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What I do during the day directly determines and impacts not only just my sleep. What I do during the day determines how I feel about life, how much motivation and ability I have, my capacity to learn and understand, who I accept in my life as friends and intimate relationships, as well as what I do during the day can weaken my power to emotionally regulate, shape my reality in ways that do not feel good, and create and amplify mental health disorders such as Bipolar, OCD, and ADHD, Depression, and Anxiety.

The quality of my sleep and wakefulness are the product of the average of a number of different behaviors I chose to do.

The quality of my life is the product of the average of a number of different behaviors I chose to do.

The quality of my existence has everything to do with my self created habits.

Yes, we are our habits and yes we have chosen what makes us who we are.

In this podcast series we learn how we can change who we are and how to upgrade what habits we engage in everyday. We are more than what are brain chemicals want us to do in the short term for pleasure. We are more than the consequence of a previous choice we made for instant gratification.

I have made choices in life that result in me sitting up in bed in a deep state of unhealthy and negative rumination, for hours. I have made choices where anxiety finds me every hour of the day, for years. I have made choices that result in stress levels peaking so high my cortisol activates an auto immune disease called alopecia that results in hair loss. I have made choices that destroy my gut health and therefore deeply impact my daily mood, motivation, and ability to sleep thanks to issues such as acid reflux.

My choice to drink caffeine for at least 15 years was not the right one for me. Coffee, Yerba mate, tea.

I am not wired to consume caffeine, cognitively as well as physically.

And for many like me, caffeine may be used in ways that negatively impact life.

My anxiety is immensely low nowadays, after struggling with it for at least 30 years.

Caffeine is not totally to blame here, in regards to my anxiety. My choice to consume caffeine certainly had direct negative health effects I mention later that immediately went away once I kicked the caffeine sauce.

We cover alcohol in the next episode. I like to think it’s an intro episode, like this one. I have so many more stories, experiences and research findings to share on every topic I put forth for a first time. This next month I focus on night time behavior and how sleeping sufficiently literally changes and saves our entire life. I am keen to pint out that our daily choices are immensely screwing with the foundation to a good life, and that foundation is sleep. When we F* with sleep, we F* with life and how we feel about it all.

Back to caffeine and specifically the ever-yummy coffee.

I was drinking 2 French presses a day when I was in college, and I would even drink those sh*tty sugary machine cappuccinos and what not all through out the night. Whatever I could find. Except Starbucks, that chemical junk is an expensive joke. *cough* little college-coffee houses are where it’s at for the dank stuff. Pulling all nighters meant drinking coffee until 4am at least twice a month. I would literally sip until I passed out. That was the peak of my caffeine intake. We learn about our sleepy chemical in a minute and if you keep this passing-out approach in mind, you will certainly realize I was f*ing killing my Self from the inside-out.

My hair also started to fall out in college.

I struggled for 5 years with alopecia.

What is alopecia?

Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to come out, often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter. The amount of hair loss is different in everyone. Some people lose it only in a few spots. Others lose a lot. Sometimes, hair grows back but falls out again later. In others, hair grows back for good.

How I explain alopecia is it begins with a burning and stinging sensation int he area that will soon be bald. The area becomes completely bald. Baby smooth able. It is unbelievable how sensitive and smooth and fresh it all seems. And it seems like it would be impossible for hair to grow back. The balding lasts for about 1 year at a time.

I’ll share far more about alopecia in a few upcoming episodes. One dedication to autoimmune disorders I have lived with. Others will cover OCD, rumination, and how to upgrade our evening time routine for optimal living.

I will also talk about alopecia when I open up about the abusive relationship I was in. Alopecia will also make appearances when I talk about running retail for my small business, online harassment and bullying, and the cost of not managing anxiety and using mind altering substances to relief my emotional pains rather than heal which solves the problem that lingers deep down.

I struggled with insomnia my entire life. My twin sister as well. Even as a very very young child I would struggle to fall asleep before 4am as well as stay asleep. When morning would roll around and I would see the sun begin to light up the sky, only then would I fall asleep. And of course my mind and body would try to get the 8 hours it needed. Our body always strive to get what it needs. We learn in the alcohol episode just how smart REM sleep is and why we want to sleep hard in the early morning after a night of drinking alcohol, for example. In the future I will also talk about PTSD as a child and living with it as an adult.

Some quick science and shifting gears back to caffeine and the ever-magical powers of sleep: The reason humans get sleepy after being awake for a while is because adenosine is steadily increasing the longer a person is awake. Adenosine is a molecule that builds up the more we are awake & creates hunger for sleep. As soon as we open our eyes in the morning, adenosine begins to accumulate so we have the sleepy feelings ready for us about 16 hours later to be able to go to bed for sleep.

A choice a lot of humans make everyday, and one I made most of my young adult life, is to drink at least 1 cup of coffee every morning.

For most people, except for the rare and real mutants, caffeine for most people wakes them up and makes them feel more alert.

Funny thing here: this cup of coffee is meant to “get our day going” when in fact it could be negatively impacting our ability to truly get going on each day.

Remember good ole’ adenosine?

Caffeine acts as an adenosine blocker.

When we drink caffeine it actually binds to the adenosine receptor. The reason that adenosine can't go to the receptor slot is because caffeine already took it.

If you did not know, now you totally know- Caffeine blocks your sleepy receptor/signal. This is why we can crash from caffeine. We make our Self entirely unaware of how dangerously sleepy we truly are.

Caffeine and coffee are not magical beverages that give us energy. Nope. Rather, they hide the fact that we are sleepy from our own self. This can be dangerous. And, we can derive real energy from making better choices everyday which results in us leveraging our neural chemicals. It’s likely we feel like we need coffee because of other things we choose to do that messes up our circadian rhythm and hormone levels.

Caffeine has a strong half life. Basically, drinking a cup of coffee lasts about 12 hours for the average person. The half life is about 8 hours and the quarter life for a cup of for is 12 hours. Now think about how many of us develop a tolerance and need more caffeine overtime.

We are better off in life being mindful of how caffeine works in our body and if it is a necessity after all.

How caffeine works for humans varies for each person and you need to safely self experiment to figure out when you should be in taking caffeine and if you should be in taking it at all. If you get the jitters it is likely you should not be taking caffeine.

Some people can consume caffeine until 4:00 p.m. and their circadian rhythm and their sleep is not negatively impacted while other people have to stop drinking caffeine by 11:00 a.m. some people cannot consume caffeine at all.

This all depends on your receptors.

Caffeine is a substance humans can safely experiment on. After all, we can’t just plug our self in and quickly learn about our receptors, levels, and more.

Frankly, it is dangerous and detrimental to copy and paste someone else’s life onto yours.

Caffeine, can also be pretty blatantly problematic for health as some people’s blood pressure rises significantly.

My gut health and oral health were the worst when drinking coffee. Dragon breath can be from poor gut health and yeast build up on your tongue. Look at your tongue. Is there a white color on the top? That’s yeast and it means your have too much acid in your gut. I like to supplement oregano and caprylic acid. Obviously, the best approach is a lifestyle change and for me that meant kicking the caffeine sauce, drinking way more water which involved downloading an app at first to assist with that habit formation, and removing highly acidic foods form my diet for a few weeks, such as tomatoes.

Oh my gosh I struggled immensely with feeling okay in so many ways, because I was consuming coffee.

My acid reflux was very difficult to live with. My high daily anxiety was very difficult to live with.

Now that I do not drink coffee and other acidic caffeinated beverages I no longer live with acid reflux and my anxiety is now just a blip on my life radar. I went from crippling daily anxiety to manageable anxiety.

In regards to acid reflux - Aloe vera juice was a wonderful tool I used for a couple years in college for reducing acid reflux. I even paired it alongside my favorite alcoholic beverages, because, you know, college. It was great choice I made alongside the other questionable ones.

In regards to anxiety, what’s manageable anxiety for me?

Social or general anxiety attacks that are low to mild. Familiar is the word that keeps coming to my mind. I have lived and focused on my anxiety my entire life, and that focus has allowed me to better understand what life tools to pull out and when to best use them. I am super equipped with a beautiful tool shed of neuroscience backed tools and I am able to use them in moments of need.

Caffeine does increase the neuromodulator dopamine.

And, I think this can be dangerous. Actually, I think anything that revs up our dopamine should be examined and questioned, rather than habitually acted on. Just because dopamine says Yes, it does not mean it’s a Yes for our life.

Not only does caffeine increase dopamine, but your anticipatory desire and drive to drink coffee may also be from dopamine wanting you to be rewarded guessed it, dopamine. Dopamine does not care what you do. Dopamine just wants to be activated.

Our life choices can teach dopamine to motivate us to go towards and away from things (and people).

Caffeine can become an addiction very easily.

Dopamine can create addictions very easily.

If you are drinking coffee because you feel like you need it, I urge you to challenge that apparent need.

Think about that relationship we all felt like we would die if it needed?

We thought we need that person. Well, that person isn’t in your life and you are still alive today.

Did you really need them or was that just a strong feeling? A feeling that in fact was tricking you away form your fundamental needs, Bec use being with that person felt so good AKA you loved the dopamine.

Same for coffee.

I was convinced for over 15 years I needed it, too.

I could not “do mornings” without it.

I was wrong.

I have been wrong about so many things in life.

I have done so many things because it was what my mind and body wanted, but now I know those things are not ultimately what is Needed.

My bad habits had a strong hold on me for at least 30 years.

I have reclaimed my habits and I took back control of my life.

Dopamine can be a tricky one in our life.

We are wrong about a lot of things, right? And that’s totally f*ing alright if you ask me! As long as those lessons learned are appreciated and the information is applied to life on forward, the mistake of intaking a substance that is not actually needed can turn into a success. An adaptive growth mindset will show you that there is always an upside to an apparent down.

I struggled with mornings my entire life and I do not struggle anymore, and without the assistance of shutting off my sleep receptor via consuming coffee.

By the way, decaf is super delicious and offers coffee bean benefits. Cacao is a fabulous alternative, too. I will talk about cacao in other episodes. It is currently featured in the Goddess Chocolate Milk blog post where I show it mixed with other beneficial supplements and adaptogens.

This episode as well as others this month are entirely dedicated to sleep.

Reclaiming our sleep, the effects of marijuana and alcohol, understanding better sleep and better daily life choices, creating permanent sleep rituals and habits, the reality of the detriments of poor sleep, consuming mind altering substances in the evening and morning, and upgrading our thought patterns as to support our upgraded behavior patterns. You can enjoy episodes covering all the highs and lows of sleep, with my real life stories to support the struggles as well as the success via neuroscience.

My mornings look entirely different now. I feel entirely different now. You can feel different if you want, too.

I reclaimed my energy levels, upgraded my daily habits and overall life by committing to a consistent sleep ritual which involves honoring the fundamental rules for a healthy circadian rhythm via better habits.

Stick around for many episodes and blog postings rolling out this month and next in regards to sleep success, taking back control, and harnessing the power of leveraging our neural chemicals.

All the best today beebs!



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