The Knowledge Project
Learn more about scienceandnature with this collection
The importance of physical activity
The role of genetics in lifespan
How to maintain a healthy diet
Light is a powerful stimulus for our mental and physical health.
Light controls when we are asleep and when we are alert. Lights directly affect how our nervous system functions.
Wake up, go outside and get 5 - 20 minutes of bright light exposure. If you get up before sunlight, use bright artificial lights.
The aim is to get as much bright light during the day and as little as possible between 10 PM and 4 AM. This will have enormous physical and mental health benefits.
Bright light exposure through windows or windshields doesn’t work as they filter the light that activates your neutrons. Blue light is great to create alertness and well-being throughout the day.
Cortisol is a key hormone for health. Every 24 hours there is a peak cortisol release. This wakes you up in the morning and gives you focus.
If you wake up early, you will get a peak early in the day. But when cortisol arrives later in the day, people get mood issues. Late-shifted cortisol is also contributing to depression.
Your peak of alertness happens about 90 minutes before your natural sleep time. While it will pass, it can give you a useful indicator of your optimal bedtime.
Behavioural tools are the foundation of sleep and wakefulness. When you learn progressive relaxation techniques, you get better at falling asleep and feeling alert when you wake up.
Supplements and prescription medication can be great, but they don’t rewire your brain as behavioural tools do.
Supplements that can help with depth and transition to sleep:
Ideally, you should sleep in a cold room and cover yourself with warm blankets. If you get too hot, you can jump heat by extending your feet or hands.
Take a cold shower or ice bath to heat up in the morning. You will experience a dopamine increase. When you expose yourself to cold water, you build a reservoir of heat generation.
Naps should be shorter than 90 minutes.
Most of the rewiring and neuroplasticity occurs during deep sleep and also during a short nap. Short naps accelerate neuroplasticity and learning, especially if you nap after an intensive learning session.
If you have problems with the afternoon slump, delay your morning caffeine for 90 to 120 minutes after waking.
The two most common reasons for waking up at night:
Caffeine creates wakefulness in the body and brain. It also increases the sensitivity of the dopamine receptors.
However, try and taper off caffeine toward the afternoon for better sleep.
The Basal ganglia are important for controlling and integrating thought and action. Some of the circuitry in basal ganglia pathways are involved with the “go” action and “no-go” suppressing functions.
As children, we learn no-go behaviours (don’t interrupt, sit still). As adults, everything is “go, go, go” and we seldom rehearse the no-go functions.
We need to continue to keep the no-goes circuits in working order., e.g. resisting the urge to pick up your phone.
Entrepreneur and part time superhero
Dr. Andrew Huberman explains how small behaviours can make a huge impact on your health.
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