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, a world-renowned expert, discusses how light viewing at certain times can affect our mood, ability learn, stress levels, hormone levels, appetite and mental health. How to use your personal light sensitivity to find the best sleep-wake rhythm for you. In order to optimize mental and physical function, we also discuss how to use your light viewing and waking times to coordinate with your food intake and exercise. Dr. Hattar is responsible for discovering the neurons within the eye that regulate mood and appetite and set our circadian clocks. Because our cells and circadian clocks are interconnected across many days, even a small shift in daylight savings can have huge effects on biking. He also provides specific tools that can be used to quickly adjust to shift work and jetlag. This episode contains cutting-edge information on human physiology as well as practical tools that can be used by people of all ages.

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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? The Success of Early Risers Chronotypes00: 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

The Huberman Lab Podcast does not include Dr. Huberman’s research and teaching roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. This podcast is not intended to replace medical advice. The Huberman Lab Podcast, its guests, and affiliates, assume no responsibility for the use of the information.

Title Card Photo Credit to Mike Blabac – M

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