Practical thoughts on improving/maximizing/’hacking’ our human metabolism for the better:
I am convinced– sleep is probably the #1 priority in our lives. For the most part, we all go ‘hard’, and ‘work hard’, and put in great efforts into whatever we do.
The problem is this– we don’t allow ourselves adequate time to recover.
The harder you act, the harder you must sleep.
For example, LeBron James is one of the current apex athletes. He sleeps 8+ hours a night, and invests millions of dollars on his own body (massages, eating empowering foods, etc). The problem in modern society is this:
We are trying to optimize to sleep as little as possible.
This is the most foolish/stupid optimization we can do.
Furthermore, the current dialogue is that people brag about how little sleep they need. And also for some reason– to sleep “too much” is seen as sinful/a vice? For example, if you tell others that you sleep 8-10 hours a night, most people will roll their eyes and tell you “how lucky you are”– instead of acknowledging this as a virtue or a good thing.
Anyways as an experiment– if you want to become more ‘productive’ in your life, prioritize sleep at your #1 essential.
II. How to sleep better
- Do some really intense heavy weight lifting at the gym sometime during the day. Physically exhaust your body in order to sleep at night.
- Don’t watch Netflix, YouTube, videos, etc before you’re going to sleep. Seeing all of the human interactions in audio-visual form is incredibly stimulating, and will keep you up. If you really like watching your tv shows, perhaps watch them in the morning or afternoon. Protect your night time.
- If you’re not tired at night, go to the gym, use a hot sauna, cold ice shower, go on a walk — experiment with physiological activities to exhaust or relax you before sleeping.
III. Intermittent fasting
Simply put — don’t eat breakfast or lunch. Fast until dinner time. I encourage you not to have your first food meal until 4pm or so.
Intermittent fasting makes our metabolism more effective. It also turns on certain hormonal activities in our body which benefit us, such as “autophagy” (your body self eats itself, and the stronger proteins consume the weaker proteins), IGF-1 (human growth hormone), and I’m sure there are a ton of other benefits which we have yet discovered through modern science.
The secret is this —
When you’re not eating food during the day, use your energy to maximize your artistic production and creation. When you break your fast (have dinner)— indulge 1000x into your eating and no longer force yourself to work.
This means maximize your work during the day, and use the evening to rest, recover, and recuperate. Enjoy protein and meat rich meals, enjoy a lovely 3 hour dinner with your family or friends, and recover via social infractions.
IV. Lifting weights
Challenge your body by lifting heavy weights. Squats, deadlift, heavy dumbell press, chin-ups, etc. Make sure the physical activity you partake in is fun for you, otherwise it isn’t worth doing.
I encourage you to experiment with the “powerlifting”(one rep max) type of training. More fun, less time, and more interesting than the traditional “weight lifting for sets and repetitions”which is touted online and magazines.
Of course if you’re into yoga, body weight exercises, sports, or any other physical activity — these are all good too.
V. Sun exposure
This is the funny thing about sunlight —
When it is sunny all the time (LA or Hawai’i), you don’t appreciate it. But when you DON’T have any sunlight, you are miserable.
Simple solutions include doing a “UV” tanning type of thing (many gyms offer this for free), or perhaps going to public places with really bright lights. Or if you’re stuck at home, investing in home lights which are hyper white bright (simulate the look of the sun). “Happy lamps”also as a good solution.
Or if you have the option, go on holidays to sunny places for short periods of time. Or move out of the cold, and settle in Vietnam (Saigon, Hanoi) or other cities in Southeast Asia (Bangkok, Phnom Penh).
VI. Don’t consume sugar or simple carbs
Follow a more “ketogenic”diet. Don’t consume high fructose corn syrup, sugar, simple carbs. These things fuck up your metabolism.