“YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS WITHIN THE FIRST HOUR OF THE DAY!”| Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman

There are four things that are act as Very powerful levers on when you will be Awake and when you will want to be Asleep when you will be able to do your Best work when you’ll be able to do your Creative work and those are your Exposure to light In particular sunlight So light is one and is the most dominant One the second is Temperature It’s vitally important environmental Temperature and your temperature Movement Aka exercise but activity of various Kinds and then when you eat And to some extent how much you eat That’s easily handled um if you eat a Large volume of any substance it will Bring more food to your gut so it will Make you sleepier if you eat a moderate To Uh just quote unquote healthy level of Any substance it will tend to Not overwhelm your system and you’ll be Alert but there are certain things that You can eat to be more alert and certain Things you can be need to be sleepier so I just want to be clear so Regardless of chronotype if you’re a Night owl or a morning person etc You want to get bright light sunlight in Your eyes Within the first hour of waking if you

Wake up before the sun comes out You want to turn on artificial lights As much as possible if your goal is to Be awake So put simply if your goal is to be Alert and to wake up turn on a lot of Lights especially overhead lights Because of the position of these neurons In the eye that reset our circadian Clocks overhead light triggers alertness In the brain more so than does light Right in front of you or light down low So early in the day try and get outside Even if it’s overcast there’s a lot of Photons coming through about 10 000 Times more photons coming through a Densely clouded sky than a really bright Internal artificial light Get bright light and through a window is 50 times less effective I’ve talked to now thousands of people Who tell me Just making this one simple change can Really help because it triggers a Circuitry in the brain and body that Activates alertness and focus throughout The day Through the cortisol system healthy Cortisol levels etc and it also triggers A timer so that the hormone melatonin is Secreted about 12 to 16 hours later Which makes you fall asleep so the Simple rule is get a lot of bright light Early in the day and throughout the day

So for those of you wearing blue Blockers throughout the day it’s a huge Mistake i think people like the way they Look or how they feel when they wear Them but blue blockers in the evening Can be very good because you want to Limit or start to taper the amount of Light that you get in the evening hours And you want to avoid bright light Exposure between 10 pm and 4 am unless Your job is to be awake at those times And the reason is it can suppress Melatonin Which is the sleepiness hormone and it Can suppress dopamine there are two Studies showing that and dopamine is Important it can suppress learning it Can cause depression at low levels it Can exacerbate depression for other Reasons that’s caused by other reasons So a lot of light during the day and Morning especially in the morning try And get it from sunlight try and not get It through a window it’s okay To wear contact lenses or eyeglasses When getting this exposure but if you Can safely do it without look wearing Sunglasses better to do it without Wearing sunglasses but please don’t Drive off a cliff or Injure your eyes or something never look At any light that’s so bright it’s Painful to look at so i’ll reveal my Schedule i wake up

First thing i do is i try and get Outside get five to ten minutes outside Walk my dog maybe even to read It’s gonna be indirect you don’t have to Stare directly at the sun If it’s still dark out i’ll turn on a Bunch of lights in my home if the goal Is to wake up Then As you move into the day most people Because temperature starts to increase After you wake up most people are going To be most alert And feel most Able to do various kinds of mental and Physical work somewhere between three Hours so i would say at about three Hours after waking and 11 hours after Waking there are these two little peaks In our circadian timing mechanisms You have to figure out when you do your Most focused work but for most people They can do their highly focused work About 90 minutes to two hours after Waking So this is mid-morning for most people And that’s going to be time where linear Work Meaning the kinds of work that requires A lot of focus And you more or less know what you need To do but you have to you know the Strategy but you need to implement the Strategy or you need to figure out the

Strategy so very focused kind of Analytic work And that’s a terrible time to do email Or be involved in meetings because it’s Going to suck away your ability to do Really what cal newport would call deep Work Fasting And low carbohydrate intake Favor Alertness Because it leads to a state of increased Adrenaline so i typically don’t eat Until about 11 or noon i sometimes have Some almonds or something like that or Fat sometimes if i’m very hungry i’ll Have some eggs or something like that But i generally fast until about noon And then at noon i eat a meal which is Generally Some sort of meat or fish or chicken or Something and a salad i like cold food And i don’t eat much carbohydrate now There are exceptions to this Occasionally if i did like a hard Workout early in the morning which i Rarely do i usually work out later but Typically if you eat starches Like pastas or rice etc we always here That gives us energy no Your energy comes from your glycogen Stores which are on your liver and your Muscles and your adrenaline in your Brain you have to restock that stuff but

If you want to be alert fasting water Caffeine make sure you’re getting enough Electrolytes so salt is important if You’re fasting or not and drink a lot of Water you can deplete electrolytes a lot Of people get kind of dizzy because They’re not eating enough salt unless You have hypertension it’s generally Safe to consume some salt And so the daytime is when you want to Be alert and working and then after Lunch everybody experiences a little bit Of a dip but the lower carbohydrate Intake during the day can prevent some Of that dip in the afternoon i continue With the same but i do a second work Block in the afternoon which I always do a what’s called a non-sleep Deep rest protocol once per day i take 20 or 30 minutes sometimes 10 minutes And i do either yoga nidra which is Where you just lie down and listen to a Script i’ve put one out there totally Cost free where you can just put on Youtube nsdr it was hosted by a company Called made for uh that’s totally free Of cost that takes you through a deep Relaxation this non-sleep deep breath Has been shown to bring the brain and Body into states that favor Neuroplasticity that was published Several times including last year Replenish dopamine in the striatum or I’ll do the reverie app i’ll do the the

Hypnosis for kind of deep relaxation i Come out of that i usually drink a Little bit of caffeine and then i’ll do Some sort of work for About 90 minutes or so that’s more kind Of creative work like writing or Something where The strategy isn’t quite clear it’s a Little bit more challenging and i do This because in the afternoon Or when we’re sleepy a little bit more Relaxed i should say not sleepy we are Able to create new contingencies Creativity is is taking existing things And organizing them in new ways in space And time and that kind of space time Rearrangement is favored by states where We are deeply relaxed not necessarily Sleepy so i do try and do a 90-minute Block of focused work early in the day In a 90-minute block in the afternoon And during that time i turn on a program Called freedom a free program on my Computer that locks me out of the Internet and i turn off my phone and i Lock it in a safe because i’m not very Disciplined with the phone otherwise and Then evening is when your temperature Starts to drop some people exercise in The evening that’s just fine if you are Going to do I should say if you’re going to do cold Water exposure you want to do that early In the day because it’s going to favor

Alertness you know ice baths cold Showers if you’re going to do things Like sauna hot baths and things those Should be done in the evening In preparation for sleep there are Exceptions to this some people like to Do it early in the day but temperature Is a powerful determinant of these Internal states And then my evening meals generally Consist of more carbohydrate pasta Vegetables i might eat some fish or eggs Or something like that but generally They’re more carbohydrate-related which Makes sleep fantastic i’ll tell you Carbohydrates really favor sleep we all Heard oh never eat after 6 p.m Carbohydrates are bad for you they lay Down body fat if you eat them late in The day nothing could be further from The truth there’s zero evidence for it They facilitate the release of Things like serotonin which lend Themselves well to sleep so i cut out The caffeine in the app in the late Afternoon and evening i end up eating Some starches after i do my exercise And that helps you taper to And i limit my light exposure especially Overhead light exposure you wanna if You’re gonna have lights on in the Evening set them low that would be the Time to wear glue blockers if you want But i should say that

Any light if it’s bright enough will Trigger activation of the alertness System even if you’re wearing glue Blocker and then i do use supplements to Support sleep i’m not a fan of melatonin Because it has effects on other hormones In the body but for some people and Again i’m not a physician so i’m not Telling people what to do always check With your doctor things like magnesium 308 spelled thr Or b-glycinate Can help create a state of kind of Sleepiness they trigger activation of The gaba circuitry which kind of turns Off thinking theanine T-h-e-a-n-i-n-e and something called Apogenin a-p-i-g-e-n-i-n Apogenin which comes from chamomile many People benefit from taking those to Allow them to relax but of course check With your doctor i would say the two Single most important Protocols that i’ve adopted over the Years and for which there’s great Scientific data Are Morning bright light exposure to the Eyes and these non-sleep deep breasts Are doing a 20 or 30 minute deep Relaxation protocol once per day because They help you get better at falling Asleep Right that’s what these non-sleep deep

Breast protocols do they help you get Better at relaxing humans have no Trouble activating their stress Circuitry but they somehow Nature evolution made it such that we Have to learn how to calm ourselves so That’s what i do and i do a bunch of Other things too but that’s kind of the General framework and i should say that If you are a night owl You should still try and do the same Things but instead of trying to avoid Light from 10 p.m to 4 a.m maybe you Avoid light from like 2 a.m to 8 a.m i Don’t know everyone’s schedule differs If you’re a early morning person my Advice would be do not Push Past your desired bedtime too far Because what happens is many people wake Up at 3 30 or 4 in the morning to use The bathroom that’s totally normal go Back to sleep waking up once during the Middle of the night to go to the Bathroom no big deal you don’t want to Drink too many fluids late at night for That reason but if you’re somebody who’s Waking up at 3 am And you cannot fall back asleep Chances are You are supposed to go to bed at 8 30 or 9 pm And unless there’s an underlying anxiety What’s happened is your melatonin has

Run out and you’re awake the problem is It’s very easy for people to push Their bedtime out it’s much harder for People to go to bed early we’ve Experienced this when you travel you can Always stay at the party but it’s very Hard to say okay click snap your fingers And fall asleep so if you’re somebody Who wakes up at 3 or 4 a.m and you’re Having a hard time falling back asleep Trying to go to bed earlier And then wake up at 3 or 4 a.m and You’re one of those lucky people that Can get much more done in life than the Rest of us and then most people will Have a kind of typical chronotype you’ll Want to wake up around 6 30 or 7 30 a.m Depending on age and lifestyle factors You want to go to bed around 10 30 11 Sometimes 12 p.m that’s the typical Pattern so those are the main things and As you can see they relate to light Temperature food and exercise and if You’re going to exercise late in the day Well have a protocol to bring yourself Down afterwards and avoid too much Caffeine if you’re going to exercise Very early in the day understand that You’re shifting your clock a bit any Time you do something regularly that Involves a lot of activity you’re Creating a system in your body of Anticipation of that activity so if you Want to wake up earlier

Wake up a few days set your alarm force Yourself to do it exercise at 5am pretty Soon you’ll start waking up at 5am That’s just the way these circuits work

You May Also Like

About the Author: Sophie

- - -