Dr. Samer Hattar: Timing Light, Food, & Exercise for Better Sleep, Energy & Mood | Huberman Lab #43

In this episode, I host Dr. Samer Hattar, Chief of the Section on Light and Circadian Rhythms at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Hattar is a world-renowned expert on how viewing light at particular times adjusts our mood, ability to learn, stress and hormone levels, appetite, and mental health. We discuss how to determine and use your individual light sensitivity to determine the optimal sleep-wake cycle for you. We also discuss how to combine your light viewing and waking time with the timing of your food intake and exercise in order to maximize mental and physical functioning. Dr. Hattar is credited with co-discovering the neurons in the eye that set our circadian clocks and regulate mood and appetite. He explains why even a small shift in daylight savings leads to outsized effects on our biking because of the way that our cells and circadian clocks integrate across many days. And he offers precise tools to rapidly adjust to jetlag, shift work, and reset your clock after a late night of work or socializing. This episode is filled with cutting-edge data on the biological mechanisms of human physiology and practical tools for people of all ages.

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Timestamps:
00: 00: 00 Introducing Dr. Samer Hattar, Ph.D.
00: 02: 17 Sponsors: ROKA, InsideTracker, Magic Spoon
00: 06: 15 Light, Circadian (24 hour) & Circannual (365 day) “Photoentrainment”
00: 14: 30 Neurons in Our Eyes That Set Our Body Clocks: Similar to Frog Skin
00: 18: 55 What Blind People See
00: 20: 15 When, How & How Long to View Light for Optimal Sleep & Wakefulness
00: 30: 20 Sunlight Simulators, Afternoon Light Viewing, Naps
00: 33: 48 Are You Jetlagged at Home? Chronotypes & Why Early Risers Succeed
00: 38: 33 How to Decide Your Best Sleep-Wake Schedule; Minimal Light Test
00: 42: 16 Viewing Light in Middle of Day: Mood & “Light Hunger”
00: 44: 55 Evening Sunlight; Blueblocker Warning
00: 48: 57 Blue Light Is Not the Issue; Samer’s Cave; Complete Darkness
00: 53: 58 Screens at Night
00: 56: 03 Dangers of Bright Light Between 10 pm and 4 am: Mood & Learning
01: 01: 05 The Tripartite Model: Circadian, Sleep Drive, Feeding Schedules
01: 05: 05 Using Light to Enhance Your Mood; & The Hattar-Hernandez Nucleus
01: 07: 19 Why Do We Sleep?
01: 08: 17 Effects of Light on Appetite; Regular Light & Meal Times
01: 18: 08 Samer’s Experience with Adjusting Meal Timing
01: 22: 51 Using Light to Align Sleep, Mood, Feeding, Exercise & Cognition
01: 30: 15 Age-Related Changes in Timing of Mental & Physical Vigor
01: 31: 44 “Chrono-Attraction” in Relationships; Social-Rhythms
01: 33: 40 Re-setting Our Clock Schedule; Screen Devices Revisited
01: 37: 50 How Samer Got into the Study of Light
01: 39: 33 Clock Gene mRNAs & More Accurate Biomarkers
01: 41: 08 Light as Medicine
01: 42: 48 ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
01: 43: 35 How to Beat Jetlag: Light, Temperature, Eating
01: 50: 44 Vigor: The Consequence of Proper Timing
01: 52: 15 Waking in the Middle of the Night: When Your Nightly Sleep Becomes a Nap
01: 54: 10 Melatonin, Pineal Calcification
01: 55: 25 Our Seasonal Rhythms: Mood, Depression, Lethargy & Reproduction
01: 59: 08 Daylight Savings: Much Worse Than It Might Seem
02: 05: 27 Eye Color & Sensitivity to Light, Bipolar Disorder
02: 09: 28 Spicy Food, Genetic Variations in Sensory Sensitivity
02: 10: 52 Synthesizing This Information, Samer on Twitter, Instagram
02: 13: 00 Conclusions, Ways To Support the Huberman Lab Podcast & Research

Please note that The Huberman Lab Podcast is distinct from Dr. Huberman’s teaching and research roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. The information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Huberman Lab Podcast, its employees, guests and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac – m

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