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Episode 19: Health in the Business World | With Mihaela Raguz

Posted by Manoj Perumal on

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About This Episode

Health in the Business World | With Mihaela Raguz

In this episode of Discover with Dr. Dan | Proactive Health, Dr. Dan meets with health expert, Mihaela Raguz. Mihaela is the host of The Natural Health Podcast and aims to help business professionals develop healthy habits through sleep, diet, and exercise for performance optimization. Tune in to the episode to learn more. 

Work-Related Exhaustion Affects DNA

Mihaela, a qualified naturopath, hopes to improve the world of business by enhancing each of her client’s lifestyles with grade-A performance and health. She has plenty of experience in corporate business and understands the physical toll it takes to hustle one’s way to the top of the company ladder. She explains how work-related stress can cause tremendous damage to our bodies by decreasing cell health. This exhaustion shortens the length of telomeres in DNA, which when they become too short, can cause cells to die. This effect can be linked to cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Mihaela finds that oftentimes, the business professionals she works with put their health priorities on the back-burner, meaning they get little to no sleep and eat food without regard for nutrition or long-term benefits. A lifestyle with unhealthy habits such as these contributes to the shortening of DNA telomeres. Her main goal is to disrupt this relentlessly exhaustive cycle and to save corporations time and money by enhancing employee’s lifestyles. 

Resetting Our Biological Clocks Morning and Night

When working with a client, Mihaela’s first step is to delve into each individual’s circadian rhythms and to alter as needed. 

You might ask yourself, what is a circadian rhythm? Well, we know that we’re supposed to be awake in the morning, and we know that we’re supposed to be asleep at night when it’s dark time, right? So it’s the rhythm of life. It’s the rhythm of the universe. It’s the rhythm of things that are happening inside of us, our biological clock.

Mihaela explains that everyone should limit screen time in the morning and at night to have a better sleep cycle. Smartphones and TVs all emit light that can alter our circadian rhythms by activating neurons in the brain, making it more difficult for relaxation and falling asleep. She clarifies that the first thing everyone should do after waking up each morning is to relax by spending at least five minutes outside – barefoot if possible. Sunshine helps to reset our individual circadian rhythms both in the morning and at night, and walking in the morning is a great way to absorb sunshine before a busy day. For relaxation at nighttime, one of the best things we can do according to Mahaela, is to watch the sunset. Doing so triggers certain systems of the body, saying it’s time to relax and unwind.

Prioritizing Essential Lifestyle Activities for Health

Not only is sleep vital to a healthy lifestyle and circadian rhythm, but eating a diet rich in nutrients and exercising regularly are also important. Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to take place in a gym – walking outside every day is a fantastic way to spend time in nature, to clear one’e mind, and to build cardiovascular strength. Mihaela encourages, “It depends on the individual, but please do not underestimate the benefits of walking or standing and moving that lymphatic system in times where you would usually sit.” Walking, paired with a healthy diet, is key to boosting performance and brain function. For those who are constantly busy on the job, Mihaela suggests calling the local salad bar or healthy restaurant and having the same nutrient-dense meal delivered to the office every day at the same time, to eliminate the stress of cooking and meal prep. 

Lastly, Mihaela hopes that more business leaders will take responsibility for burn out policies that protect employee wellbeing. Policies such as no emails after 7:00 at night to 7:00 in the morning allow employees to relax at home without work-related distractions, on top of further minimizing unnecessary screen time. As more people become intune with their circadian rhythms and put sleep, diet, and exercise as a priority, the better they will perform at their jobs. 

To learn more about utilizing nature to improve performance, check out the Discover with Dr. Dan | Proactive Health podcast episode below, and be sure to subscribe for new episodes each Tuesday.


Transcription

Dr. Dan Gubler: (00:09)

Welcome to Discover with Dr. Dan | The Proactive Health Podcast. I’m Dr. Dan, your host. This podcast is sponsored by Brilliant, an innovative proactive wellness company that helps people live a healthier and happier life by discovering and using bioactive, natural ingredients to formulate products that help them discover and unleash their innate brilliance. Go to feelbrilliant.com for more information. Today, we are delighted to have Mihaela Raguz from The Natural Health Podcast on the show with us today. A little bit about Mihaela’s background: she’s a qualified natural path and founder of The Natural Health Podcast, who works with ambitious and high-performing business professionals who want to work with their biochemistry to achieve success and optimal health. She guides them to optimal health by understanding their body’s physiological and biological needs to achieve peak performance without wasting time and losing productivity in their business. Having experience in resetting the circadian rhythm of corporate rat racers, like her ex-self, in the hidden mountains of Italy, gave her a push to share and spread the message of optimal health to business professionals. Mihaela is on a mission to bring awareness of optimal health into the business hustle space. Mihaela, it’s great to have you on the show today.

Mihaela Raguz: (01:29)

Thank you so much, Dan. I really appreciate it to be on this platform and share this valuable information with your audience.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (01:35)

Wonderful. So it’s really interesting, the experience that you have with natural medicine and nature, that you would choose to work with business professionals and make that your focus. Why is that?

Mihaela Raguz: (01:47)

Yeah, look, Dan. When we look all around us, we have businesses all around us. We have the fruit markets, that’s a business. We have a bank, that’s a business. We have this internet. It’s a business. I mean, these individuals that are behind these, they are so creative, goal oriented. They have optimal brain function when it is on point. Superior emotional intelligence that underpins the characteristics of these business professionals. I mean, they make our economy, our world, our social go around, the world goes around and it’s these individuals that I want to make sure that they are working and functioning at an optimal level. So then their ideas can become reality and it can make our world a little bit of a better place. So I thought it’s a no brainer to decide to work with business professionals.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (02:39)

Wow. So do you have experience? It sounds like working with business professionals, there might be a backstory behind this.

Mihaela Raguz: (02:47)

Yeah, definitely is. A look myself, I finished a degree in business. That was my first university degree. I decided to, I was kind of like, “What am I going to focus on?” And I was like, “Okay, well let’s decide business.” And I did, I did, I finished my bachelor of business. Worked in the corporate world for about 10 years and had those goals of hustling my way to the top and I even saw my managers and the people around me just hustling their way. And I mean, staying awake til’ 3:00 AM and then waking up at 5:00 AM, spending hours in front of the computer, having absolutely no social life, no time to cook or make any healthy foods. Yeah, so it was kind of like a given to be in the business world and not really think about health as an important aspect of our lives.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (03:40)

Hmm. Yeah. That’s interesting. I know you get caught into it, like you were saying, the rat race. It’s a, you become laser focused and other things lose their focus. So when you work with these business professionals and if we want to really start to take the first step towards changing their health, what’s the first thing that you would tell these individuals?

Mihaela Raguz: (04:03)

Yeah. So, that’s an absolutely great question. And I wanted to put in there also that there was a study in 2012 published in general Public Library of Science. One that found that work-related exhaustion can have harmful effects on critical DNA in the cells. So what they did is actually the researchers measured the length of DNA sections called the telomeres. I’m pretty sure you know, that telomeres, they found individuals. And what they found that, is individuals who had the most job stress had the shortest telomeres. And when telomeres become too short, the cells can die, become damaged, which affects our whole body. But the interesting part was those who didn’t experience work exhaustion had longer telomeres and shorter telomeres have been linked to Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. And these health professionals, these sort of, these business professionals, they don’t really make the link in regards to working and working and hustling their way, their jobs, and the link to type two diabetes or cardiovascular disease or cancer. And I guess this is where I got to drive to bring health awareness into the business hustle space. But let’s go into the question that you asked me in regards to what’s the first thing that we do.

Mihaela Raguz: (05:19)

That’s an absolutely great question. I love that because these business professionals, they’re type A personalities. They want everything now. They want the one supplement that’s just going to give them brain power 24 hours a day. I mean, who wouldn’t? And the thing is, is the first thing that I look at is, I look at their circadian rhythm. You might ask yourself, what is a circadian rhythm? Well, we know that we’re supposed to be awake in the morning, and we know that we’re supposed to be asleep at night when it’s dark time, right? So it’s the rhythm of life. It’s the rhythm of the universe. It’s the rhythm of things that are happening inside of us, our biological clock, right? And it’s interesting when talking to these business professionals that their circadian rhythm is usually always out of whack. And that makes total sense when you know the biochemistry of the body, because light being one of the biggest factors that influences this circadian rhythm, they’re exposed to light at two, three, four AM, in the morning when they’re working on their laptop or on their phones. And the interesting thing is, is what I say to them is actually, as soon as you wake up, what do you do? And most of them say to me, “Well, Mihaela, as soon as I get up, I jump up straight away, go make myself a coffee and then I jump in the car, go to the office and stay there most of the time and then come back home.”

Mihaela Raguz: (06:39)

And then I was like, “Okay, well, there’s absolutely no exposure to sunlight there.” Yes, we may be fooled that we might have some sunlight exposure through our window, but it’s absolutely minimal. And it’s definitely not as important and as effective as having exposure to sunlight outside onto our skin and onto our eyes. So the first thing that I do might seem a little bit hippy in a way, you may call it. So these professionals look at me sometimes like, “What’s happening?” But I say, as soon as you wake up, okay, yes, fair enough. If you’ve got to have your coffee, go outside barefoot, step outside. I don’t mind if you’re living in an apartment and it’s on concrete. It doesn’t matter. It’s okay. Step outside on your balcony, step outside into your backyard and just be there. Be there, be exposed to sunlight, let your eyes be expose to sunlight. Let that sunlight reset your master clock in your body. So then you’re able to reset all the other clocks in our body. Okay. So that is kind of the first initial thing that I do.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (07:48)

Interesting. That’s wonderful. Sunlight triggers a lot of good chemical reactions in the skin. That’s great. So they do that in the morning. What about circadian rhythm at night? Most of us are, we’re watching TV and then we answer a bunch of emails or do some work and then we, and we go to bed. What are some tangible things that you would tell all of us?

Mihaela Raguz: (08:13)

Yeah, absolutely. Great question. Like you said, you can’t just do one without the other. Yes. I say, look at sunlight in the morning, but then at night time, it’s also highly beneficial for us to look at sunset if we are able to. So those are the two key points to be outside if you’re ever going to be outside, because looking at sunset actually activates other systems in our body saying it’s time for relaxation, right? And the funny thing is, I always say to individuals, let’s not be on our laptops. Let’s not look at TV. And then people say to me, “Oh, but you know, I’ve got that app where he blocks off the blue light.” Yes. Okay. It is beneficial. However, the whole thing is, is you’re still on your phone. You’re still activating all those neurons in your brain. You’re still raising your sympathetic nervous system.

Mihaela Raguz: (09:00)

But night time to reset your circadian rhythm is all about calming down. So it’s making, literally turning off all the lights and you can go old school and have candles around because that light doesn’t affect our circadian rhythm. As much as the blue light that we have. And some individuals I can even say, you can put a red light lamp in your bedroom. I know it sounds a bit crazy and people might be walking past your house, they’re like “What’s happening in there?” But yeah, it’s all about relaxing the body and all about pushing your body in the morning and then relaxing it at night to reset that circadian rhythm.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (09:38)

Wonderful. I read a really cool paper in science about sleep. And these researchers showed that when you go to sleep, the cerebral spinal fluid, the channels in the brain expand threefold so that the brain can then push out these metabolites that can be toxic if they’re building up. So I love that. Sleep is critical. And one thing that I find refreshing is when you read, 10 years ago, when you looked at these top business performers, it was all bragging and boasting. “I work 22 hours a day. I get two hours of sleep. I get three hours of sleep. I’m up at two in the morning.” And it’s really refreshing that a lot of high-performers are starting to see the benefit there. And they actually say, “I get six or seven or eight hours of sleep a night.” But I would say though that that’s still a small outlier, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Mihaela Raguz: (10:32)

You’re a hundred percent right. It’s amazing that we are looking at sleep in such an amazing aspect and part of our health. It’s not just the food that we’re putting into our mouth, but we’re also looking at sleep, how is sleep going to help us?

Dr. Dan Gubler: (10:44)

Right. Okay. So you mentioned to stand out in your yard or on your balcony, a cup of coffee in hand and just relax. What about that cup of coffee? As high performers, we’re saturated, we’re inundated with caffeine. If we were to take an IV, it’d be like 99% caffeine. How does caffeine, what role does it play in health for business professionals? And obviously this applies to all of us.

Mihaela Raguz: (11:11)

Yeah. Look, I actually, I’ve done a podcast that goes into the benefits of caffeine, right? So, or coffee, right? So there are so many benefits of coffee filled with polyphenols, filled with nutrients that will help us. The caffeine part can be the beta. It depends why you’re taking it, right? If you literally cannot get out of bed in the morning and you’re relying on caffeine, definitely a circadian rhythm issue. There’s an issue inside the body. It’s not at a homeostasis level because after having a good night’s sleep, we’re supposed to get up and go, right? So if we are relying on caffeine to get us up and go, there may be an issue. However, if we are having the coffee as a supplement, this is an interesting aspect, as a supplement because not many people will see coffee as a supplement, if we’re taking coffee as a supplement to assist us because we are going to be doing some extremely amazing work that we really need to focus on and we know we’re gonna have to be focusing, having a bit of caffeine, I don’t see an issue with it. And some individuals also take a bit of coffee and they have l-theanine in with it to remove the jitters and so forth. There’s all of these hacks and all these things that people are doing. But the first, the basic is, if we have our circadian rhythm on point, we may not need that coffee every single day. However, if we’re going to have coffee as a supplement, I don’t really see an issue with it, because it does come with so many benefits, with the nutrients that coffee actually has. But I would like to make a point on that is, is that it needs to be organic. Coffee needs to be organic because it’s one of the most sprayed herbs, one of the most sprayed, yeah, one of the most sprayed things that we glyphosate, herbicides and so forth. So we believe we’re taking this coffee, that’s going to give us, but we may actually be drinking this toxin water in a way. So it needs to be ensured that the coffee source is from a reparable premium source and it is organic.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (13:21)

Okay. And when you’re talking about coffee, organic, are you talking about kind of a straight cup of black coffee, or are you talking about the coffee that we get at the shops that have cream and sugars and everything but the kitchen sink?

Mihaela Raguz: (13:36)

I love that you asked that. Essentially, black, straight, and filtered water is the best way to go. No sugar because when, if you understand, as you would know, you would understand plants and herbs and the constitutes that they have, it’s the bitterness in the coffee that gives so many health benefits. And the interesting thing is also a lot of individuals that I talk to, I say, we talk about going to the toilet a lot, right? And I say, if we removed that coffee out of your day, would you be going to the toilet? And most people wouldn’t, right? So you can see how this bitterness of this coffee and the constitutes of this coffee that it has in it actually helps us also eliminate and so forth. There’s so many benefits I could go days and days on about it, but yes, essentially, it’s as pure as possible, organic, filtered water, straight coffee.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (14:31)

Okay, great. So we have our coffee, we’re ready to go to work. We’re ready to go to battle or our cortisol levels are high. Our fight and flight response is in full mode and we need to eat something. What do you recommend that we eat?

Mihaela Raguz: (14:47)

Yeah. So I always say, and it depends on the individual. I would never have a coffee straight without food. I would have some food before the coffee. And the reason behind that is because most of these individuals, this also depends on individual, what’s happening in the individual’s life. What they’ve been going on. However, most of these A performers, business professionals, their adrenals are working like crazy already. And the last thing we want is to pump those adrenals with no fuel available, right? It’s kind of like you have a car and you’re pushing down the pedal, but there’s not that much fuel in there. So essentially is, I would prefer if an individual has food and then has the coffee, of course, depending on what they’re doing and so forth. But food wise, what would they do, right? Keep it simple.

Mihaela Raguz: (15:36)

So uncomplicated. You already have so many things going in your mind, you already have so many ideas. You have so many tasks to do, these meetings to attend, keep it simple. If you need to eat the same thing Monday to Friday, eat the same thing. Similar thing with just a variation of vegetables that are in season. So for example, look, the easiest thing is a smoothie, right? And I know everyone talks about it, but we need to ensure that this smoothie has protein, fat, carbohydrates, right? Not just a fruit smoothie. This fruit smoothie, if you just have that, you’re going to crash and you’re going to have absolutely no energy. And then you’re gonna end up having five coffees later on. So keeping it really simple and being prepared.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (16:21)

Great. What about lunch and dinner? What will we do throughout the day? During lunch, do we sneak out to our favorite fast food joint? Do we nibble on a protein bar? What do we do?

Mihaela Raguz: (16:36)

Yeah, absolutely great questions. So you’ve got, you’ve got breakfast, lunch, and dinner, right? So the thing is, us as business professionals who are really good at organizing and really good at planning, right? So this is where we need to take those skills that we have into our nutrition, into our health. So we support us as the biggest asset. So the first thing that we would do is, okay, so it’s kind of like, okay, we’re working, let’s say Monday to Friday, that’s five lunches and five dinners. I don’t want to think about it. So what you do is, let’s say, one of the benefits things is if you’re working in the city or in an area where there’s shops and so forth, you can get in touch with your local restaurant or local salad bar or anything local and ask them to prepare meals for you, right? So for example, you say, “I want this and this and this done. I want it delivered to my office every day at 12:30, at 1:00 PM.” Right? “Or I will pick it up at 1:00 PM,” because we’re not very, business professionals aren’t very patient. They just want it then and there now. So, and if it’s, and if it’s pre-planned, it means you have no way of going off track. You’re not going to let that food, just sit there. You’ve already paid for it. You’re going to go pick it up or it’s going to come delivered to you. So when talking to the chef or the, or the person that’s taking your order, you want to ensure that it’s good quality, wholesome food. Veggies, lots of veggies. I’m talking about green vegetables. You want color, you want rainbow, you want green. You want purple. You want white.

Mihaela Raguz: (18:05)

You want it to look amazing in front of you. You want that good quality protein and of course, the fat. And the vegetables come with the minerals and the vitamins. But like you said, and that’s the same similar for dinner. And this is just, it’s not specific to one person because every individual’s goals may be different. It may vary. But the point of being organized, everyone can do that. Planning and being organized and talking to that local chef that they can cook you up something that’s in season and fresh.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (18:38)

Right. Great. So we have, we’re connected with the sun. We have our coffee, something, we’re ready to go. We’re eating healthy. How does exercise fit into the equation here? And again, we’re busy. We’re looking, yeah, we can, we can maybe take a lunch break and exercise, but we don’t have time. We have to do this and that, and our to-do list is 20 items long. Do I really need to exercise and why? And if so, why is it important?

Mihaela Raguz: (19:12)

Yeah, an absolutely great question. Exercise. When we think about our body, right? We have our circuitry system which moves around, but we also have systems in our bodies such as our lymphatic system, that don’t move on this, we move, right? And a lot of things in our body become, become stagnated if we stay still. So essentially, movement is key. And this is different for every individual. I believe that walking is very underestimated. And what I mean by that is, business professionals always say that they’re busy. Okay. Yes. And most of them have animals and animals are in the backyard and they don’t get walked. How about we make a bit of a connection with those, fur animal friends and in the morning, take them just for one lap, five minutes. So you don’t have to stand outside and get that sunlight. You can literally move and get that sunlight.

Mihaela Raguz: (20:01)

That’s five minutes, that’s it, right? Come back. Your coffee’s ready. Your, breakfast is ready. But the key thing is also is, you can have that planned exercise. And I think that’s highly beneficial. A lot of people find it hard to jump into half an hour of planned exercise in a gym and so forth. But throughout the day, how many times are these people on the phone? Throughout the day, how many times are these business professionals having meetings? Why not walk during these meetings? When you’re on a phone, go outside, go in your office, walk up and down. There’s these beautiful things called stand up tables, desks, right? You put them up and there you are standing, which straightaway changes your physiology of your body because we’re not made to sit. As humans were made to walk or lay and do things like that. Not am I supposed to sit for long periods of time? Essentially, I believe the research came out that sitting is the new smoking. That’s how dangerous it is for us. So yes, exercise is key. And it depends on the individual, but please do not underestimate the benefits of walking or standing and moving that lymphatic system in times where you would usually sit. So just kind of the non-planned movement, I think is key, which will make a difference.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (21:21)

Yeah. One of the favorite phrases that I like, that I’ve seen in the research, the papers in the scientific research is you eat to be lean, you exercise to be healthy. Some other papers I’ve read in some of the research I did when I was a professor, we studied volatile compounds and we found that trees and plants give off volatile compounds. Pinenes and terpenes and other beneficial compounds. And when you breathe those in when you’re walking, the health benefit that it has, turning on different genes, you talked about telomeres and, their protection. So I find that it’s amazing. And I really like how you say, walking outside, as opposed to being in a gym where maybe some of those things are marginalized a bit.

Mihaela Raguz: (22:03)

Yeah. I love that. And if you want to go to the extreme, you can even go barefoot forest walking. Like that is, that is absolutely extraordinary for what you said and breathing in those compounds and being in touch with nature. And, yeah, it’s just extraordinary what it does to our body and our physiology. We underestimate nature a lot, and I hope that we’re able to reconnect with it again and understand that it has all the supplements are outside there that we need.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (22:32)

Yeah. So let’s move to another topic. Everyone that I, well, most of the high performers that I know, they rely on smart drugs in order to keep them on the top of their game. ADHD is a little there. A plus personality. They’re going everywhere. And so a lot of times they rely on adderall and different smart drugs to help them be focused and they want to get off, but they can’t. What would you tell these people?

Mihaela Raguz: (23:04)

Yeah. I mean, essentially we need to look at first why these individuals took these supplements, right? When we think about business professionals, they’re A type personalities and there’s a huge, there’s a huge risk, or the research is saying to addictions, right? And these addictions are alcohol, smoking. Well, that was in the past, right? And now it’s turned to these new tropics and turned into these other drugs and so forth. So it’s very easy for these individuals to become addicted. But what I want them to become addicted to is understanding the biology and the physiology of their own health, or when they are deficient in something and to understand it. Because no one’s deficient in adderall or no one’s efficient in those entropic drugs. Yes, there are so many beautiful herbs out there that can assist us to focus a little bit more.

Mihaela Raguz: (23:57)

There’s some beautiful herbs and plants out that can assist us to switch on our parasympathetic mode and so forth. But also let’s think about focus, right? When we’re trying to focus on something, if we’re taking something like caffeine or any of those drugs, we become shaky. And we have too much energy. How we support focus, focus is not that. Focus is being in a flow mode. Focus is being creative. Focus is being, taking that breath. That is the most clear that you will ever get is by breathing, right? So for those individuals that may be addicted to those drugs, or maybe addicted to the next supplement, I ask them to just look inside them and they have what they need in their breath. That breath will give them so much focus. It’s out of this world. Getting in touch with nature will give them so much focus. So, I would want them to experience and explore those concepts before getting addicted to anything along those lines.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (25:00)

Yeah, it’s interesting. Breathing, it seems so fundamental after all. But it’s interesting to note that when we’re stressed and when we’re in the flow of performing, our breath is shallow. It’s not deep. And so, and we don’t think about it. That’s amazing. Meditation, one thing that I’ve done that I really like is I take five minutes a day sometimes and meditate, sit there and breathe and let that air flow. Wonderful. So let’s talk more about sleep. We talked about a little bit, but how does sleep affect our performance in the workplace?

Mihaela Raguz: (25:42)

Yeah. What an absolute, great question. Going back to the breath that you said, how amazing is that? I mean, that would have changed so many things in your everyday life taking five minutes to yourself and just breathing. That’s brilliant.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (25:59)

Yeah. It’s powerful.

Mihaela Raguz: (26:00)

Yeah. In regards to sleep, I think we underestimate that on average, do humans sleep seven to eight hours? Considering that we live to be 80 years old in the western world. So you’re spending about 26 to 27 years sleeping. And when you think about it like that, I mean, I know I want to optimize those years spent sleeping and I know I want to make sure I’ll get the most out of them because when I do get the most out of them, and when individuals get the most out of their sleep, it improves their brain function, their muscle recovery. It boosts longevity. It protects your heart, increases your productivity. It increases, you’re better managed to manage your immune system, lowers inflammation. It is so many benefits. I mean, there was a study done, published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology found that there is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease linked to hours of sleep to those who sleep less than six hours a night are at increased risk. And the reason why I mentioned heart health and cardiovascular disease, because it’s such a huge, huge topic and a huge aspect in the world. And a lot of business professionals do have heart issues and they don’t sleep. And I’m saying, and how many business professionals do you know and I know that’ll sleep less than six hours? So many. And also in regards to also short sleep reduces your immune system function, increases your risk for infection and possibly cancer. Reduced sleep is also linked to hypertension, heart disease. And it can be possibly, can be argued that it can trigger both overactive immune stress response. Your sympathetic, hyperactive inflammation and so forth, all those fancy words. So it’s, sleep is just absolutely extraordinary. And I actually looked at how sleep impacts individuals at work.

Mihaela Raguz: (27:54)

And there’s this study that looked at it and they looked at that, they found that 70% of people who, they missed work because they were sleeping. 17% of people fell asleep at their job. And 29% of adults report making errors at work due to sleepiness or sleep problems. That’s a high percentage. And I mean, if you’re working in such hardcore business in a business world, a chance of you making an error can cost you so much and can hit the bottom line dramatically. And this is 29% of individuals saying because of sleep, they’re making errors. So if we fix something along these lines, just imagine what can happen, not just to the individual, but also to the business.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (28:35)

Right. I was reading an interesting paper and this was just studying workplace performance and productivity in the United States. And they calculated that loss of productivity in the workplace due to primarily poor sleep and other life, poor lifestyle factors like we’re talking about here, costs the US economy $120 billion. And again, it’s just these little things that we’re talking about that a lot of times, I guess, fundamentally we know, but it’s hard to practice. They really make all the difference in the world in our professional lives.

Mihaela Raguz: (29:08)

Yeah. You’re spot on. I think here in Victoria, I think it was 10 or 20 billion of lost income for businesses. It’s extraordinary and hearing such big statistics in America is just, when we put it to statistics like that, it just makes sense that you need to sleep. We need to sleep. It just shows the fundamentals of sleep.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (29:31)

Right. It’s interesting. I was also reading other studies saying that one in three individuals at some time throughout the calendar year, will have a severe bout of insomnia. So, okay.

Mihaela Raguz: (29:45)

Yeah, wow.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (29:46)

So we’ve slept well, we’re trying to do better. We’re eating okay. And I have this big presentation. I am presenting to the CEO at 4:00 PM and oh man, this will make or break my career, but that’s what we say to ourselves, right? This will make or break what I’m doing. What would you tell this person 30 minutes before they’re going into this presentation with the CEO and the board to pitch their idea that could really help to catapult their career? What advice would you give that individual?

Mihaela Raguz: (30:16)

Yeah. What a great question. You’re throwing them all at me here, Dan. I love it. So essentially your question was 30 minutes before. I mean, ensure that the night before you had a good night’s sleep. Ensure that throughout the day, either if you’ve decided to fast to kicking those ketones, if you have decided to do that, so your brain is a lot clearer and can focus on that. If you decided to eat, ensure that you eat, have eaten foods that are light. So they’re not taking all the energy to digestion. What I’m talking about, that I’m talking about smoothies, I’m talking about soups. I’m talking about broths. I’m talking about these things, right? I know it sounds crazy that I’m telling you to have a broth before your big presentation, but there’s reasons why. When you understand how the human body works and the biology behind it, you understand that when you’re digesting heavy foods, all that energy is going to go to digestion. It’s not going to go to your brain. It’s not going to go to where you want it to be.

Mihaela Raguz: (31:13)

So essentially that’s kind of a few things there, but before the meeting and we’re going back to two things, right? So that we have the breath. Our self-talk. We have the breath to push us into parasympathetic mode. We don’t want to fall asleep, but want to have that focus. We want to have that alpha brainwaves. We want to be focused. We want to be in our zone, right? So if we know all that stuff, this is all taking into account this individual knows all their stuff and is an amazing salesperson, has a good product and so forth. That’s on the other side, but health wise, I’m talking about taking those deep, deep breaths and ensuring that we are connected and we know what we’re talking about.

Mihaela Raguz: (31:56)

One thing that I, the research shows and also has helped me is passion flower. Absolutely love passion flower. Passion flower has been researched to help out individuals with anxiety. It has been researched to help people with their nervous system, right? So when you think about it, the latest research that I read, it was taking, I’m not sure how much of the dosage was, essentially taking a little bit of passion flower and it works instantly – five to ten minutes. It calms the nervous system. It gets us to us being us in, when I first started doing The Natural Health Podcast, recording people, I used to have a passion flower next to me. Like it was just like a given. It was there. It was for me, just, it calms my nerves. And these are the little biohacks that you can use and there are the little supplements that you can supplement your life with and using herbs and minerals and vitamins to assist your body, but essentially, getting a good night’s sleep, ensuring that either you’re fasting or having food that’s not too heavy on you, and then the deep breath. And if need be, if you want to, if you’ve spoken to a healthcare professional and you can take passion flower, and everything’s all right, including things like that.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (33:08)

Yeah. I love passion flower. I’ve studied that a little bit. And it’s interesting, these molecules have adaptogenic-like properties. They help with the central nervous system. One of the things we found here at Brilliant is they actually help to regulate in addition to that, the signaling mechanisms of the body’s signal transduction cascades. So they’re literally helping to rewire the system. And so that’s why we see that huge benefit. I love that. What a really cool, easy hack, like you said, in order to help us stay on that A game.

Mihaela Raguz: (33:37)

Yeah, it’s brilliant. And this is what, and imagine like you have those business professionals that don’t do this and don’t know this much information or don’t know who to work with. And then the individual that has someone by their side, it’s like, “Hey, take a bit of passionflower,” or “Hey, breathe.” Like the difference that that can make to the information that they’re having their head, to make the ideas happen, to do their work and be proactive in optimal health achieve that.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (34:05)

Wonderful. So, we’re about done with our time here. Let’s now switch to another topic related. We’ve been talking about high performers, what they can do. They go to this workplace and they work for an employer. What can an employer do in order to help their workers be healthy? And obviously healthy workers are productive workers. So what are some things some employers can do?

Mihaela Raguz: (34:31)

Yeah. What a great question. Not all individuals look at that side. They’ll put the responsibility on the employee or an individual. But I love businesses and I love organizations that take responsibility for their employees and give them the resources to assist them. So there were a number of things that you can do, right? The one thing is I used to write policies for organizations, so I’m a bit of a policy geek, right? And I believe that these can make a huge change in any business or an organization, right? So imagine a business that has a proactive burnout policy in place, right? And you’re like, “What is that? What does that look like?” What that would look like is having things in place, such as no emails from 7:00 PM till 7:00 AM. So the boss doesn’t send any emails at that time and the employees don’t send any emails at the time, of course, unless urgent or if you’re working in a 24 hour business, then individuals have shifts and it’s like, “This is your shift for the week and you’re responsible and so forth”. There’s things to go in deep, but there’s not many businesses that have this in place where from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM, don’t send any emails. Also on the weekends, don’t send any emails because then it gives an opportunity for these employees to recover, to be social, to be in the forest, to be with their family, or even study whatever they need to study with their business instead of just always being on their mind. Because if something’s always on our mind, we’re not that proactive, right? So that is just literally one of the things that an organization can put into place. Policies, but also, it’s also key for the leader of that organization or the leaders or the board of leaderships to put this into place and ensure that, monkey do monkey see monkey, see monkey do. What’s that saying? If we see our leaders taking that walking break, if we see our leaders not eating their lunch at their desk and socializing and sitting in a park at lunch, if we see our leaders, can you imagine seeing your boss randomly in your office just doing breathing exercises, you’d be like, “Okay.” So it’s about these things. It’s about making the whole environment to team, a friendly environment. I health conscious environment. So these are some of the things that businesses I guess, can do to assist their employees, to prevent burnout and get the most out of them.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (36:58)

Right. Well, I’d love to see my boss sitting in his office, his or her office, a breathing deeply that would really help me take a breath. And I love that. It’s all about setting the tone. I think too often in the workplace, we have this machoism, right? That we need to be doing something, always be doing something and always putting on a show for the people that we work with. And that goes both ways.That’s, wonderful. I love that.

Mihaela Raguz: (37:27)

Yeah. I thought so too.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (37:31)

Great. Well Mihaela, I sure appreciate you taking time to talk with us. I know our listeners will find this information fascinating as have I and I appreciate you and thank you again and take care there down in Australia.

Mihaela Raguz: (37:47)

Thank you so much, Dan. Thanks for having me on the show. Really appreciate it.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (37:50)

Wonderful. Thanks to our listeners and this is Dr. Dan signing off.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (38:14)

The information presented by guests in this podcast is their sole opinion and in no way represents the views of Discovery with Dr. Dan | The Proactive Health Podcast or Brilliant. This podcast is for informational purposes only and does not replace professional medical care. Please consult with your medical doctor before making any changes in your lifestyle.

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