Focus your energy on what really matters.
What Matters Most For Your Health?
In a world of too-many-options, and a thousand social media figures clamoring for your attention, which paths make the most sense?
Whichever path we choose, it’s best to keep an eye on simplicity, sustainability, and what is going to deliver us true results — even after the initial excitement wears off.
If your goal is to truly improve or recover your health, here are some fantastic places to build from.
Why Is Blue Light Bad?
Blue light is rapidly becoming a hot-button issue in the health world.
Its effects on brain chemistry, stress hormones, the thyroid, and — most of all — sleep, are quickly moving this issue from a “fringe topic” to a mainstream concept.
The most direct negative effect blue light has on your health is on sleep quality. Why? Your body needs darkness at night for melatonin to rise properly.
Bright light — and especially blue light — instantly lowers melatonin levels in the brain. Exposure to blue light at night — when melatonin needs to rise to initiate sleep — will disturb your ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and (most of all) wake up feeling refreshed.
Blue light impacts people of all ages but is most harmful to those struggling with health challenges.
How To Reduce Blue Light At Night
Reducing blue light involves several steps:
- SCREENS — Dim your screens: TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets
- INDOOR LIGHTS — Choose low-wattage incandescent bulbs, amber bulbs, or red LED bulbs. Around 8pm, lower the lighting around the house. Wear yellow, orange, or red glasses before bed to block blue light.
- BEDROOM — Use blackout curtains to block light from LED streetlights, and don’t allow electronics in the bedroom that have bright lights.
When melatonin is low, your sleep WILL suffer. The best way to crash your melatonin? Bright light at night.
The partner to evening darkness.
Morning sunlight is one of the most healing habits you will find.
The circadian rhythm is being proven to control nearly every function and organ in the human body.
Morning light revs your circadian rhythm exactly as nature intended it to: by lowering your melatonin at the beginning of the 24-hour wake/sleep cycle.
Morning sunlight is much brighter than indoor light, yet gentle and rich in healthy red spectrums. This wakes you up, and signals to your brain the precise time of day.
Studies show bright morning light is healthy for many reasons (even for weight loss), but its effects on the circadian rhythm are certainly the most profound. Researchers who found morning light to be effective for weight loss suggested even this result was due to the light’s circadian rhythm benefits.
The circadian rhythm impacts every single aspect of the body. If you want to fix your health, fix your circadian rhythm.
Morning light also tops the list for its impact on your mood and mental health. Who wouldn’t benefit from a better mental state as we improve and recover our health? Of course, there are also additional benefits from merely being outside in the fresh air.
How To Get Daily Morning Light
Follow these steps for great morning light:
- OUTSIDE — Get outside within the first 2-3 hours after sunrise. Heat lamps are a viable alternative when sunlight isn’t available due to weather or your schedule.
- SIT OR STAND — Grounding via hands or feet is superior. Grounding in water is optimal.
- GAZE — Gaze at the horizon, in the direction of the sun.
- DURATION — The longer you take in the sunrise, the greater the effect on your circadian rhythm — but even a few minutes is highly beneficial.
Morning light has immense benefits for the body and mind, and there’s no better way to start each day. With daily morning sunlight, we give our body its best chance for a robust sleep cycle — and robust health.
When I was ill, I didn’t digest food very well.
As such, my eating habits were haphazard and unstructured.
If that sounds like you: don’t make this mistake any longer.
Why? When you eat is possibly more important than what you eat (and what you eat is pretty important).
There are many common mistakes concerning meal timing:
- Eating too late in the day.
- Skipping meals.
- Eating ALL day.
Eating at the right times also locks in your circadian rhythm even deeper. When combined with wise light habits (morning light + reduce blue light at night), smart meal timing will set the stage for deeper sleep.
Getting a proper feeding schedule back is critical to improving and recovering your health.
How To Time Your Meals
With some slight wiggle room, the best times for meals are:
- BREAKFAST — 7AM — Or, within 30 minutes of waking. (6:30-7:00AM is the optimal wake-up time).
- LUNCH — Noon (or slightly before)
- DINNER — Finishing before 7PM.
Not hungry at the appropriate time? Try to eat at the proper time anyway — it will further establish the correct meal times in your body’s clock. Sleep will improve, digestion will improve, and you’ll enjoy benefits along the way. After a while, eating at the right times gets easier.
The body runs on a schedule — every cell, every organ, including the digestive system. Optimize your digestion, heal your gut, and fix your circadian rhythm by eating at the right times, every day.
Sleep & Wake Time
Consistently wake up — and go to bed –early.
Late nights can be fun and absolutely worth the time spent deepening friendships and making memories.
However, what are you doing with your typical evenings?
When chronic, late bedtimes and wake-up times are certainly harming your health. The circadian rhythm is among the most important regulators of your body, controlling digestion, inflammation, immunity, mental acuity — and more. You’ve got to protect sleep and wake times with every bit of energy you have — especially when trying to recover or improve your health.
The reason? You’ll have WAY more energy, digestive health, immunity, and brain function — just by shifting your sleeping hours forward.
The Perfect Sleep Schedule For Optimal Health
WAKE: 6:30AM (or sunrise)
If you’re concerned about your sleep, start sleeping on this schedule. Just give it a few weeks. You WILL see the difference — especially when you add the other steps in the Sleep section.
So many diets ignore the macronutrient ratio.
The “macro ratio” refers to the amounts of carbs, protein & fat eaten in a day (or in a meal).
Why Is Balancing “Macros” Important?
Well, for starters, we need all three macros to make hormones (which affects sleep, digestion, immunity, and energy levels).
Your body is actually made of all three macros, too: Many people might know the body is made of fat and protein, but even carbohydratess are utilized in cell membranes to keep the cell stable in solution.
We need all three “macros” — and for them to be in balance.
The Best Macronutrient Ratio?
The 2:1 Carb-to-Protein Ratio
This is a perfect middle-ground ratio that can support the metabolism, optimize gut health, and supply proper nutrition.
Highly active folks may need more carbs — perhaps a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
After you’ve explored your carb-to-protein ratio, figure out how fat you need per day. Low fat might be under 50-60g per day, while “high fat” might be doubling that (this will vary based on your body size).
If you don’t have a “macro ratio” nailed down, you may be skipping a huge step in your health journey.
Track your calories for a few days (using Cronometer) — and then figure out if you need to improve your ratios to something like 2:1:1.
The Big Nutrients
Ultimately, all nutrients matter — a lot.
However, not all are equally important, right now.
Here are three big nutrients you need to figure out before you worry about other things.
Chances are strong that if you don’t feel so well, your Vitamin D is low. Perhaps you stay indoors most of the time and wear sunscreen when outdoors. If so, your Vitamin D is probably low (barring higher-dose supplementation, which can cause problems).
Sodium is NOT bad — it’s an essential nutrient that most people need more of. How is this possible? Most people who limit sodium intake actually just need to increase potassium (and magnesium, calcium, etc). It’s being low in these other minerals that makes sodium relatively high. Sodium is high in relation to its partner minerals, and bringing levels up of those partner minerals will bring sodium back into balance.
And those of us who are struggling to recover our health? We often need EXTRA sodium. This is because the body wastes sodium (among other nutrients) in hypothyroidism. My experience has found that MOST people with health issues are low in ALL nutrients — and we can’t bring levels up for all nutrients until we bring sodium levels up, first.
A more healthy person will need to bring up your potassium levels, first. Most young and/or healthy folks should make their first step to raise potassium levels via their diet.
And yes — there are many (around 30) other nutrients to think about. But you’ve got to bring up these big nutrients, first, and then bring up the rest.
Trying any health approach without first understanding (and mastering) your Vitamin D, Sodium, and Potassium levels most likely will amount to wasting your time and energy.
The modern indoor environment is a smorgasbord of variables that can negatively affect your health.
Here are the three ways your indoor environment(s) might make your health worse:
- Air Quality
#1 — Air Quality In Your Home
Air quality suffers because modern buildings are trapped spaces with little air flow from outside (where air is almost always MUCH cleaner).
Trapped air means that chemicals on new products (flame retardants, etc), and cleaning agents remain in the house for long periods of time instead of dissipating.
Trapped air means mold issues get worse. VOC’s, mycotoxins, and spores given off by mold growing (in walls or in HVAC systems) builds up over time — causing your body to become more and more sensitive to these harmful compounds.
Trapped air means humidity can rise in your home. Trapped air can also mean radon can build up over time. Really, trapped air means any levels of anything troubling can rise — air turnover is what protects against this.
Unfortunately, oxygen levels will never rise inside your home from trapped air. Oxygen is depleted as inhabitants breathe — and the highest concentrations of oxygen are in outdoor air.
AIR QUALITY SUMMARY:
Use your nose. Notice air quality as you go about your day. Clean regularly, maintain building systems, never let water damage your home, and use your nose to smell for musty smells.
#2 — EMF In Your Home
EMFs are fields around electronics. Radio-frequency fields are emitted from all wireless devices — you should limit your use of this technology. Become aware of WIFI routers, bluetooth emitters, and smart devices. Either disable their wireless functionality, or turn them off completely. This is particularly important at night, during sleep.
Ungrounded electrical wiring also presents a large risk to your health — as do grounded wiring that wasn’t installed correctly. You’ll need an EMF meter to adequately test fields in your home or work, and I highly recommend you purchase on. The Cornet d88t is the best meter without spending over a thousand dollars.
Make sure you aren’t sleeping close to EMF emitters — including electrical outlets, wireless devices, and breaker boxes.
Sleeping or working next to strong EMF sources may crash your blood sugar, lower melatonin, cause inflammation, and cause more metabolic stress. Put distance between EMF sources and your bed — and learn to disable wireless functionality when not in use.
#3 — Light In Your Home
The ideal living space would have lots and lots of natural sunshine pouring in all day. If this isn’t possible, you’ll need to get incandescent and halogen bulbs rather than LEDs and fluorescent bulbs — which are very harmful to sleep, the brain, the eyes, and hormone balance.
The older types of lamps (incandescent & halogen) are truly full spectrum and emit lots of healing, soothing infrared light. The newer bulbs do not.
Remember to make your home dim before bedtime. Bright light in the eyes directly inhibits deep restorative sleep.
The light in your buildings can promote health, or harm it. Take steps to ADD to your health via your indoor light sources.
Sick buildings make people less healthy. Become educated about buildings and their health. Sleep, thyroid, gut health, blood sugar, and more are affected by building health.
Is Now A Good Time To Improve Gut Health?
In the worst cases, gut health can be tricky and addressing it can be uncomfortable.
But for most people, improving gut health can be as simple as take 1-3 proven supplements, cleaning up your diet, and improving the circadian rhythm!
What’s Happening In The Gut
When the symbiotic relationship in our gut microbiome begins to fail, it can be very, very uncomfortable. These are living organisms living inside us, digesting our food, and affecting our tissues, nervous system, hormones, and even emotions.
Improving the health of your gut is incredibly important for long-term health.
Don’t wait to address your gut health. You can 1) incorporate gut supplements, 2) improve your diet, or 3) focus on elements that indirectly improve gut health (light, sleep, movement, environment).
Infrared is one of the most healing practices we’ve found in health science.
Infrared stimulates, soothes and protects every cell and function in the body.
Digestion, sleep, energy, metabolism, mood, wound healing and more are improved by infrared light.
If you haven’t experienced just how incredible infrared light can be, I urge you to find out soon. Make it one of the first steps you take.
There are few things as important for recovering health as daily infrared light exposure.
Learn more about the best sources of infrared light — in the Light section.
Endless Paths To Follow
In your health journey, there are so many different directions you could go.
It’s possible some ideas will bring you progress and relief. Unfortunately, it’s also possible some will be a waste of time — or worse — cloud the picture with incomplete ideas that will be hard to let go of.
Ultimately, what matters is what works in the long run. To find that path, it helps to know what helps most people and, ultimately, what works for you.
These 9 Concepts Are Compatible With Any Approach
The 9 Concepts will fit with nearly any health approach.
Make these nine steps the foundation of your sustained improvement.
To ignore these critical steps could hold back your recovery. So many folks don’t know about these truly foundational concepts — and continue to wonder why their sleep, digestion, mental health, and energy levels aren’t improving.
Finally, these steps can certainly kick start your progress, pushing you further along your path than you’d achieve without them.