AMA #10: Benefits of Nature & “Grounding," Hearing Loss Research & Avoiding Altitude Sickness

AMA #10: Benefits of Nature & “Grounding," Hearing Loss Research & Avoiding Altitude Sickness

Introduction (00:00:00)

  • Andrew Huberman introduces the Ask Me Anything (AMA) episode of his Huberman Lab podcast, which discusses science and science-based tools for everyday life.
  • The podcast has a premium subscriber channel, created to support the free and publicly accessible podcast that releases every Monday.
  • The premium channel generates funds for research work conducted at Stanford and elsewhere, focusing on topics leading to vital discoveries which aid mental health, physical health, and performance.
  • For every dollar generated for research via the premium channel, The Tiny Foundation matches the amount, effectively doubling the total funding given to studies related to health and human performance.
  • Those interested can subscribe to the Huberman Lab Premium channel for $10 a month or pay $100 at once for an entire year's subscription. A lifetime subscription is also available, all of which are accessible at hubermanlab.com/premium.
  • Existing subscribers are asked to download the premium subscription feed at hubermanlab.com/premium.
  • Non-premium subscribers can listen to the first 20 minutes of the episode to decide if they wish to upgrade to the premium subscription.

Scientifically-Supported Benefits of Nature (00:01:42)

  • Many high-quality, peer-reviewed studies support the value of getting sunlight in one's eyes, particularly early in the day, to set circadian rhythm which increases daytime mood, focus, alertness, improves sleep and has positive effects on metabolism. However, artificial sunlight (through phones or windows) does not provide the same benefits.
  • Being near moving bodies of water, possibly due to the negative ionization created by those waters, has shown some positive health benefits according to some peer-reviewed studies, but indoor simulations do not reach the same level of positive effects.
  • Other features of nature (calming sounds, observing wildlife, green scenery) can also contribute to mental and physical health, but these variables are more challenging to evaluate scientifically due to their multitude and diversity.
  • Studies have shown that spending a dedicated period of time outdoors in a natural environment can lead to notable health improvements such as reductions in blood pressure and resting heart rate and improvements in sleep and mood.
  • The practice of grounding (bare feet on the Earth) has also been explored with some belief that it could improve health due to electron exchange with the Earth or the touch sensation. However, there is not enough strong scientific evidence in this area.
  • The overall conclusion is that spending time in nature has numerous positive health effects, regardless of the specific features or activities.

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