by Dr. Anna Cabeca July 08, 2016

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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.

sleep better

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.

Time For 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.

Here is an intriguing interview that I did with Dr. Jack Kruse recently on the importance of light in establishing our circadian rhythm.

How Else Can We Reset Our Daily Biological Clock?

First, we must turn off electronics at 9 p.m.

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).

Second, to break the habit and support our body in getting a good nights sleep we need to avoid caffeine, sugar and alcohol

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.

Third, there are a variety of lifestyle changes that will help you get back on a healthy day/night cycle

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:

  • Choose alkalizing whole foods. You can see dietary and lifestyle recommendations in my restorative health method book as well as a chart on alkalizing versus acidic foods. Mighty Maca® Plus is a great alkaline green superfood as well. Read more about the benefits of an alkaline diet in this article.
  • Breakfast is the most important meal. Always eat breakfast one hour from time of rising, and be sure to have healthy protein and fats, but very low carbs.
  • Reconnect with nature. Take long hikes. Try to get out and enjoy a few hours in nature a couple times a month.
  • Mya amore. Love-making releases oxytocin and reduces cortisol, helping you relax and fall asleep! (if you are having discomforts with your "lady parts" you may benefit from my vulvar rejuvenation cream, Julva®!
  • Gratitude journal. It will help you start your day on the positive. I guarantee it will make a difference in your stress-level and mood. Read this blog for other ideas on how to mentally reset!
  • Meditate. De-stress yourself to keep your hormones flowing naturally, supporting your natural rhythms.
  • Heart Math, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). All of these "therapies" help you with your emotional anxieties, supporting you in connecting with more positives, as well as better able to connect in your relationships.
  • Speak in positive verbiage. Whether about others or yourself, positivity is catching!
  • Deep breathing, Using/living my mantra, “Pause, Breath, Smile, Connect”
  • Identify your sleep patterns! I use a product from sleepcycle.com which helps identify your sleep patterns. I use in airplane mode to lessen EMFs. 

Some Additional Sleep Tips

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...

Mighty Maca Avocado Dream

  1. Mix two scoops Mighty Maca with a half cup of avocado, two scoops of your favorite protein powder (mine is my Keto Alkaline® Protein Shake), add a handful of fresh organic kale, and add water and ice to desired consistency.
  2. For extra creaminess add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Blend well.
  3. And while you drink your delicious Mighty Maca Avocado Dream nightcap, why not take a nice soaking bath with Epsom salts for 20 minutes or so.
  4. Just add two cups of Epsom salts. It relaxes tired muscles, and acts as a gentle detoxifier while getting your body ready for bed.
  5. Nightie-night!
And let me know by commenting below...do you have some secret suggestions for improving your quality of sleep?
Dr. Anna Cabeca
Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna is a Triple Board Certified OB/GYN and Anti-Aging Medicine expert who helps women heal the 9 most dreadful symptoms of menopause with natural, safe solutions. Follow her for content on hormonal imbalances, vaginal dryness, menopause (and more) that are medically backed, and created to empower women — not just treat them.



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