Eating Affects Your Sleep (and vice versa) – Satchin Panda #560

(upbeat music) – Bulletproof Radio, a state of high performance. – You’re listing to Bulletproof
radio with Dave Asprey. Today’s cool fact of the
day is that a lack of sleep can induce anxiety. In healthy adults, well,
at least they said they were healthy, overnight sleep deprivation triggered anxiety the next morning, along with altered
brain activity patterns. And people with anxiety
disorders often times have trouble sleeping
and these new results show the reverse effects, that
poor sleep, when you have it, can induce anxiety. This came out of UC Berkeley
and they looked at 18 people following either a night of sleep or a night of staying awake. They did anxiety tests the next morning. Sleep deprivation led to 30% more anxiety than people who slept
and the anxiety scores reached levels of people
who have anxiety disorders. And sleep deprived people’s
brain activity changed too. So when they looked at emotional videos, brain areas involved in
emotions were more active, the prefrontal cortex,
which is the part of you that helps you think and pay attention, sort of be a thinking human,
is also the part of you that slows down your anxiety,
that part was less active and this is according
to functional MRI scans. So, poor sleep isn’t just
a symptom of anxiety, but maybe it’s a cause. And that is a definite call
to hack your own sleep, which is particularly important. Something that wasn’t in the study that’s really interesting
too is that your gut bacteria also have their own
separate circadian rhythm. So when you stay up all
night, or you’re jet-lagged, your gut bacteria are also
jet-lagged and when they get pissed off, guess what they do? They make something called
LPS or lipopolysaccharide, a very potent toxin that
crosses the gut barrier and, especially if you don’t
have an intact stomach lining, causes inflammation throughout the body, including in the brain. So LPS is bad news and this
is one of those reasons that if you’re gonna stay up all night, take some charcoal already
because charcoal binds LPS and you’ll feel better the next morning and you’ll have less anxiety. Who woulda thought? You may have noticed, in
my continuous evolution of becoming great at
foreshadowing, that we might talk about sleep and circadian
biology in today’s episode. And there’s a couple reasons for that. One is I’m a huge fan of
understanding and learning and knowing what’s going
on there because it’s one of the things that’s led
me to perform better. And it’s one of the core
things that showed up in the Game Changers book
in the study of the laws of high performers, these
46 laws that came out from almost 500 episodes
of Bulletproof Radio, just studying with a statistician, what are the common patterns
that people talk about as being most important
for them to reach the level of attainment in their
life or in their career to have done something
noteworthy that is worth getting on the show. Well, sleep was up there. In fact, it’s law 19. And that is why on today I am
really happy to have a friend and former guest of Bulletproof
Radio back on the show. I’m talking about non other
than Satchin Panda, PhD, who’s a leading expert in circadian rhythm and a professor at the Salk
Institute in San Diego. He has written an app
called My Circadian Clock that helps you synchronize
your circadian biology. And his lab has been
transformative because he’s shown the profound impact of
ambient light in daily eating, fasting on preventing
huge numbers of diseases like diabetes, depression,
metabolic syndrome, heart disease, cancer and stuff like that. He’s also come up with this
concept of time-restricted eating and it’s very related
to intermittent fasting, but he says that people
who eat everything within and eight to 12 hour period can
boost their circadian rhythm and maybe even reduce chronic diseases. So in February of 2018, Dr.
Panda was on Bulletproof Radio in two different episodes
and if you didn’t pick up his book about this when you heard him on those last two episodes,
number 466 and 467, you need to pick up The Circadian Code, which is a really good overview of this. Circadian biology is tied into
my work since I first read a book in 2001 from T.S. Wiley called Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival. And her work set off my
path of circadian biology and when I got to meet Dr.
Panda at the Salk Institute a couple years ago and going to his lab and look at rat melanopsin cells and talk to his PhD researchers, like this guy is changing the world, which is why he’s on for his third time. Dr. Panda, welcome to the show. – Thank you, Dave, that is
really nice introduction and I’m really flattered
that you are such a big fan of circadian rhythm. And everybody should be
because, as you said, that’s one of the
foundations of better health. – Right before recording this episode, I was at the American Academy
of Anti-Aging Medicine and I gave a keynote
talk and I mentioned you and your work on stage
in front of thousands of anti-aging doctors, and
then later I was on a panel with Peter Attia, how is
also been on the show, and how Peter and I, on our
panel, both mentioned your work separately, so you’ve made
great inroads with this huge audience of people out in the trenches, working with patients
on making them younger because circadian biology
is one of those things we just didn’t know
anything about, I would say, 20 years ago, at least anything relevant, and it’s completely changed things. Why are we finding all these
changes just in the period of time of your work, like
what happens to make us become more aware and to crack the code, given this is the title of your book? – Yeah, well, circadian
biology is a very interesting aspect of biology. If you think about every other period of biomedical research, there’s a disease and then people work on the disease. Circadian rhythm came, started
as a very simple curiosity, why we go to sleep, why
we sleep for seven hours or eight hours and is
there a clock inside? And what has happened
is in the last 20 years, the key discoveries can be summarized into three measured things. One is people discovered
that just like our brain has a clock, almost every
organ has its own clock. And that completely
transformed how we think about circadian clocks. The second one was we also
figured out that blue light is a strong agent in sunlight
that resets our clock or having exposure to blue light at night can disrupt the clock. And that the third measure, discovery, was how food timing affects our clock. So these three really transformed
how we think about health because if you think about now,
what circadian rhythm field is doing, this is the only
field that’s actually studying what is health because all
other fields of biomedical research study what is disease. So, we can go over these
three measures or discoveries or breakthroughs in
circadian rhythm field. The first one is every
organ has its clock. And that’s a profound
statement because if we think about clock, we
always think about sleep. So that means, just like
our brain has a clock that tells our brain to sleep
for seven to eight hours at night, it also tells our
brain that the peak time to do complex math, have
complex business negation or solve problem is somewhere set between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. So that means if other organs have clock, they should have an optimum
time to do their job and they also need downtime
to rest, reset and rejuvenate. So slowly, over the last 20 years, people working in this field
are finding out that, yes, that’s true, just like
our brain has a clock, liver has a clock and it can
digest food and can nurture our body for only seven to
eight hours, or maximum, say 12 hours, and that it needs downtime. So, similarly, our gut has a clock, even the microbiome that
lives inside the gut, they have a circadian
clock or a daily clock. Muscles have a clock. And so now if you think of every single, if we think of our health,
our health is a product of our organs and hormones
and when our organs, hormones and brain chemicals rise
and fall at the right time, then our body clocks synchronize and we are at top performance. So that’s a very profound
concept that’s evolving in circadian rhythm field. – Okay. You mentioned the liver
quite a lot in there. And it’s funny, people
often times don’t associate circadian things and sleep
with what the liver’s doing. Tell me more about why
you brought that up. – Well, liver is the,
if you think about liver is one of the largest solid
organ that is very important for metabolism, so it produces
fuel for almost every part of our body, including brain. It also breaks down a lot
of xenobiotics or unwanted molecules that we ingest. This is also a place where
we produce many of the key molecules for fighting infection. So liver plays a huge role in our health. But in fact, interestingly,
most of the circadian studies these days have moved away
from looking at the brain and they are more and
more looking at the liver, since liver plays such a big role. So for example, if we think about fasting, then liver is the measured place
where we our liver produces some ketone bodies toward the
end of our 14, 16, or 18 hours of fasting, and that ketone
body is transported to our heart and brain for better function. So in that way, liver plays a
huge role in fueling our brain and keeping us smart. – It really matters so much. One of the studies that I
was really pleased to see that came out of UC San Diego
was Dr. Cunnane’s research that showed the amount of
caffeine in two small cups of coffee doubled ketone production. So let’s see, I just slept all night, which is a fasting window
unless you sleep-eat, and then all of a sudden
you wake up and you wanna get some more of those ketones that will happen if you skip breakfast, but if you have black coffee, you’re going to have more
ketones than if you didn’t, according to that study. And, of course, if you’re
doing Bulletproof coffee where you have ra-nok-tane in there, you can be sure you’re
getting some extra ketones in the morning and, for me,
it’s just been a profound awakening of my brain, given
that I used to weigh 300 pounds and had autoimmunity
things and high blood sugar and prediabetes and all
the other crap that I had to deal with when I was younger. So, it’s no wonder that the liver matters, but if you look at
traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, all these
Eastern systems of healing, a lot of them are heavily
focused on liver and kidneys. Of course, they care about the brain, but it seems like we’re
now using circadian biology to rediscover things that
maybe we knew 1,000 years ago. Do you agree with that? – Well, the thing is, when it
comes to health and wellness, anything that we can think
of has already been tried in human history because
humans have been trying by trial and error and many
other methods to figure out what is the best way to
live a healthy, long life. So that’s what we all is
here, whatever you discover, our grandmother used to say. (laughing) – Well, that was definitely
one of the laws in the book, eat like your grandmother, is
one of the laws in the book, which is also tied to
mitochondria, the assumption, in fact, I’d love to test this one on you. So, when I interviewed all
the people in Game Changers, and I said that question
of Bulletproof Radio, top three recommendations
for people who wanna perform better at everything, I ended
up having some sort of weird thoughts on that and saying, all right, number one data point
that came out was food, but certainly not everyone
agrees on what to eat, but everyone agrees if
I eat the wrong stuff, I can’t show up, I’m not
gonna be a game changer if eat garbage. So, I think there is
an algorithm for eating and the Bulletproof
diet’s worked very well. It is an allorhythmic
approach that says, look, eat less of the stuff that
makes you weak so you’re less inflamed, eat more of the
stuff that gives you energy and more nutrients, et cetera, et cetera, but sik-la-goo-ka tells us
you can’t put them on a map. But, when you look at mitochondria, they come from the mother’s
side, so it’s what your mom’s mom’s, mom’s, mom’s, mom’s
ate, your mitochondria are going to be adapted for “your people.” So if you were to flip a coin and say, will I handle legumes? Will I handle nightshades? Will I handle dairy? Will I handle the things, it
is more likely that since your mitochondria are the things
that turn air and food into electrons at end of the day, it’s more likely that if you
look at what your ancestors ate on that side, you’ll get
some hints as to where you might wanna start when you’re figuring out what’s gonna work for you. (laughing) Do you buy that line of reasoning? It’s okay to say no, but it seems to work. – Well, the thing is, we
always think, okay, so, there is these epigenetics
that is inherited from our ancestors, but at the same time, if our ancestors went through famine or fasting or maybe too much
food, a certain type of food, and that’s imprinted in the
mitochondria, as you know, then that is also a good
sign that at which ends our behavior will also imprint
our mitochondria or genome in a very different way. We can pass on that mitochondria
or type of heredity chord to our children, so in that
way it’s an interesting hypothesis, people always say
that whatever your parents did, that is imprinted on you
and the flip side of that coin is if you pick up some good
habit, you’ll also pass on those good habit to your children. And if you pick up some bad habits, that’s also going to
pass onto your children. – I’ve become more and
more convinced from reading literature and just
from writing Headstrong, my last big book, if you
look at what the first line environmental sensors for
epigenetic sensing are, it appears to be the mitochondria. They’re the ones who make
a single-celled decision about allocation of resources, more so that other subcellular structures. And sort of saying, all right,
if they’re one of the things that controls epigenetic switching and I found a couple studies that indicate that that’s probably how it works, that if you look then at
what are they most wired for. If you’re mother, let’s
say, was born at the equator eating a relatively high starch diet, and then you in one generation
move to the North Pole and try to go to an Eskimo diet, you’re probably not gonna like
what happens biologically. But if over the course of
walking across a land bridge over thousands of years to
allow epigenetic changes to peculate through your
genome and you crossbred with some other people
along the way, it’s fine, you’re probably gonna be
able to handle the North Pole a little bit better. And so it’s that idea that says,
yes, there’re be epigenetic changes and, yes, the father’s
DNA, which goes to nuclear genome, probably makes a difference here, however if you were to close
your eyes, flip a coin and say, okay, what am I most likely
to have that’s compatible with my biology? Just look at your mom’s
history and start there and then see what else works. That was the general thinking behind it. – Well, the thing is mitochondria
is only 13 or 14 protein in the mitochondria,
but more than 1200 genes that instruct the mitochondria to function or build up the mitochondria
that come from the nucleus and there’s where both
father’s and mother’s genes play a big role. – That’s correct. – Also, there’s epigenetic
imprinting that will happen, more likely to happen among
this few of these 1200 genes, so that’s how– – In the nuclear DNA.
– The nuclear genome. – So, what got me
thinking about these lines was a fascinating study,
and if you haven’t seen it, stop me so we won’t go to deep on it, but they were looking
at starlings, I believe, some sort of small bird, it
might have been a different one. And the population split a
couple thousand years ago. Half of them live outside Cabo and half of them live outside Portland. And over that time, their
mitochondrial DNA mutates to help them be more optimized
for the Pacific Northwest versus the sunshine. Well, researchers took these
two populations and said I wonder if they can crossbreed. So they crossbred them and
they found that the offspring had relatively high
degrees of chronic illness. And they said, well, this
is a miss-match between the nuclear DNA and the
mitochondrial DNA and the wiring diagraph didn’t match the
physical infrastructure. Those 1200 genes didn’t line up very well with the mitochondrial DNA,
but when they took the kids and then they crossbred the
chronically ill offspring with the other side, their
offspring were healthy again so they kind of turned
this on or off by aligning the nuclear DNA and all. Have you come across that
study at all in your research? – No, I haven’t, I should
look up that study and see. – It’s very interesting
because all of us, as humans, at least 99% of us or something, have huge amounts of
crossbreeding, where you look back. My 23andMe says, Dave, in the
1700s you have a full-blooded Native American ancestor. I’m like, we had a family legend that that might have been the case, but we had no data, so okay,
apparently that was true. I don’t know what that means,
but it means that there’s no such thing as kind of a
perfectly matched mitochondrial DNA to nuclear DNA, but I
think that may be affecting chronic illness and it seems
like it’s probably stuff that’s hackable, so it’s
a fascinating world, but you haven’t gone down that
path in your research, okay. – No, what we know is the mitochondria, they repair themselves and
divide and fuse together, so this happens on a daily basis and there is a circadian rhythm to that, so the mitochondria will
divide and then will get rid of the bad person of the
mitochondria and then the good mitochondria will fuse together
to make good mitochondria, and having a strong circadian
rhythm does nurture this cycle of rejuvenation of
mitochondria on a daily basis because if we accumulate those
mutations in mitochondria DNA, then even though we have
1200 genes in the nucleus that constitutes the mitochondria, this tiny part of mitochondria
DNA, if that is mutated, then that can cause a lot of problems, so it’s a nice mechanism to divide, get rid of the bad mitochondria
and then fuse again. And that’s strongly driven
by circadian rhythms. – Let’s talk a little bit
more about circadian rhythms. Sleep came up very high on the
things that high-performers do in Game Changers. And it led me to create
law 19 in the book. And the title of law 19 is Waking Up Early Does Not Make You a Good Person. The subtext for that is: There
is no morality in waking up early or staying up late. There’s a huge amount of
power of finding out when you sleep best and building your
life so you can sleep then. And the point for that is
that one of the other laws is what you do in the
morning really does matter, so the miracle morning
perspective from Hal Elrod, but that the definition of
morning for an early riser is different than the definitely
of morning for a late riser and that knowing when to sleep
seems like an important thing to discover so you can
show up all the way. Talk to me about what you’ve
seen, either in the lab or in other readings, other
research, around proper wake-up time and is it the same for everyone. – Well, your day actually
begins when you go to bed the previous night because
that determines how long you’ll sleep, how long you’ll reset
your brain, and then how fresh you wake up in the morning. So, if somebody’s going
to, one rule of thumb is, most sleep researchers
agree that in adults would be in bed for eight hours. I’m saying, so be in bed for eight hours. Short of that, somebody
may get six and a half to seven hours of sleep. So that means if someone
wants to wake up at 6:00 a.m., then this person should aim to go to bed at 10:00 p.m. at night. And then the question is
whether people who wake up at 6:00 a.m. versus 8:00 a.m.,
9:00 a.m., or 10:00 a.m., are there any difference in performance. I think that’s where the
wake-up time is not as important as how many hours you slept. The person may be going to
bed at 3:00 a.m. and waking up at 6:00 and maybe getting
three hours of sleep. We know that that’s not
going to work very well for next day’s performance. But when people wake up late,
then the thing is they’re more likely to have a better night’s sleep because what is happening
is in modern days, we have to stay awake later in the night for many different reasons. We have to have a social
life or sometimes the kids come back to the parents
house then with homework or something else. So in that way, our
sleep is getting delayed and people who wake up later, maybe they are getting better sleep. One nice study on that,
not in older adults, but in high school students just came out. It’s a nice collaboration
between Horacio de la Iglesia from Seattle in our lab. What happened was few years
ago, there was this hypothesis that teenagers are not
getting enough sleep when they wake up in the morning and
go to school very early, so maybe delaying their school
start time will help them. So Seattle School District,
which is the largest school district in the
U.S., decided to delay the high school start time
from 7:30 in the morning to 8:30 in the morning. And there was a big (mumbles)
from teachers because teachers and parents, they are likely
to wake up early and teenagers are likely to wake up late. And so that’s why Seattle
School District was very eager to see whether this school,
delayed school start time has a better effect on
students’ performance. And Horacio and his team
monitored 200 students from two different schools. When the school start time
was 7:30 a.m. and they monitored them with very
high grade, this FDA approved medical grade sleep trackers
and activity trackers after 75 days for up to almost
two months before the school start time changed and
also tracked their grades and tracked their
absenteeism or tardiness. And then after the school
start time changed to 8:30, he again went back and
collected the same set of data from 200 students. And then the results are pretty clean. Over the last 100 years,
U.S. adults and teenagers have lost one hour of sleep,
so that means in every year we are losing around .6 minutes of sleep. And what he found is by
delaying school start time by an hour, these students
got 34 minutes of sleep. So that means we turned the clock back among Seattle School
students so that now in 2018, these students are sleeping
as much as students in 1950 were getting, that much sleep. – I’m just so happy that
you’re talking about this. I’m always talking about school
start times on social media and here’s the thing. It’s torture to make any
animal wake up way earlier than it’s suppose to five days a week for basically 12 years. And that’s the definition
of school right now. I’m actually looking at
moving my kids’ school to one of the later start times
because the amount of time they will live is based
on the sleep quality they get as kids. I’m going to buy them another
10 years of healthy longevity just by getting them out of
these wake up early things and this is one of the things
that also drives people to start homeschooling, things like that, is you don’t want to
have your kids getting up at 6:30 in the morning
when they’re 14 years old. It’s not natural, it’s mean. – And not only that, we also
saw that when they slept more 34 minutes, it’s not that they
did not do their homework, actually they improved
their grade by nearly 5%. Just imagine if someone, if
your kid is getting 86, 87 in all the subjects and
is getting a B grade, just that extra sleep will
bring their grade to A because he or she is going to get all A’s. The average score will be around 90, 91. We also studied (mumbles) and tardiness, so particularly kids when
they’re getting up too early and then sleepy and
there is not enough time to reach school. A lot of them end up being late. So this is an exciting
study that clearly shows that in modern days, it’s not
ideal to wake up so early. And maybe for some people, at
least for high school students who are the foundations of
our future, we should let them sleep a little bit more and
it’s going to improve their overall health, increase
maybe longevity in long-term, in productivity and their score. – Well, I am going to take
the excerpt of this interview and I’m gonna play it
for the school board here and I would encourage you,
if you’re listening to this, to take, as we’ve got Dr. Satchin Panda, one of the world’s preeminent
expert from the Salk Institute on circadian biology, telling
you that sleep is a cognitive enhancing substance you
can use for your kids to get better grades, get them
to show up to school more, so there’s no excuse for
starting school early. You’ll hear these dumb excuses like, oh, it impacts traffic flow. It’s like hey, this is
the next generation here, so go around the school zone or something. It doesn’t matter that
this is simply not okay and I think it’s one of
those things that we’re going to figure out
multiple generations-wise. Let’s see what happens when
you have five generations of people who are sleep deprived as kids, what it does to the IQ of a country, probably not good things. All right, I’ll get off my soapbox there. – So you pointed out
one thing, traffic flow. Actually there are studies
showing that when school start time is delayed, then
the kids have less accidents. – Of course. I remember driving like
a zombie to school, what I can remember form my
school because I was darn tired because they made you wake up
in the middle of the night. All right, I have another question though. You mentioned most sleep experts agree on eight hours of sleep. Most exercise experts now also tell you that they agree on 10,000
steps as the ultimate number of steps per day. Now, I did someone digging
on that a while back for the Bulletproof blog. The number of 10,000 steps
came from a Japanese company that invented the first pedometer, a mechanical pedometer you
put on your belt in the 1950s. So they just made up
the number from thin air and told everyone in
marketing that 10,000 steps was the ideal, and to this
day, we will swear up and down that 10,000 steps is the magic number. It is not a magic number. When I looked at the data on
sleep and found that the people who live the longest from
a 1.2 million person study that went for three years,
that they only sleep six and a half hours a night. – Yeah. – I’m like, I don’t care
if most sleep experts say that you should
sleep eight hours a night because it’s apparent that
sleeping more than eight hours a night is actually dangerous
compared to sleeping maybe seven and a half hours. So, where does eight hours
really come from and do you believe that having seen rat
melanopsin sensors in labs and petri dishes and all that? Like how much BS are we dealing with? – Well, the epi-dem-u-la is right. The cell report six and
a half hours of sleep goes along very well with
longevity or (mumbles) life. When it comes to eight hours,
it’s not hours of sleep, there’s eight hours in bed. – Oh, so it’s what else
you’re doing in bed that makes you live longer, okay. That changed the whole equation. – Yeah, so when I say,
I always tell people, aim for eight hours in
bed and we know these days when people go to bed
they’re checking emails and doing other things,
and then when they wake up, sometimes they wake up and
then they’re still tired. They check their email and
other stuff before they get out of the bed. So, that’s what we say,
target eight hours in bed. – Okay. Eight hours in bed, no
matter what you’re doing. I might be able to get away with that. The other obvious thing there
is, if you can reduce sleep latency, and this is the
measure of how long it takes you to fall asleep, think about this. My sleep latency is
usually under three minutes because there’s breathing
techniques and other stuff like that and I’ve done
enough neurofeedback, the voice in my head is
generally pretty quiet. So, I lay down, close
my eyes to go to sleep and then I’m out. And I can do that whether or
not I’m super tired or not, so I don’t think it’s sleep
deprivation that does that. But, imagine if you took 20 minutes. That extra 17 minutes of your life, every day for the rest of your life, this is one of those things
that you must hack that because 17 minutes is enough
time to do high-intensity interval training that day
and still have more time. It’s a really big savings. Do you have anything you’re
learned from all the work you’ve done, specifically
with lighting or food or anything else about
reducing sleep latency so people can go to sleep
faster when they want to in bed? – Well, there are a few things. You have already hacked how
to do your neurofeedback. One thing is, what we’re
finding, people who do timeless (mumbles), particularly the
stop eating two to three hours before bedtime, that helps. Second, reducing exposure to blue light for two to three hours before
going to bed, that also helps. And this is much more
important because now, actually I have a app that
we just built up from the lab called myLuxRecorder, one
single word, and wherever I go– – Oh, can I get it now,
it is on the store? – Yeah, it’s on IOS. – And it tracks your
lighting exposure all day? I’ve been wanting this for years. – No, no, no, you have to open
the app and then record it. But then the point is where
I go, I just record it. What is interesting, two to
three years ago when LED lights were not that popular, many
stores, department stores, grocery stores, drug stores,
et cetera, they used to have 300 to 500 lux of light. And now after the switch
to bright, blue LED’s, these stores have easily
1,000 luxs or more light. And that is very worrisome
because most people go to do their grocery
shopping or got to get a drug from the drug store at
night and when they go, they spend at least half an
hour in this bright, blue light. – Yes. – So, one more thing I got
to add is if you’re going out of your home and going to a
drug store, grocery store, any store these days,
then make sure that you are less exposed to blue light. Maybe this is where blue filtering
glasses will become handy because in many cases we cannot just stop going to these stores at night. That’s the only time we
may have to go shopping. – Okay, so we’re back to food. – So no food for two to three hours, no bright light for two to three hours, and then some people,
their core body temperature doesn’t fall well at
nighttime and to have a good night’s sleep, we need to have a good drop in core body temperature,
so people can take a shower and that actually helps to
drop the body temperature, they can go to sleep. – A cool shower. – Yeah. Some people like a warm
shower, some like cold shower. But the bottom line is
whatever shower you take, you’re blood circulation
will rush towards your skin away from the core and that
helps to cool down your body. – Would drinking a glass of ice water be a good idea before bed? – Yeah if you’re not
likely to get up and pee that’s a good idea. (laughing) – Okay, fair point, that’s bad for sleep, peeing is bad for sleep, got that one. – And then the last one
is your right to darkness because we have lost
our right to darkness. There’s so much light where we live. – Yes. – It’s really sometimes it’s
mind boggling how we have lost our right to darkness,
even in a modern house with the best architecture. Without a good– – Blackout shades. – Yeah, good insulation
and good dark-out curtains, it’s almost impossible to get darkness. Plus, there are all these
indicators and all these lights on your phones, on your
appliances, TV, et cetera, so that keep us very jazzed up. In fact, there’s a
study that just came out showing that even one lux of
light, which is equivalent to even bright moonlight
on full moon night, having that one lux of light
in some bedroom for some people can disrupt their sleep and so that’s why it’s very important to
have the right to darkness. If you cannot have darkness,
then maybe a pair of eye sets or sleeping mask will help. – There are also studies
that came out in 1998 that help to drive some of
my sleep hacking experiments that I think have been widely
echoed on the internet now around blacking out the room. Because the study in 1998
looked at red and blue light on the back of the knee and
found that it affected sleep. They did a really good thing. They had the sham light,
they had, it was blinded, it was a properly done
study, and they found changes in REM sleep, so people
got less deep sleep and more REM sleep from
light exposure on the skin. The talk that I gave at the
American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, I talked about
the effects of blue lights, specifically on parts of the
eye that aren’t the melanopsin receptors that control circadian rhythm, just on corneal thickness and all. But it also affects the skin
by creating free radicals in the local circadian timing of the skin. If you have blue light on the
skin while you’re sleeping with an eye mask, the
skin is still gonna say, oh, it must be daytime
and things like that. So, an eye mask, yes. – I should correct you there
because that particular study about behind the knee
has been proven wrong. – Oh, do tell, I have not
seen an update on this. Okay, yeah, tell me all about it. – That actually came
out almost 10 years ago. Behind the knee was 1999
or 2000 and those guys, the biggest flaw in that
study was to keep these people awake, they had the TV on. – Oh, come on, seriously? – Yeah. – All right. – So that is a, I’ll send you that study. This is from Ken Wright, Jr. That also came out in Science. – Beautiful. – And they clearly refuted
that that study is flawed. And two other studies that
came out, since then no one has talked about skin light receptor. – But we have found that there’s
a skin circadian biology, right, like local organ
systems in the body. – Oh, yeah, there is
circadian rhythm in skin, but that skin circadian rhythm
is not directly sensitive to this dim light or blue light. – Okay. – Light might have
different effect on skin, but that study has been refuted. – Okay, thank you for telling me that. I did not see the refutation. I did see the original study and was sort of blown away by it. – Yeah. – What does concern me, though is you look at the correlation between
fluorescent light exposure on the skin and melanoma and
the correlation is higher from fluorescent light on the skin than it is from sunshine on the
skin, which is not to say that getting sunburned is good for you. But, it is to say that there’s
something going on with skin and light that is concerning
to me and there’s photo aging effects from not just
UV, but also from blue that may not be circadian,
they just may be mitochondrial. – Yeah, we also don’t know what happens to a pilot light and skin. So for example, now there
are a lot of pilot light being used to decontaminate. Just like UV light kills bugs,
there’s a narrow (mumbles) in violet light that can also kill bugs. So there are new lighting in
hospitals and vi-var-iants and doctors offices now that are violet. Your eyes cannot figure out
whether it’s violet or not and that are used for disinfection. These are also used in
our food supply chain. And it will be interesting to
see whether that violet light which can kills bugs, can it
make our, what are the types of effect it has on our skin. – I like to think our
mitochondria are ancient bacteria. They probably are affected by that light. – Yeah, it will be interesting to see. – So, I love that we got
to go that deep on things. Just for, you’re listening to
this, how crazy is this stuff, like people come to my house
at night and say, Dave, why is it so dark in here? Because it’s nighttime. And, yes, there’s red lights in my house. Like every room, when
I stay up late writing Game Changers and all,
it’s only red illumination. My monitor is set to red, or I’m wearing the TrueDark glasses that are red. And, I’m not kidding,
it is dim and it is red like a submarine and you know what? My kids go the sleep at 8:00, 8:30. They sleep all night long. If they wake up to pee,
the bathroom light’s red, they go right back to sleep. They do not have sleep issues. They never have had sleep issues. They sleep in blacked-out rooms
and they consider it normal and every LED light in my
room is off because when I go to bed, in addition
to the blackout curtains, I have a remote control
that disconnects the wiring in my room from the circuit breaker, which means anything that
had an LED light is now turned off for the night
in addition to lower EMF and that’s about an $800
remote control thing, depending on how handy you
are with a circuit breaker. – Yeah. – So, like you can do that
stuff and your neighbors will think you’re a vampire
because of the red lighting, it doesn’t matter. You’re sleep quality is
so good, it’s worth it. – Oh, yeah. – Okay. – Yeah. – All right. – No, this is a very important
issue because right now in many countries, the
only bulb people can watch is LED light and if they’re
not aware about how much light they need or how dim they
need, it’s going to make this sleep deprivation more
profound and widespread, so it’ll a epidemic of less
sleep because of the LED light. – What do you do at home for
sleep with your lighting? – Well, we don’t have any
light that’s more than, that produces more than 40 watt of light. So these are all dim
and if you need lighting then we have spotlighting
or watt lighting. For example, table lamps that
illuminates the work area, but not your eyes, not your face. And then all of my computers
and our smartphones, they already have night
set or nightlight feature, so they switch to orange color or dim down around 8:30 or 9:00. So that’s, one has to
be very knowledgeable and has to make that extra effort, but it just take 10 to
15 minutes to change all your nightlight feature,
at least on your computer and it may not affect
your sleep, but at least it nudges you because if
you’re staring at the computer and your computer screen
changes, then you know that it’s time to go to bed. So, it acts as a going
to sleep alarm clock. We have waking up alarm clock, but these light changes
actually prepares your body and then slowly you’ll fall asleep. – That is fantastic and having
a go to sleep alarm clock is profound and using
light as a way to do that is really cool because
most people listening have probably, on some
internet ad or something, you’ve seen the alarm clocks
that wake you up with light. They slowly turn on and the
light comes up and up and up before there’s a sound
alarm so that when the sound happens, you’re already
kind of mostly awake because the light signaled your body, hey, it’s about time to wake. Why not do the reverse
when you go to sleep? I really like that idea. – Yeah, I think slowly many of
the building control systems will encompass this idea and
just like your nest thermostat cools down your home or warms
it up before you get home, so similarly, maybe all
the lightings in the house will slowly dim down,
starting from the kitchen. Kitchens close around 6:30 or 7:00, so kitchens should become dark. And then slowly the living room then to go towards your bedroom. – I love it and while we’re
at it, I just gotta say, manufacturers of TVs make
it relatively annoying to dim the backlight
on your TV, but dim it so that it’s as dim as it’s
comfortable during the day and when we watch something
after the sun’s gone down, I screw around on the remote
until we’ve got the backlight turned down to zero or
one on a scale of 20 so that we’re not staring
at a bright, super blue light source and the
difference is very noticeable. You actually get less tired
and stressed when you’re watching TV anyway and it
doesn’t affect sleep as much. These are things that are
based on hard-core biology of what’s happening in the eyes,
but we’re not aware of them and none of this is about what you eat, although you and I both are in agreement circadian timing of food
matters and eating windows, but the light thing is
something that I think junk lights is as bad as junk food. Would you eat a big bowl of French fries? I would hope not and would
you stare at bright white LEDs right before bed? I’d hope not because
there’s kind of equivalent in terms of doing bad things for you. – Yeah, it’s almost like timing
makes a healthy life junks, timing can make healthy like junk. Good in daytime when you’ve
got blue light, bright light, but at nighttime, that’s just junk light. – Yeah. And even too much blue
light during the day, it’s not gonna necessarily
disrupt your circadian rhythm, but it can certainly
cause eye strain, stress, and maybe macular degeneration, according to some of the
stuff that I’ve read. Any concerns about excessive
blue without matching red and infrared during the day? – These days people don’t
get enough blue light, that’s the biggest concern– – Because they’re not outside. – Because they’re not outside,
because we have now data from a couple of thousand
people over a few years and what we are finding is
most people get their daylight only when they’re driving from
home to work or work to home and that may not be enough,
particularly if you are wearing sunglasses when you’re driving. – Oh, yeah, you’re not gonna get any then. But you’re getting some
blue light in sunlight, but you’re also at the same time getting the entire spectrum of light. – Yeah. – But when you go into an office, you’re getting narrow
spikes of blue light, probably five times more
than you’d got outdoors, but you’re getting very
little red and infrared and even the warmer spectrum. – Yeah. – Any concerns about sort
of the mix or like fat, protein, carbs, what type
of fat, protein and carbs and what are the ratios? Do you think that that matters for light, or maybe not for circadian reasons? – Well, I think that matters,
I think there will be more papers coming out this year
or the next showing how other spectrum of light
have better benefit for our health and wellbeing. – Okay. – And one is, there is this
idea that having a good ratio of red, green and blue, which
is similar to what we get in daylight, is good for our eyes. So for example, now people have shown, and it’s kind of a widespread
phenomenon that children not exposed to daylight too
much and they’re mostly exposed to narrow spectrum of light indoor, their eyes don’t develop
well so they have myopia and they need glasses very early on. The idea is maybe the (mumbles) cells are not getting the
right proportion of light red, green and blue and
that’s making the eye to bend slightly differently, or the
cornea to bend differently that leads to myopia. So, the bottom line is if we
can get as close to daylight in our indoor lighting,
that’s much better. And the best way to get to daylight is to have large swing door
and bring some daylight in. – Yes. But then again, the Salk
Institute’s in San Diego and you’re right on the water
and it’s probably the most beautiful campus anywhere, but
I’m in the Pacific Northwest. I can open the windows and
all you see is gray schmutz. Should I be putting sunlamps in? – No, I think even though that gray light, you still have 1,000 to 1,500 lux of light coming through your window inside home and outside you are still
getting 10,000 lux of daylight. So that’s good enough. But if you want to crank it
up, particularly, when you go five feet away from the window,
your light level is dropping and if you want to bring in some daylight, then maybe you can crank it up with some artificial daylight. – That’s definitely what I do. I grew up in a desert and
it just feels dark up here, so during the winter, I feel much better. I’ve got a really bright
halogen light here that makes a big difference. The other thing that, I don’t
know if there are studies yet but I put a red LED light
either somewhere on the ceiling or behind the monitor so that
I’m just changing the ratio. So I figured if I’m gonna
get more blue light in, I might as well get a little bit of red, and ideally, like I said, we’re
gonna know the perfect mix for us, but in the meantime,
I just know that our ratios are way off with indoor
lighting and monitors, so I’ll do what I can to
balance out the shortwave light like blue and the long wave light like red and it seems to make my brain work better, but I don’t have great science on that. You see anything about the
idea of changing the mix, or that’s all coming in
the next couple of years? – I there are a couple of
studies showing the prepulse to red light illumination followed by blue actually improves your brain function. That is a sequential illumination, so it be interesting to
see whether the mixture does better than the
sequential illumination. So that is a human study
with FMRI and everything so it is a very solid study. – Here’s the hack for that
that I’ve been doing for years. I have a light in my shower
that’s wired in on a switch that’s red, so when I’m showering, I’ve got a red floodlight in the morning, and then I go out, I’m
gonna get my blue light. You know, maybe I’m a
super dork, I admit I am, but I think this stuff helps. Maybe it’s just a little
bit here or there, but I’m happy you mentioned that study because I don’t know about that study. – Yeah. – I wanna ask about more of your work. I think that informed The
Circadian Code, your book, you talk about a single gene
that controls central timing system in the body and that
pair of genes that keep eating and sleep in sync. Can you walk me through those
genes and what they are? – Yeah, so well there are
at least now a dozen genes that form this circadian
rhythms and actually the name of one of the genes itself is clock. (laughing) And this pairs up with
another gene called Bmall, so there’s clock and Bmall, they turn on other sets of genes, which are also called
pe-de-ar, cryptochrom, levar and a few other genes. And these genes turn on
and it’s almost like a, you can think of it’s like
a ice maker in your freezer. When the ice maker starts making ice, yes, for next few hours to make
ice until it reaches a level where it touches the
sensor in the ice maker so the ice making stops. – Right. – So similarly, clock and
Bmall will drive these genes to some extent, and then they will stop because this protein levels will build up and will tell clock and
Bmall that that’s enough, let’s stop now and then the ice will melt, or in this case, this
protein level will go down. So this thing happens in every 24 hours where there will be build up
of this ice, of this proteins, and then for the next 12
hours, they will go down. So that seems to work
almost in every cell. Every brain cell, every skin
cell, every stomach cell, every cell has the same circadian clock. But what is interesting is
to, so then the question is what is the function of circadian clock? What is it really doing? So what we think is
clocks do a few things. One is it anticipates events. So for example, before we
wake up, clocks in our brain and body work together to
build up a day hormone, this is cortisol and warm up your body, make your heart beat slightly faster, beating becomes faster
so that when you wake up, you’re actually full of energy. So that’s why having
a good circadian clock and good night’s sleep
makes you more alert and energetic when you
wake up because your body can anticipate when
you’re going to wake up. So similarly it anticipates
when you’re going to have breakfast, so as soon
as you have your breakfast, your gut microbiome, your
gut enzymes and everything is working in sync to
digest that food very well. So one is anticipation, and
then the second one is to separate incompatible process
so that you don’t feel hungry in the middle of the night
because feeling hungry and sleeping are not compatible. You cannot eat while you are sleeping, that’s a very bad combination. So similarly, a body cannot
make fat and break fat at the same time. A body cannot make cholesterol
and break cholesterol at the same time. So having these things to
be done at different time actually improves
productivity of our body. In my book in four to five
chapters, I go over how the clock and gut works, how the clock
and our liver and kidney they work with the same principle so that we are peak performance. – Do you think that we are
going to find more genes and if we do, are they
gonna be nuclear genes or mitochondrial genes? – Well, this field of circadian
rhythm is really rapidly growing because we know that these genes are not acting alone
and almost every month we’re finding a new gene that collaborates with one of the central
clock genes and in that way these clock genes work with
many different pathways. For example, the clock genes
also interact very closely with proteins that sense steroid hormones and our cortisol, our body’s
natural steroid hormone. So in that way, what clock
genes do is they damp out the effect of excess
steroid at the right time and can amplify the affect
of steroid at another time. So that’s one interesting
aspect of clock can regulate of steroid function
that came out recently. Similarly, there’re also new
data showing that the clock genes interact with inflammasome pathway and that’s very exciting
because if you think of inflammasome, inflammasome
is a body’s natural response to an infection or maybe
from our gut when we get LPS leaking into our bloodstream,
then our immune system has to respond to it. At the same time, if we
inflammasome should continue only for a few hours and
then that should damp out because having continuous
inflammasome is bad. So this new interaction
between clock genes and inflammasome pathway is
showing that the clock genes help inflammasome to turn
off after a few hours. And when we don’t have a functional clock, then inflammasome continues
linearly and over time it can accumulate and lead
to chronic inflammasome. So similarly, we’re seeing
that clock genes affect many different pathways and
this is how we now connect clock genes to cell
division or tumor formation or cancer prevention clock
genes to even neuro chemicals or the neurotransmitters, how
they signal inside the cells so that we can sensitize the brain cells to neurotransmitters only
for certain time of the day and then switch up their
sensitivity so that our brain can go back to sleep and
sleep better at night. So this is an expanding area
where we will begin to see, we are continuing to see right
now that maybe five dozen different genes that directly
interact with clock genes or the clock gene products. And this number is going to
grow in the next few years. – So people who’ve read
the Bulletproof Diet or Headstrong or listened
to the show for a while, they know that inflammation from any cause is something that you
gotta get on top of if you wanna perform really well
now and die a lot later than you otherwise would. Like inflammation trumps cholesterol and a lot of other things. – Yeah. – So, you found a novel pathway
here and other researchers working in similar fields
have found a novel pathway. The clock genes are affecting
how long inflammation stays turned on and just
time restricted eating or intermittent fasting,
sort of the two ideas go in alignment, but
you’re also saying if doing intermittent fasting,
you’d better stop eating before it gets dark,
which, fantastic, right. And light exposure are
also going to be variables that make a difference. But there’s a problem and
this is one of the sleep hacks that you’ll see all over the internet now and it originated when I wrote
about my book on fertility called The Better Baby Book
and when women are pregnant, they’re much more likely
to wake up between 3:00 and 5:00 in the morning. And a lot of people who aren’t
pregnant, men and women, have this problem. They wake up and they
can’t go back to sleep and their mind is racing
and things like that. What is happening in many of these cases is their blood sugar crashed. They didn’t have enough
blood sugar to basically run the lymphatic system
and to sleep so the body said, oh, I know how to
make sugar, let’s secrete some cortisol, maybe a little
adrenalin because those raise blood sugar, therefore
now I have enough fuel for the brain and unfortunately
cortisol and adrenaline wake you up at 3:00 to 5:00
and you can’t go back to sleep. So the hack for that
was, I found kind of two different groups, maybe it’s a gene, I don’t have the genetic
testing to tell you what it is, but one group of people, they
did some collagen protein, high in glycine and low in
the stimulating amino acids that raise orexin the
same way modafinil does. Some of that with some ketogenic things, dare I say brain octane,
which raises ketones, they have enough energy that
they sleep through the night. And then the other half of
people, they take a teaspoon or two of raw honey and I
found a study that showed it raised liver glycogen
22% more than cooked honey or other forms of sugar and liver glycogen can fuel the brain effectively
versus muscle glycogen. So, try it out. If you’re having this
problem, a little bit of this before sleep can stop you from waking up because of the blood sugar
stabilizing affect of honey, not in hot tea because
then it’s cooked honey, but raw honey. Those are both eating before bed. They’re small amounts, we’re
talking five, 10 grams. Is there some lower
limit of food like that that’s not gonna break my circadian rhythm because I don’t wanna
break my circadian rhythm, but I wanna sleep all night. What do you do for that case? – Well, we haven’t done anything like that because it’s a moving
target, it’s people who say, how much is small enough? The reason why that raw
honey, whatever you’re eating is going to your liver
and is getting stored is because the whole system wakes up. – Yeah. – So, we haven’t done any
research in that area, but what we have seen is people
who do time their eating, they do sleep very well,
maybe they normalize the way their body learns how
much glycogen to store. And this is a very
interesting circadian rhythm study done in plants and you
may laugh at it, but we learned a lot of insights into
circadian rhythm from plants. If you think about plants,
plants have to make food only during daytime when there’s sunlight. And at night, they don’t
have access to anything else. The only food source is
their stored starch and they have to break down that starch
to go through the night. And they cannot have this extraneous food, that cannot just absorb
glucose from the soil or anything else. So what happens is the
circadian clock in plants, if you’re growing plants
say in 10 hours light, 14 hours darkness, then
the plants will learn that they have to go through
14 hours of darkness. So they will store just
enough starch that will last exactly 14 hours when they wake. – Wow. – So now you take the same
plant and make the night 10 hours night and 14 hours of light. Even though they are getting more light, they’re not going to
store too much starch. Again, they’ll dial down
and they’ll store exactly the same amount of starch
they need to go over the 10 hours night. In fact, when this paper
came out, it was from UK and it was few years ago when
UK was having some problem with their budget, so the
headline was, A Tiny Plant Knows How to Manage It’s Economy,
But a British Finance Minister Doesn’t Know It. (laughing) – That’s sounds uniquely
British, like their press. – So similarly, one has a
very strong circadian rhythm when we go through a very regular habit of when we stop eating. Our body will learn how much
stored glycogen the body needs. Maybe that’s what is happening
because we see that people who do time restricted eating, they always report that they sleep at a particularly this waking up at 3:00. I used to wake up at
3:00 for an hour or two, and then I thought that is was normal because it is so common. But then quickly I realized
that what is common is not normal because
you need that continuous restorative sleep. Now it feels much better waking
up after continuous sleep than waking up in the middle
of the night and staying awake for one or two hours. – I’ve always been a fan
of sleeping all night and that’s what I typically
do and what I’ve noticed is that as over eight years
of the blog and talking with people before that
and anti-aging and all, that the people who wake
up at 3:00 in the morning typically are not the
healthiest population. So, I mean, they are having
cortisol regulation issues. They have a lot of stress
or there could be some hormonal thing going on and that’s why, say during pregnancy, this can
pop up when it wasn’t there before because you have hormonal swings. And you have increased
energy demands on the body or you get someone who just
started an exercise program and all of a sudden they’re
like, I need more energy than I had before and I don’t have it, so I fully agree with you. You shouldn’t need to do
that, but if it’s affecting your life right now, as
you’re working on getting your circadian rhythm going,
you might look at those as sleep hacks, but if you need
to do it every single night, then maybe you should
look at the temperature of your lights. (laughing) – Yeah. – All right. Well, thanks for helping me
walk through that sleep hack. I love seeing people who
say collagen before bed and raw honey before bed. I’m like great, that idea
of hacking your sleep has gone everywhere, kind
of like that put butter in your coffee thing and I think
there are important things. All right, let’s talk about astronauts. – Hm. – They seem like they’re
gonna have the worst garbage circadian rhythm of any humans
on earth because it’s always noisy in spaceships and
space stations, the lighting is junk light, pretty much to definition. There is no sunlight and
if there is it’s through heavily shielded lead filtered
windows and things like that. And they’re on weird sleep
schedules and probably gravity effects circadian rhythm too
that we haven’t figure out yet. What are we gonna do to fix the circadian rhythm of astronauts? Put on your science fiction
hat and give yourself a $10 billion budget. What would you do? – Well, the first thing
is the circadian lighting. In fact, the International
Space Station got new circadian lighting a couple of years ago. So the lighting is kind of
similar, as close as possible to daylight, about 10,
12 hours and then switch to a red light at night. So we’ll see whether
that helps astronauts. And they are going through so
many different distractions. Every 90 minutes they’re seeing
a new sunrise and sunset. And if you’re in, if I was like in International Space Station
and I know that my days are numbered literally
because you cannot stay there for more than six months or nine months, then you are curious,
you always want to get up and then see what is going on
down there, down on the Earth. So that’s one problem. But I think long-term space
flight is always a big problem like how are we going to sustain
that long-term space flight and this is where maybe
time restricted eating will also help because
we know that astronauts may get better sleep if they
are on time restricted eating, combined with circadian lighting
and maybe we’ll also see whether the astronauts
can go through slight calorie restriction
because calorie restriction or reducing calories even
with time restricted eating will naturally boost their ketone bodies and that will have to
keep their brain sharp because we don’t want them to be dumb or we don’t want them to be too tired. So finding that sweet spot where they can, their body can generate
enough ketone bodies to keep their brain
working and during fasting they can also lure their
body, cold body temperature, and in that way they may need less oxygen because oxygen is a big
commodity in space station. And it all depends on how much oxygen, it’s very simple math. How much oxygen, how much
water you can carry with you. And if you can reduce,
slow down metabolism, because they’re not running
really 20,000 steps, coming back to your pedometer,
and they’re not expected to do heavy weight lifting,
although that’s necessary to maintain their muscle mass. And this will be a long-term
study to figure out how to reduce or maintain
metabolism with a modest trend that will reduce the amount
of oxygen, reduce the amount of water, reduce the amount
on how much recycling they have to do, at the same
time, stay at peak performance. And I don’t see that the
lifestyle that we have on Earth, eat whenever we want
and eat too much food, or get exposed to junk
lighting, all of these things, will help them. So I think that may be the
case, that may be the exact, the ideal situation where we
can figure out the optimum circadian chord to keep
astronauts fully active and fully productive for very
long time without compromising their health span, lifespan. And if we can figure that out,
just like many technologies that we use, stated from the
International Space Station, maybe the optimum circadian
chord for astronauts will trickle down literally to the Earth and they can figure out
the best way to live. – I’m hopeful that it’s a two-way street. We’ll have more effective
astronauts who can go to other planets and do cool stuff,
but if we don’t hack this, we have an issue. – Yeah. – You mentioned something
important about caloric restriction and there are
studies now that show eating too many calories of any kind of calories makes you age faster. And there are studies that
show eating too much animal protein or other amino
acids that are found in animal protein that are also
found in vegetable protein, things like, to some extent glutamine, but methionine, tryptophan and cysteine, that these affect entor, they make you age more quickly and they’re
not good for you in excess, even though they’re
required in small amounts. So, we know that eating too
much of anything is bad. Eating too much protein is
bad, eating too many carbs is bad, and probably eating
too much of certainly the wrong kinds of fats is
bad, and eating too much fat that’s high calories, so
you’re eating too many calories that’s also bad. So, I’ve written in a couple
of my books about longer faster than time restricted
eating or intermittent fasting. I’ve talked about 24 and 48
hour fasts and I regularly do a 24 to a 48 hour fast
probably at least once a month, sometimes more often. What is your take on longer
fasts, maybe even going up to three or four days where
you’re just having water? I’ll do water and black
coffee because, come on, but during that time, what
is that gonna do to my circadian rhythm? Is it advisable? How does that line up
with the circadian code? – Well the circadian code still
continues with a longer fast and it actually goes to a
longer rejuvenation maybe. We haven’t looked at longer
fast in animals because animals don’t like this very long
fast, water only fast for two to three days. And in humans we know there
are a lot of studies from other groups showing that
longer fasts are very good in traversing, managing
many chronic disease. And we know that longer fasts
will active auto (mumbles) to much higher levels so that will help. Longer fast might also increase
your ketone body production and that also helps. So, all the indications
are, yes, longer fasts, if you can do, are
beneficial for the body. And it’s not going to
disturb the circadian clock because the circadian clock
is an internal, time-keeping mechanism that continues,
even without calorie. And that’s how it will anticipate
when you should go to bed, when you should wake up. And in fact, people who do longer fasts, they always report that it’s
not that they cannot go to bed because they are hungry, they
actually go to bed much better and they stay, they have
their good night’s sleep even during longer fasts. – Yeah, I sleep well during longer fasts. – Yeah. – One question for you. When you exit a longer fast,
now, we know that you’re more insulin sensitive in the morning. In fact, if you were to
do intermittent fasting and probably time restricted
eating, if you were to do it ideally, you’d probably
have a giant breakfast and skip dinner, just no one will do that. None of my coaching
clients ever wanna do it. I don’t wanna do it because
dinner is a big part of our social life and you
have to be kind of like a lone wolf programmer to
pull off that lifestyle. So, you finished a 48 hour
fast, do you finish it with breakfast or finish it with dinner? – Well, when you finish a
48 or 72 or multi-day fast, breaking the fast is not
easy because your body has forgotten food, you
don’t have that appetite for a big meal. So, usually you break
it with a small meal. – Like a one-pound ribeye
steak, the way I do it, or? (laughing) Just kidding. (laughing) – I don’t know how you
break it, but for me, the first time I break
it’s usually a small salad, fruit something like that. So I’m not actually, I’m not hungry. – Yeah, it’s surprising. You’re not hungry at all. – When I do long fast, it’s
usually four or five days, minimum, so by the end
of four or five days, you are to force yourself to
eat and so I usually break the fast in the afternoon
because that’s when I have time to break the fast because
as you know, it takes, even for that small salad, I
take a relatively long time to even force that. So I think it will be very
personal what time they are planning to break
the fast and whether they are planning to break the fast
alone or with somebody else. But then the idea is don’t
break the fast with a big meal. – Yeah, I agree with that, by the way. I was joking about the ribeye. (laughing) – I figured out. – All right, cool. Well, is there anything
else that you would like hundreds of thousands of
listeners to know about their circadian biology, about your work? You’ve done so much, but
you’ve got a big microphone right now, like help people
with some stuff you know. – Well, the thing is,
last couple of years, few things that have come
out that very reassuring and essentially telling that
timing makes healthy for junk. And the bottom line is this,
last year there was a study that came out from Joe
Takahashi’s lab who is considered really a leader in this
circadian rhythm field because he discovered the the gene clock. What he found was, we know
that calorie restriction is beneficial, but most
calorie restriction starts with in mice and lab animals, so
done in a way that the mice are given a chunk of food,
which is less than what they should be eating. And this chunk of food is
given usually in the afternoon or evening and mice eat that
food within three to four hours every single day. So essentially all calorie
restriction study is done in concordance a mixture
of calories restriction and time restriction because
they’re going through almost 20 hours of fast. – Well, also, aren’t
those nocturnal animals who should be eating at night
and yet have weird indoor lighting, disturbing things as well? (laughing) – Well, so that’s why the second part of Joe’s experiment is exciting. – Oh, okay. – He took two groups of mice
and did calorie restriction on both of them. One group got food in
the evening when they’re suppose to get and the
then the other group got food in the morning. – Oh, wow. – And both groups got the
exact same number of calories from calorie restriction. And if we go by calorie
restriction literature, both groups would see the same benefit, irrespective of timing. But what was exciting was
the morning fared mice did not lose weight although
they were eating less food. And that was really
interesting that even if you are doing calorie restriction, if you eat at the wrong time, then you may not see sufficient benefit of calorie restriction. – All right, here’s the deal. If some joker tells you that
calories in, calories out, losing weight is just a
matter of counting calories, you can just quote that, you
can cut out this snippet, you can send it to them. Here’s the deal. That science is dead,
that there’s a nail in it. And if that’s not enough,
let’s just give a little bit of xenoestrogen to some of the
mice in caloric restriction and see whether they lose weight. They won’t. So screw calories. Yes, calories matter. You do not lose weight
by cutting calories. You have to cut the right
calories at the right time and do the other stuff. All right, sorry. Thank you for bringing that one up. Also, have you seen the
studies on the difference in mouse outcomes based on
whether a man feeds the mouse versus a woman? – Oh, yeah, so that’s mostly
in mouse behavior studies when the female students, or
technicians or grad students, they handled the mice and
the outcome from behavioral studies are much better than the males. Somehow the mice don’t like males. There is another one from
ketogenic diet in mouse. People think that ketogenic
diet will increase lifespan so there are two studies
done that came out last year and in both studies mice
were given ketogenic diet ad libitum, whenever they can eat. Or in another study in
one study, actually, the ketogenic diet was given
once a day so that means they were self-imposing
time restricted eating. And only when ketogenic
diet was given once a day and they were eating all this
food within 10 to 12 hours, those mice only served some
benefit of ketogenic diet. These mice lived slightly longer and they had better health outcomes. But when the ketogenic
diet was given ad libitum, so mice can eat whenever they
want, those mice actually had worse health outcome
compared to even mice that were eating normal
diet, standard diet. – Wow. – So, this is, again, another
case where ketogenic diet, which seems to have a lot of
benefit has to be combined with time restriction. – Yeah, you’ve gotta do it right. And also, mouse studies,
when they feed them, they still have this
ridiculous idea that fat is fat and protein is protein. And they say, look, we fed them fat. Look, if you feed a mouse corn oil, it’s gonna be different than
if you feed them butter. Like, they do different
things in the liver. They do different things in
the body and a lot of the mouse feeding studies, they’ve boiled it down. It’s like saying, we gave
them this amount of liquid. Well, if they were drinking kerosene, you’re gonna have a different
outcome than it was water. But since it was all liquid, we just boiled it down to liquid. So, I’m a little frustrated
in some of these studies because we know that
they’re feeding casing which is a cancer promoting
in excess for sure, especially with aflatoxin
that’s common in rat chow. If you do that, you’re just
gonna screw up the study. How much faith do you put
in mouse and rat studies for circadian biology? In vivo, not in vitro– – In vivo studies, if we think
about mouse and rat study versus human studies, human
studies are worse because we don’t have control over
genetics, genotypes and then we cannot keep people inside and
feed them at the right time. – Oh, I thought that’s
what school was for. – Yes, so every study has it’s
own strength and limitations and nice thing about the mouse
and rat study whatever we do is we can be completely
transparent about which particular diet source we used. We can even put the catalog
number so we know this mice ate that particular diet from this supplier and then the supplier
has all the ingredients, whether it was artificial,
natural and what are the source. So in that way, we know in
very detail what kind of food this mice ate every single day. So just like you said, in
retrospect, for example if we figure out that this
particular food component can cause cancer or can
cause some other side effect, we can always go back to
the study and then check whether that was causing some problems. So that’s the nice thing
about the laboratory study is everything is transparent
and everything we know what happened to the mice. And what is the experiment was
done, even from which source the mouse came, so for example,
now with the gut microbiome, we know that if one supplier, if we get mice from one supplier versus the other supplier,
these mice were born in different case, so
they might have different gut microbiome, that
can affect our outcome. – Oh, yeah, that’s right. – So, in fact, that has
been shown that one vendor, when mice are procured from one vendor, then they fared very badly with a diet, whereas the other vendor
mice fared very well and then people went back and
nailed it to the microbiome and the original case from
where the mice were born. So those are the kind of
stuff we cannot do in human because we cannot give
trial over the life history. So I agree that a lot
of the mouse experiments may not translate to human,
but at least we have more transparency and more
knowledge, more impermanence about the mice, the genotype,
the microbiome, their diet, the light/dark cycle, for
example, all mice and all primariums go through 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. That’s standard and we
don’t even have that for any human studies because
every human is very different, they will have different sleep pattern, different light exposure,
so that’s the beauty of mouse experiment and
that’s also the weakness because we can always go back and say, well, you did this wrong. You did it only in young
mice and you cannot translate to older mice and many
of the mouse experiments in metabolism are done only on male mice, not on female mice. But at least we know that those
are done only on male mice. – Got it. So I think there’s great
data and knowledge in them, but if you take one study,
like I’m pretty sure that it didn’t account for the cycle
of the moon and all these other things that no one
thought might matter, but it might. – Yeah. – Beautiful. Satchin Panda, your work
is truly groundbreaking on circadian biology. I will never forget
sitting there in your lab and looking at retinal cells
from a mouse on a high-powered microscope and, okay, do you
see those melanopsin cells studded with mitochondria,
that really helped to shape some of my thinking for
Headstrong and I’m grateful you took me on that tour of
your lab and grateful that you’ve come on the
show and that you wrote The Circadian Code and
really have just pointed out this idea that it’s not just
intermittent fasting for keto, but that it’s when you’re
doing it that is time restricted eating and that
you’ve talked about it in the context of your mom. If she got healthier, she’s
not doing kettlebells, she’s not doing anything
crazy, but her type-2 diabetes went away because she followed stuff in The Circadian Code and
so I think you’re changing a lot of lives with your work
and I’m glad you’re doing it. – Thank you so much, Dave. I’m always happy to be on your show. – I’ve got a final question for you because I’ve been really public, I was just in Men’s Health
where I’m doing everything in my power to live to at least 180. And I figure I’ve seen people do 120, so I know it’s possible and I figure I have a pretty unfair advantage because, well, I can start now and
I have a lot of knowledge, et cetera, et cetera. So maybe I can do that. I’m guessing that over
the next 75 or so years, we’re gonna have a few advances
in human life extension based on the technology,
stuff you’re working on, stuff that many friends
are working on I get to see behind the scenes on
the anti-aging movement. So I’m counting on some
tech to help me there. So, that’s my number. What’s yours? – Oh. – How long you gonna live? – Oh, how long I’m gonna live. Actually I don’t want
to live too long because I’ll lose many of my friends. (laughing) – So even if you felt like you
do now, you have your energy, your body, your mind,
your not in a walker, you know your name,
you don’t put your keys in the refrigerator, all those things, still, not too long? – Yeah, I really don’t
want to put a number there because one thing is we
still know that our genetics play a big role in longevity
and that’s something that we don’t know. In my lifetime, I don’t
think we can change by CRISPR or any other technology
hundreds of thousands of genes to change my lifespan. So there’s one thing that I
stay away from is to predict how long I’m going to live. But one thing that’s serious– – I respect that answer, that’s okay, but what’s the one thing? – One thing that I’m serious,
I will be active in science for next 6,956 days. – Why that number? – That’s the day when
I’m planning to retire from my current job. (laughing) And it’s on my whiteboard right here. – Oh, wow, okay. Bonus question then. – After I do that, then
I’ll decide in my next thing that I do after quitting
science or quitting my current professor job, how happy I am
and how long I want to live. – That is an epic answer
and it makes so much sense. Thanks for being on the show,
thank you for your work. If you like Satchin Panda’s knowledge, you gotta read The Circadian
Code and also you should get My Circadian Clock and,
Satchin, what’s the name of the other app you
mentioned, the lux app? – Oh, myLuxRecorder. – MyLuxRecorder. So if you’re a bio hacker out there, I’m actually downloading that right now. It’s called myLuxRecorder. – So the only glitch is it
doesn’t work with iPhone 6 or 6X with IOS 12. Somehow we got to hack that,
but then the nice thing is wherever I go, almost in every airport, every grocery store,
I’ve been recording light and it just gives you a
perspective about how much light we have around us in the evening. – I have a $10,000
light sensor that’s part of the TrueDark company’s
research and all. But it’s too much of a
pain to walk around with it and all, I never do and it’s
at their headquarters and all. So, having it on my phone,
you just made my day. Satchin, thanks again, man. – Thank you. (gentle music)

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