AMA #10: Benefits of Nature & “Grounding," Hearing Loss Research & Avoiding Altitude Sickness
- Andrew Huberman introduces the Ask Me Anything (AMA) episode of his Huberman Lab podcast, which discusses science and science-based tools for everyday life.
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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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