Live Event Q&A: Seattle, WA | Huberman Lab

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Dr. Andrew Huberman, Ph.D. is a Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine. His lab focuses on neural regeneration, neuroplasticity, and brain states such as stress, focus, fear, and optimal performance.

In this special episode of the Huberman Lab Podcast, Andrew Huberman shares the recorded Q&A portion of his live event from Seattle, Washington.

Host: Andrew Huberman (@hubermanlab)

Most Frequently Used Daily Protocols & Sleep Tips

  • Daily morning sunlight & sunset viewing
  • Tip: in the winter months, get 30 minutes of sunlight viewing while you have it
  • Daily non-sleep deep rest (such as yoga Nidra which puts you into a state of feeling, not planning) 10-30 minutes, usually in the afternoon or in the morning on days after poor sleep
  • Wake up groggy but sleeping plenty? Consider setting the alarm at the end of your ultradian cycle so you may get less sleep, but it will coincide better with natural rhythms

Mental Health

  • It’s unlikely we’ll have better medications without side effects in the near future for mental health disorders because of the wide array of receptors and chemicals involved
  • On the bright side, we will likely develop a greater understanding of the mechanism of medications and disorders themselves which will allow us to establish better behavioral tools
  • Anorexia is the most lethal of the psychiatric disorders
  • Devices such as virtual reality and transcranial magnetic stimulation plus drugs will possibly enhance plasticity
  • Clinical data on MDMA and psilocybin are promising – but – the heightened state of plasticity needs to be directed toward some therapeutic outcome
  • One macro-dosed session with a trained clinician may be more fruitful than microdosing
  • Youth & older adults should be cautious with psychedelic therapies

Accessing Creativity

  • Four stages of creativity: (1) unskilled; (2) skilled; (3) mastery – the brain can generate movement or computations with predictable outcomes; (4) virtuosity – inviting back in uncertainty/destabilizing system for additional challenge
  • To access creative states, use a visual system to access things that are unstable and uncertain such as fish tanks, walks in nature
  • When you can predict what’s going to happen next, there’s no opportunity to enhance creativity through sensory input
  • Many people experience creative bursts first thing in the morning

Improving Memory

  • To remember something, spike adrenaline (e.g., cold plunge) after learning/studying or thing you want to remember
  • Drive brain and body into a high adrenaline state after learning bout
  • Tip: if you tell yourself something is important and you want to remember it, you are more likely to actually recall it when needed
  • Dopamine is a strong trigger of plasticity
  • It’s never too late to learn! What’s harder is focus and sleep – but neuroplasticity never disappears

Other Tips

  • Managing social media: (1) try turning off your phone for a few hours per day; (2) decipher whether you’re scrolling mindlessly or doing something specific
  • Failure is important for learning: when you fail at an attempt, your forebrain will engage better on the next effort – but that focus can narrow so much, that you’re blocking out access to other information
  • Managing academic/student/ resident life: find non-destructive ways to reset dopamine levels and do that thing every few days – maybe take every few days a little lighter
  • Most exciting ongoing project: effect of physiologic sigh for relaxation, deep sleep, autonomic regulation
  • Tackling research papers: (1) what is a question they are asking?; (2) what did they do (methods)?; (3) what did they find?; (4) what did they conclude? Write this answer down, then compare it to the first question – what are they asking
  • Most fundamental supplements to take are those that support foundational health: essential fatty acids, fermented foods for the gut microbiome, D3 if deficient – but start with behaviors, then nutrition, then supplements
  • Behaviors change your nervous system, not supplements
  • Managing (actual) ADHD: work with the practitioner to find minimal effective dose & the proper timing of medication for you
  • Future episodes in the pipeline: grief; the relationship between language, speech, dance, music; exercise and the brain; OCD; Peter Attia; emotions in the brain; short series with experts during live therapy sessions

Recommended Books

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