coffee that morning. What lack of sleep? I don’t notice any? I had another cup that afternoon. I went to sleep just fine and was out of bed before the alarm sounded. This is great!
Or is it? I shouldn’t have to depend on a warm cup of brown liquid to make me feel like I had a great nights sleep. But it does increase efficiency, based on the equation above. More waking hours and more caffeine allow the most to be accomplished in a day. I’m starting to wonder if the worker efficiency increases in the US in the 1990’s were do to the computer software advances emerging from the Seattle area or the increased output in flavorful coffee found in the same region. Perhaps if it weren’t for Starbucks, the gains in technology would not have been realized so quickly. Regardless, I understand the attraction. People making frequent trips to the coffee machine are making up for a lack of sleep and a lack of free time. Two quarters in the slot and you’re ready to go.
Am I going to continue to increase my coffee intake? I hope not, but I have yet to decide. I am much busier, both at and away from work. However, there’s not much worse than coffee breath. I’ll continue to evaluate my situation.
I’m getting too tired to finish this entry – another cup please!