The Doctor's Farmacy with Mark Hyman, M.D.
How to Rewire Your Brain For Sleep with Dr. Andrew Huberman
When I was in medical school, they taught us we can’t regenerate brain cells. If you stayed up too late studying or did drugs, you’d lose precious connections and that was that. Now, luckily, we know that isn’t true. There are multiple ways to encourage the plasticity of the brain at any age, to enhance everything from sleep to learning. Most people don’t realize that sleep is a keystone of health. When we’re sleep-deprived, it’s really hard to eat well or to have the energy to exercise. It’s hard to think straight. It’s even hard to stay in a good mood or have a positive outlook on life. Understanding the way the brain and our neurotransmitters work means we can hack our sleep to not just feel amazing but to level up our focus, skills, and knowledge.
Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I talk to Dr. Andrew Huberman about the body-brain connection and how small actions can have huge payoffs for our brain health. Dr. Huberman is a neuroscientist and tenured Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He has made numerous important contributions to the fields of brain development, brain function, and neural plasticity, which is the ability of our nervous system to rewire and learn new behaviors, skills, and cognitive functioning.
Dr. Huberman is a McKnight Foundation and Pew Foundation Fellow and was awarded the Cogan Award in 2017, which is given to the scientist making the largest discoveries in the study of vision. His lab’s most recent work focuses on the influence of vision and respiration on human performance and brain states such as fear and courage. Work from the Huberman Laboratory at Stanford University School of Medicine has been published in top journals including Nature, Science, and Cell and has been featured in TIME, BBC, Scientific American, Discover, and other top media outlets.
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Here are more of the details from our interview:
- What happens during the primary sleep and waking states (18:09)
- How states of alertness and calmness affect our ability to do certain tasks (21:51)
- Getting and avoiding bright light exposure at various points in the day is vitally important for sleep (28:24)
- Supporting sleep with apigenin (or chamomile extract), magnesium threonate, magnesium bisglycinate, and waking state hypnosis (39:17)
- Why you’re waking up in the middle of the night and unable to fall back asleep (42:01)
- Eating for quality sleep (45:32)
- Neuroplasticity and restoring brain function at any age (1:00:17)
- The keys to learning new skills, enhancing memory, changing personality, and emotionality (1:06:11)
- Tools to overcome the effects of technology on the brain (1:21:49)
- Pharmaceuticals, supplements, and dietary habits to optimize focus, learning, and physical skill building (1:27:03)