Sleep hacking: How to control your mitochondrial clocks | Dave Asprey

Sleep hacking: How to control your mitochondrial clocks | Dave Asprey


One of the biggest things you can do that
isn’t going to cost you anything is improve the quality of your sleep. It’s funny, because when you get a good night’s
sleep regularly at the right time, your risk of cancer drops dramatically. Conversely, if you are a shift worker or you
regularly fly all over the place and you don’t take care of your biology, your chances of
cancer go up a lot. One night of bad quality sleep can change
your ability to regulate your blood sugar by up to 40%. Now, that’s the path to diabetes. And what about Alzheimer’s disease? People who don’t get enough sleep and don’t
regulate their blood sugar also have problems with Alzheimer’s disease. And the list goes on. So sleep is a foundational element. And if you really think about it, you can
go three, four days without water maybe. You can go a month without food. But try and go three or four days without
sleep. It’s at least as important as water. But you don’t see people going on water diets
very often, but you do see people who just don’t get enough sleep all the time. This is one of the primary anti-aging things. But the problem with sleep is that, actually,
a lot of people don’t have time for sleep. And it’s OK to not have time to sleep, because
you have a job, you have a family, you have a social life, and you have stuff you wanted
to do. So what are you going to do? Are you going to choose to die earlier or
to get sleep? Or maybe there’s a better way. And in Super Human, I talk about sleep hacking. And here’s an example. I landed in New York last night, and I flew
from the west coast from Seattle. Now, that’s a recipe for a terrible sleep,
for jet lag. But I changed the amount and the color of
light that I allowed into my eyes on the airplane using patented glasses that I created called
TrueDark. And in fact, if I look at my phone here, I
track my sleep with a ring. It gives me a very detailed analysis. And I’ll tell you my real numbers from last
night. I didn’t get as much sleep as I would have
liked. But what I did get was five hours and 23 minutes
of sleep. I didn’t get to my hotel until 1:00 in the
morning. And I was traveling with one of my kids. But I got two hours and 11 minutes of deep
sleep. That’s more deep sleep than a 20-year-old
gets an eight hours. And I got 58 minutes of dreaming sleep. So I got better sleep than most Americans
get on most nights even though I flew in the wrong direction three hours and was sleeping
in a foreign environment. How the heck do you do that? Well, the biggest thing is to turn the lights
down at night. Just dimming your lights, turning off the
bright white stuff in your kitchen and your bathroom after the sun goes down, it doesn’t
change the length you’ll sleep necessarily, but it changes the quality of your sleep. And since I couldn’t do that on the airplane
or in the hotel room, I wore glasses that took out the bright colors, the blue light. And you go back to the ’50s: We had incandescent
bulbs, and not that many of them, and they weren’t that bright. Now that we have these fluorescent lights
and LED lights, we can have incredibly bright light right before bed. In fact, most of us do. And that sends a signal to the ancient parts
of our body, sub-cellular things that control our aging and control how our body responds
to the environment — they’re called mitochondria — and inside your eyes, about 5% of your
cells are melanopsin sensors. And these collect light. And you never see that light. It doesn’t go into your visual cortex. It bypasses that, and it’s just the timing
signal. And if you’re a computer scientist or a computer
hacker guy, like I am, you understand that computing relies on a clock. So for this server over here and this server
over here to do something, they both need to know what time it is, down to the microsecond. For all of the quadrillion cells in your body
to do what they’re supposed to do, they all need to know what time it is. And that’s why every organ has a clock. That’s why each cell has a clock. And that’s why the master clock is stored
in something called the SCN inside the brain. And light controls the SCN more than anything
else. So does food intake, to a certain point. So here’s the deal. Don’t eat after the sun goes down, turn the
lights down as much as you can after the sun goes down, and black out your room. You could say, ‘Really, I have to black out
my room? I have blackout curtains.’ Check this out. A study from Japan — 68% increase in depression
when people slept with the amount of light that comes around blackout curtains in a normal
city. It doesn’t take very much light at night in
order to screw up the quality of your sleep and then the quality of your thinking. This was a study of about 800 men, so presumably,
it’s the same for women, or maybe even worse. And they were older. They were over 60. So maybe if you’re 25, you can sleep in bright
light, I just don’t recommend it, because all the data we have say your risk of dying
of everything goes up if you sleep in a brightly lit, noisy room. Eight hours doesn’t matter. It’s the quality of those eight hours that
matters. The flip side of darkness is, obviously, light. So what’s light going to do for you? It turns out, if you want to sleep well at
night, when you wake up in the morning, go outside, take off your glasses, take off your
sunglasses, even take out your contacts, and just get 20 minutes of bright sunlight. And if, like me, you live far north — I’m
in Canada — there’s sometimes just isn’t sunlight, so I actually use a sun lamp or
really, really bright indoor lighting — halogen lighting, though — stuff that is rich and
warm. In fact, even a little bit of ultraviolet
light is good for you. It’s good for your skin. It’s good for your eyes. It’s good for your brain. Too much of it isn’t good for you. In fact, it can increase your risk of skin
cancer if you’re getting sunburns. But no sunlight on your skin, no sunlight
in your eyes without protective glasses and things like that is not a good strategy to
live a long time or even feel very good. We all know about seasonal affective depression
and the idea that some people get the winter blues. But it turns out you can give yourself the
winter blues if you wear sunglasses outdoors all the time all summer long. So just make it a point. Wake up in the morning, go for a walk, open
the window, and just look at some natural sunlight. And the reason this works is that that timing
system in the body is looking for that. And if you give it the bright light, especially
in the evening, it says, I don’t know what time it is. And then all the different systems in the
body that are supposed to work as a system in unison, they don’t do that. And that’s what leads you down that path of
diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

92 thoughts on “Sleep hacking: How to control your mitochondrial clocks | Dave Asprey

  1. Well, that worked for me, after I started using it few months ago, but I still have a dilemma, is it better to leave the curtains blacking my room at night, so sun doesn't naturally wake me up and have unhealthy morning clock wake up or should I rather leave the night lights from the outside street coming to my room and the sun wake me up in the morning so I don't need to be destroyed by morning clock wake up?

  2. No it's NOT OK to not have enough time to sleep.
    This is a severe problem. A largely systemic one too, mostly the result of our ridiculous approach to civilization and economics.
    Of course some individual action can change some of this – but that alone is not enough.

    Very interesting video though – re: lights.

  3. Thorsten Veblen – Engineers and the Price system
    100% of jobs can be automated ( artificial intelligence)
    He's Another dumb white Nigg•ers who's myoptic
    🤖❤👌👀
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX5UlaETu_8&list=PLfN09hf0oyUxA5rHdORmzENkMz7NsVdaR&index=155&t=7s

  4. This guy sells vitamins.
    But he's 100% right. And it makes a HUGE impact. Gettosleepeasy.org and caroundyou.com for what I'm working on in this space.

  5. You mentioned diabetes a lot. Not defining between type 2 and type 1. If you would like to understand more about the emotions of diabetes I wrote a book about it www.pngwd.com

  6. This does not solve anything. Because I have Trouble sleeping. You Just made me feel worse about it. It takes me 2-3 hours to fall asleep. And I wake up 1-2 hours before my alarm clock goes of.
    So yeah thanks for the obvious.

  7. How unfortunate that this guy looks like Kevin Spacey does right after he's fondled one of the lighting technicians.

  8. i don't understand the argument "black out every light" … our ancestors slept under a bright sky of stars and moon. so there was light. not the blue light from our screens, but still light

  9. After the bullshit about mycotoxins in coffee he said on Joe Rogan, I just can't trust what he says anymore.

  10. Lol I predicted the comment section for this one very accurately. Look, I get it, sometimes Dave Asprey has been spouting BS, as with mycotoxins in coffee. However, as far as I can tell, he is very much on point in this video. Though most of this is really common sense if you think about it.

    And yeah, he does have stuff to sell (though he really only mentions the glasses here. Turning off the lights and talking a walk are free). Imagine you're a smart guy and an entrepreneurial type and you're into health topics. Wouldn't you want to create products that you think are helpful and that you would like to use yourself? And wouldn't you mention these products when you're discussing these topics? What good is a great product if nobody knows about it? Not everybody who's got something to sell is trying to fuck you over.

    And if you really hate Mr. Asprey that much, you can get these types of blue-light-blocking glasses from lots of other manufacturers, too. They really do work.

  11. What is next in Big Think ? Herbalife ? I remember when I used to watch the History Channel. Then they started to make shows about truckers and aliens and axes. I don´t watch the History Channel anymore. Should I do the same about Big Think ?

  12. I tend not to take biology advice from business administration majors with IT backgrounds. He may be wrong, he may be right, but I'll need more than just "I read a study about such and such" to buy all this

  13. Would be cool to get some black out curtains with an alarm clock built in that pulls up and let sunshine in when it goes off. Beyond that, have it connect to a sleep tracker and wake you up at the best time. Think of that!

  14. All the sleep advice from "motivational" or "entrepreneurial" influencer clowns on YouTube, Reddit and other platforms literally making their followers ill, they often advise/or at least indirectly promote, stuff like sleeping 4/5 hours a night, (or boast/lie about themselves doing it), making out it's somehow impressive or a show of industriousness that others should mimic. Gary Vaynerchuk is one of them, good for them if they only need 4 hours but they are so myopic they don't stop to realise the obvious, that we are all different. These people must be the worst employers.

  15. My brain has always been much more focused and productive at night for as long as I remember. I feel more energized too, so I usually study or work at night up into the early morning. I've never been an early bird and I don't have diabetes or anything.

    Daytime can be too much for me, I feel tired by bright sunlight, heat, noise and hectic movement of people in general. I don't feel mentally active much during the day. I've been living in different cities in different parts of the world, but my body still makes me a night owl everywhere I go.

    Ironically, I've become much healthier mentally and physically now that I am not bound by a daytime routine. I've also found that my body functions best with biphasic sleep of about 8 – 10 hours in total. It seemingly doesn't matter what time/how often I go to sleep in a day, my body just needs a total of 8 – 10 hours each day and it's automatically done, I can't sleep more than that. And when that amount of sleep is not fulfilled, my body will not function optimally until the lost hours of sleep are compensated.

    I think while most of us are early birds, some of us are just wired to be a night owl.

  16. As a new member of our time share community you are guaranteed that nobody will poo in the pool…
    JESUS THIS GUY IS A CON MAN!

  17. It's like a trend to not sleep. You're a lazy person if you do sleep 8 hours.. it's kinda silly, but then again, people who sleep good are most of the time beautiful and smart, those who dont look like Donald Trump, and yeah sure, you get an extra 3 or 4 hours in the day to do something, but those who sleep will have 15 to 30 extra years to live 🤦🏻‍♂️😂

  18. I can't stand the guy from the advert before every BT video. I know it's bad to judge people, but I can't shake the feeling that he's a complete and utter prick.

  19. Quite a good video, but not eating after the sun goes eat can be conter productive. Trying to sleep hungry isn't the best idea

  20. Your word is "mitochondrial".
    Can I hear it in a sentence, please?
    "Even Master Yoda doesn't have a mitochondrial count that high."

  21. I sleep better when there's low light rather than darkness, low literally in the sense of height. The kind of light you'd have around a campfire. Yellowish, dim light near floor level. Also I sleep better when can hear people talking rather than complete silence. So long as no one calls my name.

  22. Dave Asprey discussing prevention of diabetes, depression, and heart disease while endorsing a diet that will give you all three.🙄🙄🙄 Nothing to see here folks.

  23. I agree with (& practice) his basic premise.

    However, my mitochondria are broken from a systemic disease (ME/CFS). A sleep study revealed I have a severely broken sleep cycle (a common symptom).

    Often a disease causes a sleep disorder, NOT the other way around !

  24. Sometimes I hear people brag that they can fall asleep anywhere, and most of them are not children or teenagers, they are full-grown adults at least the age of 35. I usually think that is not something to be proud of – it means your body desperately wants to have a chance to repair itself while you are sleeping.

  25. So if blackout curtains aren't enough, what is? Are there screens that can darken your room even more? I'd imagine you need something that perfectly covers the entire surface of the window.

  26. 58 look 38 feel 28, healthier than most and NEVER slept or sleep longer than 4 to 5 hours or done all this prep he's talking about, Tesla slept 2 at at time. Like EVERYTHING else in life and certainly on the internet, evaluate what's being said and understand ALL physiology is individually contingent. And the fact that he's selling books and glasses just added to the lack of veracity for me personally.

  27. I know I'm being extremely shallow here, but it's difficult to take advice seriously by a guy wearing amber glasses.

  28. Remember that this is a commercial. Dave is subtly marketing his products he mentioned. His job is to convince you that his products are beneficial by introducing the problem they solve. He has the motive to convince you of his marketing campaign. Regardless of how true this may be, never get your information from a marketing campaign. It's biased. #ThinkBigger

  29. I also live in the north and it is a bloody nightmare. In the winter there isn't nearly enough hours of light to keep me awake during the whole day, and in the summer there is no way of naturally getting sleepy at the "right time" nor blocking all the light during the night.
    I have suffered from depression (probably SAD) and so have lots of people I know. I often find myself relying on alcohol and caffeine to medicate my sleep cycle, which in the long term only makes things worse.

  30. What if I can not "turn of" all lights because it is hot and I want to leave my window open so I can breath? Should I prioritize your tips and sweat like shit?

  31. Lack of sleep is the path to diabetes… what about eating friggen sugar? This guy is just peddling snake oil to modern lifestyle problems.

  32. As if a dim sliver of light, away from your eyes, coming from the sides of blackout curtains
    and a brightly lit room were the same thing… Ok, I'll pretend I buy that.

  33. I shouldn't have watched this. I have two disorders and this guy is basically telling me i'm gonna get cancer and diabetes. Great.

  34. So it's cancer and diabetes for me. — I regularly go 2-3 days without sleep. Right now I'm awake at hour 48 actually, and still not tired. I'm not insomniac just a weird, irregular (non-)sleeper. I also tend to avoid all light sources except my computer screen (Which is on the lowest brightness setting and 50% reduced contrast.) I pay little to no sleep debt either; After I start to feel tired (~70h mark) a mere 10 hours is enough to completely regenerate — I wake up naturally. Of course I can pretend to be normal and put myself to bed every evening like a normal human being would, and then it's the prescribed amount of 9 hours sleep for me. But it's a chore to stick to that schedule and forcibly go to bed in a not completely exhausted state. If I stay up all night then go about my day as if it was a regular / fresh start of the cycle, I will sleep 10 hours that night (Diagnose me.)

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