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Permanent jet lag and why coffee may be all in your head (except mine)

bonjour from sunny Northern Alberta!

okay, maybe not so sunny, but indeed, i am here! sorry for being MIA; flying to the other side of the world and living out of a 45lb suitcase has thrown my schedule a little outta wack. more importantly though, can you believe the one and only time Oprah has, and ever will, do a show in Sydney, Australia, and i leave the flippin’ country?? have i lost my flippin’ mind???

actually, it feels like it. like my brain is permanently fried. delirious, at best. case in point: this morning, my 4 year old niece asked me how many reindeer pull Santa Clause’s sleigh. i told her 12.

simply put, i’m jet lagged. hard core. which has brought Starbucks and i closer together.

now some of you may be surprised that i usually don’t visit Starbucks twice a day, after all, i’ve championed the benefits of caffeine on more than one occasion. believe it or not, i rarely consume coffee outside my apartment, and i only enjoy a few cups in the morning. however, with my circadian rhythm screwed-to-the-hills, i can’t seem to help myself. that little green mermaid has been calling my name. a lot.

for this story to make sense though, we have to rewind a few weeks to where my hubby and i were theorizing about alcohol and its possible, placebo effect. we theorized that simply having an alcoholic drink in your hand might cause one to feel more relaxed and make you more social (or however you think booze will affect you.) so this last week i asked myself – well what about coffee? can just believing you’ve had a cup make you more alert?

admittedly, this wasn’t my original hypothesis. i got it from this study which showed that jolt of alertness we coffee drinkers experience (and crave) so badly in the morning – is all in our heads. in fact, coffee drinkers were found to be no more alert than those who abstained from the greatest beverage on the planet.

according to lead researcher, Prof. Peter Rogers, “our study shows that we don’t gain an advantage from consuming caffeine — although we feel alerted by it, this is caffeine just bringing us back to normal.”

well, whether this alertness was in my head or not, i needed to be brought back to normal. i decided to conduct my own experiment: i drank my java in the morning with no qualms about it, but every afternoon, i bought a latte and just carried it around. i know, right? sounds nuts. still, i thought if it simply felt like i was having a coffee, i would somehow reap the benefits without the caffeine/sugar overdose. (said lattes might’ve been candy cane flavored. i’m just sayin’.)

i’m sad to report though, the just-holding-it experiment didn’t work. not even close. i was a friggin’ zombie dragging my feet around West Edmonton Mall, which is weird considering i really wanted the placeo effect to work. i dunno. maybe it doesn’t work if you’re expecting it. or maybe i just should’ve ordered decaf.

see, i told you my brain was fried.

what do you think? is the stimulating effect of coffee partly in your head? 

do you think alcohol has a placebo effect?

have you ever experienced severe jet lag? any suggestions on how to deal? 

i wanted to hit the gym for some cardio, but my eyes wil barely stay open. should i push through or rest?

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