AMA #14: 2023 Philanthropy, Evening Routine, Light Therapy, Health Metrics & More

AMA #14: 2023 Philanthropy, Evening Routine, Light Therapy, Health Metrics & More


  • Host is Andrew Huberman, a professor of neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine.
  • Welcomes annual and lifetime members of The Huberman Lab podcast premium channel.
  • Acknowledges the support provided for important research, leading to new treatments and improvements in mental, physical health, and performance.

2023 Scientific Research Contributions

  • Funds allocated to various laboratories for important research on mindset, circadian biology, intermittent fasting, maternal conditions' effects on fetal brain, eating disorders, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.
  • Supported a chronobiology conference for graduate students and postdocs, facilitating important information exchange and potential collaborations.
  • A matching donation was received from the Tiny Foundation for 2023 research, and additional donors will continue to match donations in 2024, significantly contributing to philanthropy.

Anterior Mid Cingulate Cortex Studies: Discussion on Research & Findings

  • The anterior mid cingulate cortex is involved in leaning into difficult challenges and responds best to tasks that feel difficult, stimulating its growth.
  • Subjects stimulating this area reported feelings of readiness to meet challenges, indicating the importance of leaning into challenges for its growth.
  • Engaging in challenging endeavors may contribute to maintaining healthy cognitive function and preventing atrophy of the anterior mid cingulate cortex.

Evening Routines and Light: Insights on Managing Light Exposure Before Sleep (00:12:32)

  • Getting morning sunlight is important for optimal health and should be sought as soon as possible after waking up.
  • If waking up before the sun rises, use bright artificial lights or spend more time outside if it's overcast.
  • It's also important to get some sunlight in your eyes in the afternoon and evening, even for just 5-10 minutes, to adjust the sensitivity of neurons in the retina and brain, protecting against the negative effects of bright artificial lights later in the evening.
  • Dimming the lights and using red lights in the evening can also be beneficial, as they tend to eliminate stimulating blue wavelengths, reduce cortisol levels, and help induce sleepiness.

Health Metrics: Importance of Light Exposure for Overall Health (00:12:32)

  • Exposure to sunlight in the morning is crucial for setting the circadian rhythm and regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
  • Evening exposure to sunlight is important for adjusting sensitivity to artificial lights and protecting against the negative effects of bright lights on melatonin levels.

Light Therapy and Red Lights: Enhancing Sleep Quality (00:12:32)

  • Using red lights in the evening can be cost-effective and beneficial for promoting sleepiness, reducing cortisol levels, and eliminating stimulating blue wavelengths.
  • Red light bulbs can be used in standard light fixtures and dimmed for desired light levels, promoting a relaxed and mellow environment conducive to better sleep quality.

Blue Light Reduction: Using Technology to Support Better Sleep (00:12:32)

  • Use technology features, such as the color filter function on the phone, to eliminate blue light and switch to red light only in the evening for better sleep quality at no cost.
  • The switch to red light only on the phone can be activated through a triple-click function in the accessibility settings, offering a simple and effective way to reduce blue light exposure before sleep.

Light Therapy in Northern Regions: Tips for Coping With Limited Morning Light

  • Red light therapy involves the use of red light panels, which emit bright red and near infrared light.
  • Red light panels are marketed as powerful and intense, but the proper wavelengths are important.
  • The distance to view red light therapy is generally about 18 inches.
  • Red light can permeate through tissues to a substantial depth, depending on the tissue.
  • Viewing red lights in the morning, at a distance of about 18 inches, can offset some age-related reductions in mitochondrial function and vision loss for people over 40.

Coping with Limited Morning Light

  • For those who live in areas with limited morning sunlight, they can use artificial lights, including 10,000 Lux Light Panel or 900 Lux Light Panel, to simulate the effects of morning sunlight.
  • Alternatively, cold showers in the morning can provide an adrenaline boost, which is beneficial early in the day.

Recommendations for Evening Routine and Light Exposure

  • In the evening, dimming the lights and using red lights can help prepare the body for sleep.
  • Getting sunlight exposure during the day is beneficial, but excessive exposure to bright lights should be avoided to prevent damage to the eyes.

Annual Health and Fitness Metrics

  • Suggested fitness metrics include the ability to deadlift body weight ten times, hang from a bar for a minute, and complete long hikes and sprints.
  • Weekly routine includes three cardiovascular training sessions, resistance training three times a week, and smaller body parts training once a week.
  • The schedule ensures overall strength, aesthetic changes, and recovery, all in a small investment of about an hour a day.

Monitoring Health Metrics

  • Subjective metrics to monitor include quality of sleep, steadiness of appetite, and overall feeling of wellness.
  • Regular monitoring of resting pulse rate and adjusting workout intensity accordingly is recommended.

Additional Health Check

  • Blood work is conducted every six months to monitor overall well-being and identify necessary interventions.
  • Regular eye exams, including an air puff test for glaucoma, are emphasized to protect vision, as it is considered precious.

Dealing With Midnight Wakefulness: Strategies for Falling Back Asleep

  • Use long exhale breathing and relaxation techniques to calm oneself
  • Progressive body relaxation and hypnosis can help with falling back asleep
  • Revery app offers an 8-minute hypnosis for falling back asleep
  • Regular practice of nonsleep deep rest (NSDR) or Yoga Nidra during the daytime can help with relaxation
  • Limit fluid intake before sleep and avoid a full belly to prevent waking up in the middle of the night
  • Consider behavioral adjustments and supplements like theanine or melatonin if necessary
  • Refrain from looking at the time when waking up in the middle of the night
  • It's okay to survive one night with minimal or no sleep, but seek help if the condition becomes chronic

Strength Training for Women: Protocols for Strength Without Hypertrophy

  • Muscle hypertrophy does not happen immediately after a single workout due to the so-called "pump"
  • Very heavy weights in the 1 to 3 repetition range generally make people stronger with minimal hypertrophy
  • Training in the 1 to 3 repetition range is recommended for strength without significant muscle size increase
  • Exploring protocols that involve power training and resting between heavy sets can be beneficial
  • Consider cardiovascular training alongside strength training for overall health

Full Body Scan MRIs: Evaluating the Benefits and Usage (00:50:56)

  • Full body scan MRIs can provide valuable information about one's health
  • A full body scan MRI can detect tumors, disc bulges, intravisceral fat, and white spots on the brain
  • The cost of full body scan MRIs is high and may not be necessary for everyone
  • It is essential to consider the psychological and medical implications of the results

Dog Wellness and Communication: Potential Exploration Into Canine Well-Being (00:55:07)

  • The speaker is a dog lover and plans to cover episodes on dog wellness and communication
  • Emphasizes the importance of pet health and adopting dogs that can be taken great care of

Balancing Muscle Strength: Strategies for Equalizing Arm Strength (00:56:17)

  • Recommends doing unilateral movements and emphasizing mind-muscle connection for balancing muscle strength between arms
  • Advises not to rush the training process and to focus on enjoying the training

Content on Children's Development: Future Plans and Current Resources (01:00:54)

  • Plans to produce content and protocols specifically for children's development and health
  • Recommends resources such as Allen Shore's book on early childhood development and plans to feature guests specializing in child development and adolescent development on the podcast agenda

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