Life Changing Habits

Core and additional beneficial Habits.

Index:

Core Habits – 1

  1. Protein consumption within first hour upon waking.
  2. Eat every 2-4 hours.
  3. Sleep before 10pm
  4. No electronics 90min before bed.
  5. Morning Motivation
  6. Gratitude 90 min before bed
  7. Minimum of two servings of green veggies.
  8. Minimum of 7500steps daily
  9. Maximum of two shots of coffee a day.

Additional:

  1. Epsom salt Bath.
  2. Access to natural blue light.
  3. Infrared light therapy
  4. 2 Cups of Tulsi tea daily
  5. Using blue light blockers.
  6. Meditation
  7. Cold Therapy
Core Habits:
Consume protein within the first hour of the day.

It is recommended to consume 20g of protein for every 50kg of body weight. E.g., If you weight 100kg, consume 40g and if you are 75kg consume 30g.

 Meals stimulate gastric acid secretion in man and animals. The lowest pH of gastric content in man, however, occurs during the early morning hours. Protein meals are both effective buffers raising the gastric pH immediately after ingestion and potent stimulants to acid secretion lowering the pH as the meal is emptied. 

For Detoxification reasons early morning protein consumption in favourable as proteins are necessary to help carry toxins out of the body for digestions. Proteins also take longer to digest and will help stabilize your blood sugar and leave you satisfied between meals.

Proteins are broken down into their amino acid building blocks during digestion. An amino acid called tyrosine will increase the production of dopamine and epinephrine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are known for their ability to increase levels of energy and alertness. No one just eats pure tyrosine but eating foods high in protein will give you a slight mental boost. High protein foods include fish, poultry, meat, and eggs. If you cannot eat those, try high protein foods that also contain significant amount of carbohydrates, such as legumes, cheese, milk, or tofu.

Eat every 2-4 Hours.

Eating every 2-4 hours has many benefits. The first benefit is that you will consume smaller easier digestible meals throughout the day meaning you will potentially have less bloating and will not have any abdominal pain from eating and hunger will be better managed. Keeping long gaps (Fasted gaps)  in between meals can lead to low energy, poor concentration, acid reflux, fluctuations in blood sugar, sluggish metabolism, and food cravings.

The autonomic nervous systems responsibilities are regulating a variety of body process that take place without conscious effort. The autonomic system is the part of the peripheral nervous system that is responsible for regulating involuntary body functions, such as heartbeat, blood flow, breathing, and digestion.

It then makes sense that the ANS is greatly affected by the timing of daily meals.

Meal timings and fasting has a large impact on your cortisol levels. Cortisol is the so-called stress hormone.   It mediates the ‘flight or fight response’ with help from the sympathetic nervous system. Cortisol is part of a class of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids (glucose + cortex + steroid) produced in the adrenal cortex. Cortisol is induced by stress.

Why could this be a problem? The theory is that with our ever-stressed, fast-paced lifestyle, our bodies are pumping out cortisol and epinephrine and norepinephrine almost constantly, which can wreak havoc on our health.

According to a meta-analysis by (Yuko Nakamura 1, 2016)  caloric restriction significantly increased serum cortisol level in 13 studies (357 total participants). Heightened Cortisol levels lead to heightened and inconsistent blood sugar levels. So, someone with blood sugar regulation issues, long breaks between meals can make them worse. High levels of Cortisol and stress are commonly experienced together.

Sleep before 10pm

Getting seven to eight solid hours of sleep each night might seem an almost impossible luxury to many people. But not getting enough sleep is known to impair mental function and increase the risk for heart disease, among other ill effects.

Your sleep-wake cycle follows a circadian rhythm. Every 24 hours, roughly synchronized with night-time and daytime, your body enters a period of sleep followed by a waking period. See this as a “routine” or “internal alarm clock”.  The production of cortisol in your body follows a similar circadian rhythm.

As mentioned earlier Cortisol is a stress hormone causing heightened alertness and readiness. This is not exactly something you would like when trying to sleep.

During the evening time your pineal gland releases melatonin and this helps you sleep. Cortisol on the other does the exact opposite.

Sleeping after 10pm is usually associated with sleep deprivation as many mornings tend to start early. With too little sleep, the body is also more likely to produce cortisol. After sleep deprivation, subjects in several studies (Harmon, 2012) had higher levels of cortisol later in the day, a time when it should be tapering off to prepare the body for sleep. Having your Cortisol circadian rhythm not well lined up with actual night and day can cause slow mornings and a delayed onset of Cortisol causing you to feel tired during the day.

Remember: Cortisol production follows a daily, 24-hour rhythm, lower overnight and highest first thing in the morning. When that rhythm gets disrupted, so does sleep.

Switch off all electronics 90 minutes before bed.

EMF’s (Electromagnetic frequency’s) influence your endocrine system and therefore your sleep and everyday activities. The kind that we should be mostly concerned with are the ones being emitted from wireless devices such as cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, baby monitors, security systems, Alexa, Google home etc.  All these wireless communication devices we have in our world now are communicating via these extremely low frequency emissions.

The problem is that our bodies absorb them. The pineal gland secretes melatonin and EMF emissions can cause cyclical secretions of melatonin and therefore disrupting your circadian rhythm and ultimately your sleep. The pituitary gland, along with the pineal gland, controls the body’s metabolism and physiology. Some of the hormones it produces include human growth hormone,(HGH or GH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), adrenocorticotrophin hormone (ATCH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin.

When any of these hormones are affected by a disruptor, it can have a ripple effect on growth and development. 

Technology could also keep you distracted or stressed and therefore raised cortisol levels supressing melatonin and preventing you from getting the sleep you deserve.

By creating a “technology free “zone and time your brain will be able to secrete Melatonin again and circadian rhythm will not be disturbed.

Morning Motivation

Morning Motivation can be in the form of either text, video or audio so read your favourite motivational book, watch your favourite motivational YouTube video, or put on your favourite podcast. The way you start your morning is the way you live your day.

Our brain communicates with our bodies with neurons. Neurons use electrical impulses to communicate with each other, which is an extraordinarily complex process. Brain impulses (waves) move at different speeds and amplitudes depending on the task and state of awareness required by your body.

The beta brain waves are one of the four main brain waves (the other ones are alpha theta and delta brain waves). Our brain is always in a specific brain wave state. When we are awake and doing our job, study, solve math problems and so on, we are normally in the Beta brainwave state. Beta brain waves mainly occur, when we are awake and doing a task that involves active thinking.

The benefits of beta waves include:

Concentration, Motivation, Enhancement of language and reading skills and Treatment for ADD.

When you first wake, your brain operates at around 10.5 waves per second. The range from eight to 12 Hz, or cycles per second, is the alpha stage. Alpha waves encourage Daydreaming, inability to focus, and being relaxed. Beta waves on the other hand, do the opposite, range from 12Hz- 40Hz and increases your awareness, concentration and primes your nervous system for the day. Morning motivation will not only change your mindset, but it will energize your day and literally start you on a high.

Gratitude within the last 90min in the day.

Humans all show gratitude in many ways. We at Autonomic Coaching recommend that right after you start your 90min Technology free time you show gratitude.
At the end of each day write down what your achievements were during the day and write down what you are thankful for. Reflecting allows you to leave the day behind and calm down before bed. In the end, you should feel confident and proud when you go to bed.

 Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.

Gratitude raises your Vibrational frequency. A normal, healthy body should resonate with a natural frequency of 65 – 75M Hz. While it might be strange to think about, that means humans generate electromagnetic energy or “noise” even as we are just standing in place
Any time we stop to really focus on gratitude, our vibrational frequency increases to 540 megahertz. Gratitude is a remarkably high vibrational state to be in, and a remarkably high mood or energy to experience compared to other moods and energies out there. And so, what gratitude does for our bodies is, the more time we spend time being thankful, then the more endorphins our body starts to make and the more energized our body starts to feel. The world suddenly gets brighter, and we are lit up from the inside.

Going to bed in a happy state will only be good.

https://iaap-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/17580854

Minimum of two servings of green veggies.

One of our most critical processes that underpins our health and wellness is one called methylation. This process which underlies so many body functions is the addition of a ‘methyl group’ to other molecules. Yet this seemingly simple chemical process, occurring billions of times every second, is important for our mood, brain function, energy levels, detoxifying of harmful substances, helping our immune system, supporting growth and recovery, and lots more. It is a process that is called upon a lot when we are under stress, so can it potentially become depleted.

Low levels of dietary folate (found in green, leafy vegetables, legumes, and whole grains) alter DNA function that raises risk of diabetes. Reduced levels of folate are associated with altered DNA methylation in the liver of people with diabetes, found a study by (Finland, 2016).

 Poor methylation has been linked to many health complaints, including Alzheimer’s disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), birth defects, multiple sclerosis (MS), depression, autism, migraines, or heart disease.

In most healthy people, the liver plays an important role in maintaining glucose homeostasis, but in type 2 diabetes, it does not.

Along with over produced non nutrient rich foods, our genetic make-up may mean that some of us are predisposed to methylate less well.

By Including plenty of green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, chard, broccoli will aid in methylation.

Eating plenty of greens will also Ensure healthy bacterial balance in the gut to improve absorption of nutrients. Some probiotic bacteria, especially from the Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium species can produce folate. Consume a diet rich in probiotics (sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir etc.) and prebiotics (chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, leeks, garlic etc.). Fructooligosaccharides (F.O.S.) found in such prebiotic foods can particularly stimulate growth of beneficial bacteria which will then in turn absorb nutrients better and aid in methylation.

Minimum of 7500 Steps daily.

“There is but one disease and its name is congestion.” said Paracelsus in the 16th century.

Movement – especially when it is loaded, whole body, and variable in rhythm – is a congestion-buster.

A simple movement like walking could have the greatest impact on your health. Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day and can be performed at your own pace. You can get out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some more vigorous forms of exercise. Walking is also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly, or who have not exercised in a long time.

Although 10 000 is recommended 7500 is the minimum amount of daily that prove to beneficial to health. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine (I-Min Lee, Eric J. Shiroma, Masamitsu Kamada, & al, 2019) has found that for older women, there is no benefit, in terms of mortality, in taking more than about 7,500 steps per day. And even 4,400 steps a day may significantly reduce your chances of an earlier death.

Even though 7,500 is the minimum, there is no harm in doing more. Even though the study was done on women the same is recommended for men and we as humans need to take full advantage of our ability to walk as much as we can, while we still can.

Maximum of two Shots of Coffee per day.

One major influence caffeine has is on Oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons. The uneven number allows them to easily react with other molecules. Free radicals can cause large chain chemical reactions in your body because they react so easily with other molecules. These reactions are called oxidation. They can be beneficial or harmful.

Oxidation is a normal and necessary process that takes place in your body. Oxidative stress, on the other hand, occurs when there is an imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity. When functioning properly, free radicals can help fight off pathogens. Pathogens lead to infections.  When not functioning properly it can cause damage.

Study results suggest that coffee consumption can increase glutathione levels and improve protection against DNA damage, especially following regular/repeated intake.  (Martini, 2016)

 Caffeine is able to scavenge ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species), particularly the hydroxyl radical, known to be generated in the body by exposure to ultraviolet light and by many physiologic reactions involving oxygen utilization. (Sci., 2019)

Although Caffeine has been shown to protect membranes from oxidative stressit causes potential issues elsewhere. (Sci., 2019)

Coffee is a diuretic. This means that coffee increases your production of urine. Frequent urination can lead to this loss of important minerals such as potassium and phosphorus. A low potassium level (Hypokalaemia) can make muscles feel weak, cramp, twitch, or even become paralyzed, and abnormal heart rhythms may develop. Coffee is low in phosphorus. Although uncommon Symptoms of phosphorus deficiency include loss of appetite, anxiety, bone pain, fragile bones, stiff joints, fatigue, irregular breathing, irritability, numbness, weakness, and weight change. In children, decreased growth and poor bone and tooth development may occur.

It is important to have a good relationship with coffee and find a good balance between how much is needed.

Additional Habits:
Epsom salt bath 3x per week.

Run a comfortable warm bath and add 500g of Epsom salts and 100g of bicarbonate of soda. Epsom salts are high in magnesium, a vital mineral responsible for playing a role in over 300 enzyme reactions in the human body. Its many functions include helping with muscle and nerve function, regulating blood pressure, and supporting the immune system. Epsom salts decreases inflammation and relieves muscular soreness. Most importantly it will minimise the effect of painful muscular cramps. The magnesium component of Epsom Salts acts a muscle relaxant. This further contributes to stress reduction by relieving muscular tension. Healthy magnesium levels can boost brain neurotransmitters that are responsible for inducing sleep and reducing stress. Magnesium may also promote melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.

People feeling stressed and overwhelmed may benefit from taking an Epsom salt bath.

Epsom salt along with bicarbonate of soda bathes also have a significant influence on detoxification. Baking soda has cleansing and detoxifying properties that may help to purify your body and boost immunity. You can also add essential oils and other natural ingredients of your choice to create a soothing detox bath.

Gain access to natural blue light within the first 30min of the day.

Blue light occurs in natural visible light so our bodies can get it from the sun. Computers, smart phones, tablets, tv screens, and interior are emitters of artificial blue light, which is not the desired blue light.  Of all the colours of the visible light spectrum, blue light has the strongest impact on our physiology and circadian rhythm because the pigments in the skin and retina react to this wavelength (wavelength 446 – 477 nm).

The pineal gland in our brain secretes melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm) 

Blue light effects the pituitary gland which stimulates the secretion of stress hormones. Such as cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, TSH, estrogen, prolactin, and more are released into the body.

Blue light effects the pineal gland and shuts down melatonin production. And, as our master hormone, melatonin controls our body’s clock, how well we sleep, what we feel like when we wake up, and how effective our immune system works.

Exposure to natural blue light in the mornings will heighten alertness, memory and cognitive function allowing you to wake up better.

The best source of Natural blue light would be the sun or artificial light therapy. Opening your phone or putting on the tv first thing in the morning is not the best source of good beneficial blue light.

30min Daily infrared therapy.

Light therapy is as old as the sun. Photo biomodulation (PBM) is the use of red or near-infrared light to stimulate, heal, regenerate, and protect cell tissues that have either been injured, are degenerating, or are at risk of dying. Infrared light encourages and stimulates photo biomodulation. 

Infrared therapy influences mitochondria. Mitochondria is known as “The powerhouse of the cell”. Mitochondria produces energy know as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Your body uses the food you eat and the oxygen you breath to produce ATP. Infrared light adds to this and stimulates the process allowing for better ATP production allowing for better cell regeneration.

Infrared therapy has many effects on the human body. These include detoxification, pain relief, reduction of muscle tension, relaxation, improved circulation, weight loss, skin purification, lowered side effects of diabetes, boosting of the immune system and blood pressure management. In day-to-day life when we are constantly exposed to blue light, both natural and unnatural we need to counteract the negative effects of blue light which include shifted circadian rhythms. Red light therapy is also much less likely to disturb circadian rhythm and supress melatonin. 30 Minutes of therapy is enough to reap the benefits but not too much to cause too much light exposure to cause skin tissue damage.

1 Cup of Tulsi tea every day:

Tulsi has also been shown to counter metabolic stress through regulation of blood glucose levels, blood pressure and lipid levels, and psychological stress through positive effects on memory and cognitive function and through its anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties.

Possibly its most unique quality is its ability to work on both the sympathetic & parasympathetic (Autonomic) nervous system. Therefore, Tulsi can be used both for stimulating focus in the mind or for relaxation, according to how it is taken.

Tulsi also influences cytokines. Cytokines are small protein peptides that are crucial in controlling the growth and activity of other immune system cells and blood cells. When released, they signal the immune system to do its job. Cytokines affect the growth of all blood cells and other cells that help the body’s immune and inflammation responses. However, too many cytokines can be bad for your health causing a “cytokine storm” as a response to a bacterial or viral infection.

Tulsi enhances cytokine signalling in your body and therefore improves your immune system but does not cause a potential of a cytokine storm.

Utilise Blue light blocking glasses after 4pm.

A circadian rhythm is a natural internal cycle that works on a 24-hour cycle. Circadian rhythm manages your sleep wake cycle allowing you to go to sleep in the evenings and wake up in the mornings.

Blue light emitted by all visible light including the sun, computer screens, cell phones, LED lights, tv screens, etc. It is impossible to escape blue light.

Blue light effects the pituitary gland which stimulates the secretion of stress hormones. Such as cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, TSH, estrogen, prolactin, and more are released into the body.

Blue light effects the pineal gland and shuts down melatonin production. And, as our master hormone, melatonin controls our body’s clock, how well we sleep, what we feel like when we wake up, and how effective our immune system works.

Naturally, early evenings, our bodies start decreasing cortisol levels and gradually start increasing the secretion of Melatonin to slowly get ready for bed.

Excessive blue light exposure in the evenings can greatly influence your circadian rhythm and prevent you from having the best possible sleep habits. This can easily be prevented by wearing blue light blocking glasses from 4 pm onwards. This will prove most beneficial because this is when access to natural blue light (sun) slowly starts to disappear and is replaced by artificial blue light such as TVs, household lights and cell phones.

Meditation.

Meditation comes in many forms.

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Spiritual meditation
  • Focused meditation
  • Mantra meditation
  • Visualization Meditation.
  • Many more.

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.

And these benefits do not end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may help you manage symptoms of certain medical conditions.

Because we are all different there is no fixed “best” method of meditation. The best method is simply whatever works for you.

Meditation is a sort of self-imposed tunnel vision where you are focusing on one thing to exclusion of all others. Activities of meditation could include sitting in one place listening to a specific mantra, sitting in complete silence focusing on one thing and one thing only. Various breathing techniques could also prove beneficial for meditation.

However, this does not work for everyone.  Many people prefer other activities such as painting, drawing, writing, or even running as a form of meditation. If a state of tunnel vision, focus and peace is achieved then meditation could be successfully achieved.

2x Cold therapy sessions a week.

Cold therapy is immersing the body into a significantly colder environment than what it is used to either via water or chambers.

Cold therapy has numerous positive effects on the body and influences growth factor release, cell regeneration.

Cold can reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a natural consequence of exercise, training, and recovery. But if you overdo it, excess inflammation can lead to an overuse injury. Cryotherapy can help stop that process. The result: Less inflammation and a lower risk of muscle soreness and injury.

When your body is exposed to cold temperatures your blood vessels constrict slowing blood flow to your extremities. When it is no longer cold your blood vessels dilate (open) and this helps to flush out any metabolic waste and bring new oxygenated blood to areas in need and this allows for optimized cell regeneration.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is responsible for growth of all tissues in the human body, including bones. Hgh is secreted by the pituitary gland when exposed to higher heats.  No changes in HGH was found during the cooling process of cold therapy but instead during the “rewarming” phase of cold therapy. An increase in Hgh will further contribute to the cell regeneration benefits of cold therapy.

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