Do you find yourself needing sugary energy drinks and caffeine just to get through your day? Time to break that addiction and habit, and I'll explain to you why this is so important to your health and happiness!
In my blog I have often talked about stress, inflammation and the cortisol/oxytocin disconnect; and how your adrenals can get burnt-out from chronic stress and how that ages us.
Today I want to talk about the underlying reason you find yourself both struggling with fatigue as well as needing your caffeine crutch to lean on all day!
Now, I am actually a big advocate for coffee, however, 1-2 cups per day (I do admit that I always try especially hard to find the research to support all of my vices including coffee, dark chocolate, and wine!).
However, when we are really struggling with fatigue and are experiencing difficulty sleeping, using some "crutch" over and over, whether that be an energy drink, coffee, comfort food, alcohol, sleeping pills, etc., know that it is time to completely make some lifestyle upgrades.
You don't have to make a lot of changes all at once, but there are some key things that we really need to do to establish adrenal health for the long term. Remember, chronic stress leads to rapid aging. We can look at our last couple of presidents over their two terms and see that effect demonstrated quite drastically.
So the first lifestyle upgrade I recommend is to get a good night’s sleep, that is critically important.
We have to reset our circadian rhythm to do this, and one easy thing that can help us with that is simply seeing the sunrise and sunset!
Yes, seeing the sunrise and sunset. We get a lot more than Vitamin D from the sun, it is how our body's own natural rhythms are set.
In our house we try to catch the sunsets. Sunsets naturally signal to our body that it is time to produce melatonin (our body's sleep hormone), that it’s time to rest.
Looking at our electronic computer screen well into the night can cause us to have disruptive sleep as it disrupts our circadian rhythm.
Now, sometimes we can’t avoid it, and so when I work late I use an app on my computer called Flux. It reduces the blue light on my screen; blue light tells our eyes that it isn't nighttime, so then our body doesn't produce melatonin.
You can also get blue-light blocking eye-glasses (try gunnars.com) as well as blue-light blocking screens for iPhones (try products from Zen Tec).
These act like stimulants in our systems. Even alcohol, which we may feel is helping us get sleepy, is actually really bad for your sleep pattern; you may fall to sleep right away after a few drinks, but you will likely then wake up later and not be able to get back to sleep. Then, you'll be tired and will continue on your broken circadian rhythm hamster wheel.
Many of these are about stress reduction and getting your hormones balanced to support healthy biological rhythms. Here are a few to start on right away:
Here is a short video I did last year as part of a 21 Day Detox, it is focused on getting a better night’s sleep and covers some tips, tests you can have your doctor do to see what is going on relating to your sleep quality/quantity (red blood cell magnesium, DHEA-S, IGF1 are the three I recommend), and reviews some supplements that you might want to discuss with your doctor (to assist you in getting a better night's sleep).
Supplements discussed include my Pura Balance PPR Cream (relaxes and calms your mood), and melatonin and magnesium (to aid with sleep). And of course I love the adrenal adaptogen Maca, which is in my Mighty Maca Plus superfoods drink.
And here is a lovely recipe that is supportive of your adrenals, makes a great bedtime elixir...
Do you get 7-9 hours of sleep each night? Or do you experience the dread of insomnia… tossing and turning? How can you improve your sleep?