The first week is usually the most difficult for people suffering from caffeine withdrawal. For this reason, you may want to try tapering off caffeine until your body adjusts, rather than eliminating it from your diet all at once. Headaches are the most common symptom, which can usually be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. You may also want to get some extra sleep during this time, which can help with feelings of grogginess and irritability.
Caffeine is an addictive substance. As such, uncomfortable caffeine withdrawal symptoms can occur when it is abruptly discontinued. Gradually tapering off the stimulant can make symptoms easier to manage. If you are a coffee drinker, this can be achieved by blending caffeinated coffee with the decaffeinated variety for a few days, so your body becomes used to the lesser dose. Then, you can try switching to decaffeinated beverages exclusively or eliminate it altogether.
If a gradual decrease of caffeine intake is not possible, or undesirable, caffeine withdrawal symptoms will probably be more bothersome at first. Headaches are the most common complaint, especially within the first couple of days. In addition to pain relievers, you may want to try getting a massage or spending time in a hot tub to relax sore muscles and ease tension caused by withdrawal.
While many caffeine withdrawal symptoms are physical, there are psychological aspects to it as well. For example, many people wake up in the morning and head straight for the coffee pot to enjoy their first drink of the day. Skipping this activity can cause distress when these people make the decision to eliminate caffeine from their diet.
In addition to drinking coffee, consuming hot tea or soda can be part of a daily routine that many people look forward to in the morning and throughout the day. Suddenly forgoing this portion of your ritual may produce surprising psychological effects, such as depression. To help cope with this, you can switch to decaffeinated beverages so you do not feel deprived of your favorite beverage. If you find yourself thinking about the caffeine you are missing, try to distract yourself with enjoyable activities. While it may be difficult to focus your attention elsewhere, rest assured that caffeine withdrawal symptoms usually do not last more than a week or two.