“If you do most of the right things most of the time, you’re gonna do far better on sleep, wakefulness, mood, immune system, metabolism, blood sugar regulation, focus...It’s a foundational layer of health”. This was advice given by neuroscientist, Dr. Andrew Huberman, when talking with Dhru Purohit in his interview on the “Broken Brain podcast. Listen in to hear some of those things Dr. Huberman is referring to. What they have to do with light and seasonal depression and how to improve the overall quality of your sleep.
Links and Show Notes:
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I said this in last week’s podcast and I’m going to say it again. It was really hard to choose what part of the show to share because the whole thing was so good. The first half of the interview, where today’s clip comes from, is all about the benefits of light and light therapy. And that’s followed up in the second half with an emphasis on focus, learning, the misconceptions of the flow state and the connection between dopamine and the effort process. I highly recommend tuning into the entire episode if possible because it's worth your time to hear it to the end.
I thought I knew a lot about the benefits of light before listening to Dr. Huberman but he surprised me with a few things that I’ve already started incorporating into my daily routine. I don’t know about you but some of my habits and routines got disrupted during quarantine because of Covid, so if you’re anything like me and need a reboot, this is a great place to start.
One of the things I started to do was take 10-15 minute walks first thing in the morning after waking up. I also invested in a fashionable pair of yellow blue light blockers from Truedark that I wear during the day when I’m on my computer or at night when I go on a hot date. I’m kidding, obviously. I never actually go on any hot dates. The other thing I’ve done is get a gym membership at Planet Fitness. They seem to be popping up everywhere so you might have one near you. I don’t even work out there, believe it or not. But for $22/month I take advantage of their red light therapy bed and vibration plate. It’s similar to a stand up tanning bed but with full body red light instead of potentially harmful UV. I won’t go too deep here but it helps with healing and energy. Do a quick google search to learn more. Last thing I’ll mention is the F.Luxe software I have on all my computers. It’s free to download and use and it dims and removes blue light from your screen as the sun goes down.
I can be a bit obsessive when it comes to my health. In case you couldn’t tell. It’s one of the only things that doesn’t fall into my generally, shiny object syndrome personality. I can be completely dialed in with the latest diet plan, healing treatments, supplements...you name it. And then be a day late with my rent or completely forget an important appointment I had scheduled. I guess what they say is true, when you have a high value on something you tend to be more organized around that one thing. That seems to be the case for me. If you're wondering what you place a high value on or where your priorities lie, take a look around. What do you see? Where do you find your most organized? It might give you some clues, or at least a place to start.
I’ve always been pretty health conscious, even as a kid. I’m not sure why because my parents were absolutely not. I have a theory that it’s genetic and skipped a generation. But just ask my kids. I was THAT mom. You know, the embarrassing one who’s always toting around a bunch of healthy snacks or drinks in her purse when we’re out. I have this vivid memory of a friend coming to visit and bringing brownies she’d made for my girls. And I’m not sure what was funnier, their “this is the best SHIT I’ve ever eaten” reaction or my friend's that they’d never had one before. For a minute I thought she was going to call child’s services.
Things really took off when I got Lyme disease about 10 years ago. Before that, I thought of health as a lifestyle, what people did to stay slim or free from illness. I did the typical things you might hear from your doctor. Eat right, exercise and drink your 8 oz of water a day. You know, the basics. Afterward, It became a crusade and part of my identity. It wasn’t just what I did but who I was as a person. And everything I did from that moment on came from a place of fear and scarcity. Not a fun place to be but it served me at the time and helped me get through the hardest part of my journey. As I got better, my mindset shifted. I went from avoiding illness to seeking optimal health. It’s not perfect and It’s still an obsession but now my perception is, well, healthier.
Why am I telling you this? Because I spent a decade of my life, upwards of $100,000.00 easily and countless hours researching, learning and experimenting on myself to find what works. Ironically, it all works but like everything else in life, it’s all about timing and certain treatments and tools work at certain times. What might not work early on, could very well be useful after having success with others. But one thing I’ve always found benefit from is light and light therapy. It plays a role in health no matter what because our bodies and organs are built for it. From our eyes to our skin to the little powerhouses in our cells, called mitochondria...and the best part, you don’t need to use Apple Pay to get it!
So, I hope you get as much from today’s talk as I did and it opens the door for you to Dr. Huberman’s work. I’ve been podcast stalking him for quite awhile now and he has such a great way of taking the complex and breaking it down, especially for those of us not a scientist at Stanford. A lot of what he says seems like it should be common sense but, what’s that saying? Common sense isn’t so common. Today, It’s easy to get lost, and I did, in all the latest and greatest biohacking tips, tools, apps and options out there, that we forget the simple things we all have access to, like light, can make a profound difference in our health and well being. Oh, and check out Dr. Huberman’s instagram. He shows up regularly to share and teach about his latest research and findings. Lots of helpful info on there.
Well, that's all I have for this week. If you’re interested in learning more about Dhru and Dr. Huberman’s conversation, check out the “Broken Brain” podcast episode #134 “The Latest Science on Enhancing Focus and Developing a Growth Mindset with Dr. Andrew Huberman”. Links to that and both their social media profiles are included in the show notes below. Along with a link to the software I mentioned, F.Luxe.
If you enjoyed today’s show please share with someone you think might benefit and until next time, Thanks for listening.