This episode of the podcast features Ben Greenfield, self-experimenter and biohacker, Spartan racer, Ironman triathlete, and New York Times best-selling author of Beyond Training. In 2013 and 2014, Ben was named as one of the world’s top 100 most influential people in health and fitness, and by 2015, Ben was coaching the world’s top CEO’s, chefs, biohackers, poker players, tennis, motocross and endurance competitors, and professional athletes from the UFC, the NHL, the NBA, the NFL and beyond – all while advising and investing in top companies in the health, fitness and nutrition industry. He blogs and podcasts at Ben Greenfield Fitness.
3:26 Photobiomodulation for brain optimization
6:11 Electrostimulation for sleep optimization
7:23 Hyperoxia/Hypoxia for fitness optimization
9:04 Infrared sauna for vagus nerve health
12:48 Digestion and colon health
14:35 Peptides for healing injury and post-workout recovery
17:14 SARMs and patents
22:01 GW 501516 (Cardarine) for endurance and fat loss
23:26 Red light therapy for increased testosterone
25:07 Acoustic sound wave therapy for sexual performance & libido
26:57 Libido & testosterone
28:27 More sleep optimization tips
34:55 Coaching with Ben Greenfield
35:34 Gratitude & health
Mentioned in the Episode
- Circadia by Fisher Wallace
- Bose noise canceling headphones
- Sleep Master sleep mask
- Chilipad mattress pad
- EarthPulse PEMF device
- Lighting Science Good Night bulb
- Sleep Remedy
Vagus Nerve/ Nervous System Optimization
- Glytamins suppository
Injury Healing & Post-Workout Recovery
- How To Use BPC-157: A Complete Dummies Guide To Healing The Body Like Wolverine.
- How To Build New Blood Vessels, Regenerate Muscle Tissue Fibers, Increase New Cell Growth & More With Something Called “TB-500”.
Libido & Sexual Performance
- Acoustic sound wave therapy
- PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy
- Maca root
- ajuga turkestanica
Full Show Transcript:
Daniel: Hey. Welcome, everybody, to the Neurohacker Collective podcast. My name is Daniel. I’m with research and development here at Neurohacker Collective. We are really excited to have Ben Greenfield here with us today. Most of you probably [00:00:30] know who Ben is. Ben is one of the top triathletes in the world and also one of the top trainers in the world, has been voted top trainer of the world in the past, and is really at the very leading edge of the biohacking movement and biohacking education along with other aspects of personal development.
Ben has, as far as I’m aware, a really unique approach of being extremely high-tech and cutting edge in [00:01:00] his application of science while actually being really disciplined in his practice of the embodied techniques, the things we’ve known for a long time and foundational techniques. It’s pretty common that people who are very into tech either use it as a bypass for some of the foundational things or have some kind of lack of embodied awareness, or those who are really oriented towards foundational things end up shunning new tech.
Ben really does the synergy of these brilliantly and [00:01:30] has also been willing to be right at the cutting edge of experimenting with peptides, chemistry. As you can see, he’s in an all red environment, which even on a podcast, he does late at night because that is what is best for his circadian rhythms and mitochondria. Really-
Ben Greenfield: I just do it so it looks like we’re in Bangkok in the red light district, dude. That’s the only reason. I’ve got the go-go girls waiting in the back.
Daniel: This is Ben’s other business, how he actually makes [00:02:00] his money. Excited to have Ben here. He’s talked about most of the topics that you could talk about on lots of podcasts. I really wanted to talk about explorations from the edge of someone who’s been willing to do personal N=1 exploration on, not only all the different cutting edge trans-cranial stimulation, neural feedback, light therapies, SARMs, hormones, etc., but also intersections of many of those. Ben, thank you for being here with us.
Ben Greenfield: Thank you [00:02:30] for having me. Should I get called out on this, I should clarify I’m not the top triathlete in the world. Although I did compete professionally for several years in triathlon, including the Iron Man World Championship several times, where I did quite a bit of experimentation early on with things like ketones and ketosis back before they were popular and back when they tasted like jet fuel, I was never ranked as one of the top triathletes in the world. I just want to make sure we get that out there. However, I can claim that for obstacle [00:03:00] course racing, like Spartan. Just not for triathlon.
Daniel: Thank you for correcting me there. What I would love to hear, and just to dive in, is amongst all the various things that you have done in the field of personal optimization, and I know that you also happen to be unique and not just focused on bio optimization, but life planning, mental, emotional, relational, spiritual work. Let’s start on the bio front. What are some of the things that you feel have been the [00:03:30] most fascinating, profound, effective that you have experienced, whether or not you’d recommend them for general audiences, so far?
Ben Greenfield: I suppose we’d have to chunk those into specific categories, like brain or digestion or recovery or fast improvements in fitness or sleep, etc., because I would say that it would be difficult to choose just one. But if we were to go through a quick list, if I were to name those sectors and say one thing that I’ve done that has [00:04:00] made the biggest difference, for example, beginning with brain … I’ll choose things that wouldn’t involve someone flying across the globe, but things that instead people could do in their own home who are watching right now. I’ll leave out neural feedback or bio cybernaut, things like that, and instead just things that you can do on your own at home.
I would say for the brain, one thing that flies under the radar and is related to your mention of the red light, [00:04:30] is what’s called photobiomodulation, in which one would attach a headset, typically accompanied by a nasal probe so you hit all that good neural tissue in the nasal cavities. What photobiomodulation does is two things. Number one, it increases mitochondrial activity of cellular tissue, or cells in neural tissue, by activating something called cytochrome c oxidase, which also results in an increase in nitric oxide [00:05:00] and a small number of reactive oxygen species which we’ve all been taught to believe are bad but are, in fact, in small amounts relatively good in terms of inducing a hormetic effect on the body, in this case, on neural health.
A device like this, for example, there’s a company called Vielight that makes one called the Neuro, which operates at about a 10 hertz frequency, which is very good for cognition. It’s like a cup of coffee for the brain. It helps with jet lag, helps [00:05:30] with cognitive function in the morning, and it can be used prior to workout because nitric oxide, it’s a small gas that can cross the blood-brain barrier. It allows you to have better vasodilation to muscle tissue as well. That’d be an example for the brain.
If we were to move on and say an example for sleep, we’ve all seen one flew over the cuckoo’s nest with electrostimulation changing personalities and frontal lobotomies [00:06:00] and all that good stuff. I’ve never gotten a frontal lobotomy. It’s on the top of my list to do, let me tell you. But I have-
Daniel: Help you be in the moment more.
Ben Greenfield: Yeah, exactly. Help me be in the moment more. There’s a device made by a company called Fisher Wallace that has been shown in clinical studies to decrease cortisol and increase serotonin and dopamine production. It’s two electrodes placed on either side of the head near the ears, about in line with the eyebrows. You attach this [00:06:30] to your head before you went to sleep or before you take a nap. I took a nap with one this afternoon.
I had an early morning, so I actually dosed with Qualia this morning, along with a microdose of LSD, and worked very hard until about 2 or 3 pm and then it was time to shut down the brain because I knew that tonight my family is coming home from … Well, my kids are out at [inaudible 00:06:55] and my wife is off shopping. They’ll come home for dinner later on and I want to be present. I don’t want to be tired. So I took a nap, [00:07:00] but I attached this device called the Circadia, made by Fisher Wallace, to take me from 100% steamrolling ahead in the office to sleeping like a baby for about 50 minutes. That’s an example of a relatively new … Biohack doesn’t talk about it a lot, but that one’s called the Circadia. It’s essentially an electrostimulation for the side of the head.
If we were to talk about fitness, I would say a big game changer lately has been switching very [00:07:30] rapidly during high-intensity interval training, which we all know about, but switching very rapidly between hyperoxia and hypoxia. When you do that, you get vasodilation and vasoconstriction, not only of blood vessels leading to the brain, so it’s excellent for cognitive function, but of course to the muscle tissues that you happen to be working.
To achieve this, there’s a company that makes a device that allows you, with pressing one button and wearing a special mask that you use while exercising, [00:08:00] so you place this next to a stationary bicycle or a treadmill, like I’m walking on right now, or a rowing machine, whatever. You would flip it on, and with the flip of a switch be able to switch between hyperoxia and hypoxia for, let’s say, a 15-minute workout that would be comprised of a 45-second sprint at hypoxia and then 15 seconds to top you off for a minute at hyperoxia, full oxygen, [00:08:30] and then recover at, depending on your fitness levels and your rate of recovery, either hypoxia or hyperoxia and repeat for a total of 15 minutes. Right after a good warm up or a good cool down, that comes out to six to 10 intervals that you’d do.
There’s a company called LivO2, just like it sounds. There’s not an E, though. L-I-V-O-2, that makes a device that you can use for this type of thing. You can place it in your office or in your home gym. It’s too large to throw in the back of your car and bring to a gym, but it’s great for home use. [00:09:00] That would be an example for fitness.
Moving on, I’ll throw in two more examples. Let’s say another area that people tend to be quite interested in, and that would be their stress and the health of their nervous system, and specifically activation of the vagus nerve, which is probably the most important reflection of your nervous system. I test mine every morning using what’s called heart rate variability. [00:09:30] It wanders from the brain through the entire body, or most of the body, including your digestive system. Health and what’s called tone of the vagus nerve is extremely important.
Every morning what I do is kind of a cluster of activities to increase the health of my vagus nerve. Specifically, the one that I’ll do most frequently is I have an infrared sauna. I’ll go in the infrared sauna after preheating it. The infrared sauna’s been shown to increase growth hormone, collagen production, muscle maintenance, [00:10:00] blood flow, that nitric oxide production I was talking about earlier, a host of benefits including vagal nerve tone. Whenever you expose yourself to extremes of temperature like heat or cold for small amounts of time, it does increase vagal nerve tone.
What I’ll do is I’ll go in there and about 30 minutes prior to going in there I take, these days, a supplement called nialipin, which is essentially something that causes a flushing reaction so you get an enormous amount of vasodilation. I’ll go into the sauna and typically I’ll have an [00:10:30] essential oil in there to improve focus and cognition. Usually I’ll use something like pine or rosemary, cinnamon or peppermint, that I sprinkle around the sauna.
This sauna, it’s made by a company called Clearlight, which means it has very low levels of EMF, non-native electromagnetic fields, and it also is large enough to do something like yoga in. It’s called a sanctuary sauna. I have aroma in the sauna, heat, of course, nialipin in my body, [00:11:00] which is like niacin, and then I introduce sound in the form of sound frequencies used for healing. I just got back from Sedona, Arizona where a guy worked on me with a gong and a didgeridoo and crystal healing bowls. It’s very interesting if you delve into the world of sound frequency.
But I also have specific tones designed to elicit certain emotions like love, peace, joy, and of course activation of that vagus nerve. The ones that I’m using right now are called Wholetones, made by a composer named Michael Tyrrell, who I actually happen to be interviewing [00:11:30] tomorrow morning for my podcast. I’ll play those in the sauna, so I’m blasting myself with healing sound frequencies. Humming and chanting and singing along are really good ways to also activate the vagus nerve. I’ve got the blood flow from my body, I have the aroma, and then, of course, the light from the sauna that heats.
Also, this particular sauna has what’s called chromotherapy built into the top. This means that by looking at specific colors you can also elicit certain emotions. The one that I use in the morning [00:12:00] is a blue light, which induces wakefulness. In the evening typically I’ll use green or red or purple. Orange would be another good one for wakefulness.
I do the sauna and then I progress from the sauna to go jump into the cold, either a cold shower or a cold soak or a cold pool. I’ll stay in there for two to five minutes, just doing some head dunks. That’s very necessary. It’s why I don’t like those cryotherapy chambers, because you don’t induce vagus nerve activation. You don’t induce what’s called the mammalian dive reflex. [00:12:30] Cold water submersion is better, or a cold water shower, anything that hits your face, your head, your neck. I’ll finish up with that, and that’s an excellent morning routine for the nervous system. I talked about the fitness and the brain and the sleep, but of course the nervous system is incredibly important as well.
Then, finally, I would say if I could choose one other body system, we could go with, let’s say, for example, [00:13:00] well, digestion. Digestion would be an interesting one. As we age, the tone of our colon tends to change, our large intestine. Many people have bathroom problems because of this. They tend to have constipation. Sometimes you tend to have low levels of good bacteria in the colon.
This is a relatively new hack for me after some large intestine issues I personally experienced, was I found a specific [00:13:30] vitamin called a glytamin, G-L-Y-T-A-M-I-N. It’s comprised of cacao butter. I believe there’s some butyric acid in there. There’s some antioxidants, some amino acids, but all are designed to rapidly heal from just inflammation, life, straining when you use the restroom, digesting food. We all do these things. We beat up our digestive system over time.
But think of this as antioxidant for your butt, which would be a great [00:14:00] title for today’s podcast, by the way, Daniel. Antioxidants for your butt. It heals tissue in the colon, reduces [inaudible 00:14:07], and essentially gives you the asshole of a newborn baby. That would be one that I’ve done lately for digestion. I’m trying to choose things that don’t get talked about too much, but that are helpful. It’s basically a suppository. You just put it in after you’ve had your day’s first bowel movement, and it just does its thing as you go about your day. [00:14:30] No, you don’t need to clench. It doesn’t fall out. It stays in there quite well. Those are a few examples, man.
Daniel: This is a good run through some interesting things in different categories. One of the other categories you mentioned was regeneration, so healing after workouts, healing after injury, especially nonvascular tissue, like ligaments, tendons. Talk about that.
Ben Greenfield: Sure. One thing that is available for purchase on a variety of websites, and I’ve done a couple stories on this on my own website [00:15:00] if you need to link to them in the show notes in the resources for people. There are these things called peptides. Peptides are just extremely short chains of amino acids. For example, a dipeptide would be just two amino acids linked together.
You can get up to a polypeptide, which is more amino acids than that all linked together. Polypeptides all linked together can comprise muscle tissue. As [00:15:30] you go up the chain and the peptides get larger and larger, we’re building organs, etc. But very, very small peptides do not have to be broken down. You eat a steak, you have to break that down into its constituent amino acids and it goes into the different peptides.
What you can do is you can actually purchase these peptides, and they go by names such as BPC-157 is one popular one that is legal, according to the World Anti-Doping Association. You saw the [00:16:00] other example of a more powerful one that doesn’t fall under the bounds of legality for athletes competing in sanctioned sports, but it’s useful for the average person just wanting to rapidly heal an injury or muscle tissue. It’s called TB-500, thymosin beta 500.
What you do is you order these, and they’re not that expensive. They’re pennies on the dollar compared to stem cell injections or platelet rich plasma therapy or something like that. You inject them just with a basic insulin syringe, subcutaneously, pretty painless, into [00:16:30] whatever joint happens to be bothering you. I injected my knee this morning with BPC-157 because I had kind of a tough workout last night and my knee was feeling it.
But peptides are quite fascinating in terms of their safety and their efficacy. Your body makes, for example, BPC-157 is made in your stomach to heal tissue in the gut. However, you can purchase it and you can inject it just about anywhere, and it’s extremely efficacious. A host of studies showing both safety and efficacy [00:17:00] for something like peptides. That would be an example of something someone could use for recovery that, again, isn’t talked about in, say, Men’s Health Magazine or Prevention Magazine, but I’ve found to be an extremely effective little hack for recovery.
Daniel: BPC-157 is a great example of something that has just profound therapeutic application, but because it can’t get patented as a endogenous body compound it’s just not going to get the pharma research that would move it into mainstream application, [00:17:30] and either because sometimes-
Ben Greenfield: That’s right, and if I could say that’s why they have such funny … Same thing with SARMs, right? GW 50919 or LGD-5043, I think it’s called. A lot of these, they’re called selective androgen receptor modulators, same thing. They can’t be patented at this point, or aren’t being pursued as drugs by pharmaceutical companies, and the dead giveaway for that is they have very hard to remember names. They don’t have the sexy names like Zyquil or Valium. [00:18:00] They’re just numbers, like a Star Wars robot.
Daniel: There’s an important point that I want a lot of people to hear, because I think there are some people that still think if something was really meaningfully therapeutic and safe it would be developed into a drug. We wish that was the case, but the underlying fiscal structure and intellectual property structure such that it costs a lot to take something through FDA approval for drug discovery.
For the company to ever be able to make its money back, it’s got to be able to have a patent on it. If the thing is already patented or [00:18:30] it’s unpatentable, either because it comes from a plant or a body extract or it’s an old chemical, it’s just never going to get the research that moves it to the place in the current environment popular utilization. It’s actually guys like Ben who are looking at animal trials, looking at the research that has been done, and saying, “Hey, I’m actually willing to explore this.” Body builders-
Ben Greenfield: Right. If you look at something like the selective androgen receptor modulators, [00:19:00] the SARMs I was just talking about, there are indeed pharmaceutical companies that are attempting to patent certain SARMs. GlaxoSmithKline is currently working on a patent for one of the SARMs that’s been proven to be, well, basically the most anabolic in male rodent models, without causing carcinogenic properties and without resulting in what many SARMs do, which would be a decrease of things like your own production of things like luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone, things that allow you to produce your own androgens.
[00:19:30] Those are the two major failures of SARMs, is one, one like ostarine is a popular one a lot of people take. Granted, they were giving rats relatively high doses, but not as high as some body builders were taking in some bro science forums, frankly. It causes cancer in rats at an extremely high rate. That would be a SARMs that I would stay away from. You need to do your research.
Other SARMs cause a pretty intense decrease in androgen production, testosterone in [00:20:00] men, or an extreme amount of over aromatization into things like DHT and things like estrogens. Far, far less than a steroid would, but still, they do result in that. Many of them you need to cycle on and cycle off, like use a SARMs for eight weeks and then take four weeks off, for example, and switch to something that can help to increase the androgen production. In an herbal blend you can use tribulus, maca, things along those lines.
Ultimately, GlaxoSmithKline [00:20:30] is working on a patent for a SARMs that doesn’t produce carcinogenicity and doesn’t produce that steep fall in androgen production. There are some pharmaceutical companies working on these, in fact, because they aren’t … Like CBD, that’s very tough to patent because it’s such a natural molecule. But SARMs, since they can be synthesized in a laboratory by pharmaceutical companies, they are working on some of those. I think we’ll see them in the next several years as [00:21:00] an actual drug brought to market and marketed for things like sarcopenia or muscle wasting, or even potentially marketed by supplement companies for just general fitness.
Daniel: Another thing that’s important for listeners to follow is when Ben said it will be brought to market by drug companies for sarcopenia, which is wasting muscle loss in old age, current regulatory landscape is that drugs have to be developed for diseases. Now, obviously, Ben and most athletes [00:21:30] who are using them for optimization are not looking at disease cases.
Typically the research happens in a disease case and then we see, do the same mechanisms apply, not just for bringing someone back to baseline, but being able to enhance their baseline beyond the previous capacity. Since it’s such a fascinating topic, and I think you maybe share more about it than most people do and we’ll, again, just specify this is not medical advice and no one should construe this as medical advice.
Ben Greenfield: I’m not a doctor. [00:22:00] Far from it.
Daniel: Would you talk a little bit more about, for people who are seeking increased anabolic effects in their exercise, testosterone replacement therapy, how to increase endogenous testosterone, SARMs, aromatase inhibitors, how would you have … What are some of the interesting things in the space and how you’d have people approach it? You mentioned a number of SARMs, but you didn’t say necessarily which ones you like for what purposes and how you’d have people explore them. Let’s just dive in there a little more.
Ben Greenfield: [00:22:30] Okay. I’ll go over a few things. First of all, if you were to experiment with one SARMs, I would say the one that’s been referred to as exercise in a pill would be a relatively safe one to begin with that you would feel almost immediately in terms of fat loss, aerobic energy production, and a slight muscle gain. Not as large as some of the others, but also because of that there’s a reduced cancer effect. That one’s called GW, I believe it’s 50919 is the number.
If you were just to search for GW SARMs [00:23:00] exercise in a bottle, that type of thing, because technically it’s not a pill. Usually they’re sold as liquids. There are some companies now developing them as pills, but mostly you get a liquid form. You use the liquid dropper and take a very small amount, like a dropper full, under the tongue. But the GW would be one that I would look into for almost immediate effects, and somewhat safe. Just start with a normal dose, which would be about 10 milligrams.
Now, when it comes to your question on testosterone, [00:23:30] yeah, there’s obviously a host of things that we hear talked about all the time for increasing testosterone, like sprint and use your legs when you work out and avoid chronic cardio, and take your zinc and your magnesium. We see herbs like everything from maca to tribulus to epimedium to [inaudible 00:23:48], all marketed. Those do make a little bit of an impact.
A few that fly under the radar that I’d recommend. One would be, obviously, fresh on my mind right now because I’m being bathed [00:24:00] in red light by a light panel off to my right, I’ll take that same light panel and lean it against my desk when I’m working, against my standing desk. I’ll jack my pants down and stand there in front of it nude for five it 20 minutes.
The reason for that is because, as I explained towards the beginning of this show, that concept of photobiomodulation causing activation of cytochrome c oxidase in neural tissue, well, the same type of red light can also cause activation [00:24:30] of mitochondria in the Leydig cells of your testes, which are responsible for producing testosterone.
You basically use red light. The wavelength you’d be looking for, and there’s a company called Joovv, J-O-O-V-V, that makes a good light panel for this, same one that’s literally on. That’s what I’m using for the light in my office right now. 600 to 700 nanometers. Be careful with just buying random red lights on Amazon because those can exceed 900 nanometers and then you’ve entered into the realm of testicular damage. But 600 to 700 nanometers of [00:25:00] red light for about five to 20 minutes on the testicles can help tremendously with this.
Another example, you know what, I suppose it’s related to testosterone but it’s libido for both males and females. There’s a relatively new procedure in which an acoustic sound wave machine is used, very much like an ultrasound machine, to blast the gonads and the penis in men and also they’ll do this on the vagina and [00:25:30] the clitoris in women. What it does is it breaks open old blood vessels and builds new blood vessels. It’s great for things like orgasm in men size in both sexes, more pleasure, return of blood flow should blood flow be an issue for you.
They’ll often pair this type of procedure which, again, isn’t going to necessarily have a hormonal effect but it definitely has what many of us are looking for when we’re looking for a hormonal effect [inaudible 00:25:59]. [00:26:00] They’ll follow this up with an injection of what are called platelets. Platelets, they’ve been around for a while. The technical term is PRP, or platelet rich plasma therapy. Very, very cool procedure.
You go in, you get your blood taken, they spin your blood in a centrifuge, it concentrates the little white blood cells and red blood cells, and the growth factor specifically from the white blood cells, in a tube. They take just those growth factors, which are kind of like those peptides I talked about earlier, and they inject them into tissue. They could inject the [00:26:30] lips of the vagina or the penis or any area where they wanted to induce growth after doing that acoustic sound wave therapy. The testosterone would be something more red light therapy. The other one, the sound wave therapy and the PRP, would just be more sexual performance.
There’s a host of other things one could do for testosterone, but in terms of a recent one, I try to talk about things you can’t just find anywhere else. I’ll give you a very good stack that I’ve found to be [00:27:00] great for libido and testosterone. What you do is you take maca root, maca root and then there’s another supplement. There’s a company called Tree of Life that makes it. It’s called something like turkanista. Turkanista, something along those lines.
I have some. I’ve been using it for about the past week and notice massive improvements in everything from motivation to sex drive and libido to performance in the weight room. That’s a good stack. It’s maca root. I believe [00:27:30] it’s turkanista, T-U-R-K-A-N-I-S-T-A. If you were to search for something like that plus the word testosterone in Google, you’d probably see it come up. Again, the company I got mine from was called Tree of Life. That’s an interesting supplement stack.
Daniel: Ben, something that you might find fun is just in our R&D lab we built a libido androgen testosterone performance formula. We’re never going to sell it through Neurohacker just because of the stigma [00:28:00] and laws and all like that, but we looked at everything from the nitric oxide that was involved to the PD4 and PD5 inhibitors to the androgens and just basically worked with all the chemicals that could support all the endogenous pathways. It has been profoundly effective. When we make the next batch, I’ll send some to you.
Ben Greenfield: Yeah, I was going to say put some in the mail. Hey, I’ve got about five minutes before my family comes home for dinner. What else do you want to delve into?
Daniel: One of the things we’ve talked about at Neurohacker a lot is [00:28:30] sleep, specifically because it’s relevant to all of the other things, relevant to recovery, to cognitive function, to digestive function. You were talking about the Fisher Wallace as a transcranial e-stim device for sleep. But I know you’ve done a lot of other things for sleep. Obviously you’re in red light right now, but you’ve also done TEMF devices. Talk a little bit more about some of the additional things that you’ve found meaningful for sleep.
Ben Greenfield: Sure. That Circadia device by Fisher Wallace works quite well, but I would recommend you pair that [00:29:00] with a couple of things. This might sound laborious, but, heck, a good night’s sleep is a good night’s sleep. It’s a life changer. I use noise blocking headphones. I just use the regular Bose noise blocking headphones, but I turn the little battery operated thing on the side off. It still blocks noise really well, even when it’s turned off.
Then I’ll blast through those headphones, and I use a very soft feather pillow, about a 650 down feather pillow, that allows your head to sink into the pillow. A hard pillow will force those headphones up against [00:29:30] the sides of your ears, especially if you’re a side sleeper. But a soft pillow, you won’t even notice. Although they do make a set of headphones called SleepPhones, which are more like a soft headband that you can wear, I like the noise blockers. I’m training myself currently to sleep on my back, which is a game changer for people like myself who have a small amount of spinal scoliosis. But currently, I can sleep on my side with these noise blocking headphones.
I use two separate apps, both of which can be operated in airplane mode, because [00:30:00] my bedroom just goes into non-electricity while I’m asleep. One is called SleepStream, which is like a DJ for sleep. It allows you to do binaural beats, which lull you into whatever brainwave frequency that you set SleepStream to have you at. Then I also, at the same time, because both of these apps will play at the same time, I pull open Brain.fm, where I’ve downloaded some of their eight-hour-long overnight tracks onto my phone, so again, the phone can stay in airplane mode. I play Brain.fm and SleepStream simultaneously [00:30:30] on the noise blocking headphones.
I mentioned the Circadia device which I more often use for naps, not overnight, because you get to a point where there’s too many things in your head. However, in addition to those noise blocking headphones I use a full wraparound sleep mask made by Sleep Master which serves two functions, to block light and also hold the headphones more closely on the head.
In the same way that I am diffusing a rosemary essential oil right now, what we’re discussing. I [00:31:00] just have this little diffuser right here. I’ve got the same diffuser set up next to the bed stand, but I’ll diffuse lavender in it for sleep or sandalwood or something sexier than that for sex. I’ll use aroma in the bedroom as well. Lavender’s a very good one for sleep. Rose is a close second. Bergamot is another very good one. You can experiment with different scents.
We have our aroma, we’ve blocked out light. I use what’s called a Chilly Pad, which circulates water at about 60 degrees underneath [00:31:30] my body while I sleep, because you do get deeper activation of deep sleep when you do that. I also ground, and I earth when I sleep. I don’t really use an earthing mat too much because it blocks that Chilly Pad, but I use a device called the EarthPulse, which I can place underneath the mattress, which will just send a gentle natural electrical frequency same as if I was sleeping on the surface of the planet, underneath the bed while I’m asleep. So I’m grounded, I’m earthed, just as though as I were camping outside.
A couple other [00:32:00] quick things. In the bedroom the only lighting is red. I use the Sleepy Time bulbs, made by a company called Lighting Science. They also make one called the Good Night bulb that is essentially the same thing. As far as supplements go, my favorite stack is I use one called Sleep Remedy, which is basically PH gamma-Aminobutyric acid, which is an inhibitory [00:32:30] neurotransmitter, along with a little bit of vitamin D, a little bit of magnesium, a very small amount of melatonin, etc.
I use that and I stack that with cannabidiol. There’s actually a blend that, admittedly, my own company makes right now. It’s a blend of ashwagandha, lemon balm, magnesium, and some natural relaxants, along with curcumin, an anti inflammatory, and cannabidiol without any TCH. I’ll usually combine CBD [00:33:00] and Sleep Remedy for sleep, along with some of those other things I mentioned. Honestly, I sleep like a champ right now. It’s amazing. We all know that we have a little bit more difficulty sleeping as we age, but that’s the setup I use.
Daniel: The sleep product you mentioned, where can people find it?
Ben Greenfield: Which one?
Daniel: The one that you said your company makes with CBD.
Ben Greenfield: Oh, that’s at getnatureblend.com currently. Although with the realm of CBD a lot of times you got to [00:33:30] change websites and change URLs. It’s one of those weird things where payment processors think that CBD is marijuana, so they shut you down from having a website, although in reality it’s legal in just about every state and you can ship it anywhere, but unfortunately … Right now it’s getnatureblend.com. That could change a year from now.
Daniel: Is it also available or intended to be on your store, at Ben Greenfield Fitness?
Ben Greenfield: It is specifically intended not to be in that store because when a [00:34:00] payment processor shuts down a company from selling a specific supplement, that would keep any of the supplements that I endorse or anything I endorse, my coaching and consulting services, the nutrition plans that I write, my books, everything would get shut down. So I just have that CBD as its own separate business and separate website.
Daniel: Now, the EarthPulse and the Chilly Pad and the infrared lighting, many of the things that you recommend you actually do carry on your store so if people want to find these they can go to your store, cruise around, [00:34:30] and also see what you say about them in more depth, right?
Ben Greenfield: They’re either on the store or, if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and you just do a search for the specific term you’re looking for, say, EarthPulse or photobiomodulation or SARMs or anything, you’ll come up with either an article or a podcast or both that I’ve produced on that specific product or technique or supplement.
Daniel: Yeah. Your site has a lot of great info. If there are people who are wanting to figure out an appropriate SARMs stack or wanting to figure out what would [00:35:00] be an appropriate therapy to heal some joint issues they have or to train better, you are available for some consultation?
Ben Greenfield: Yes. Yes, I am. If you go to greenfieldfitnesssystems.com, you click on coaching, and then you click on my name, you can find me. I do everything from 20 up to 60-minute consultations with people from all over the world. I also have a select number of people where I am basically the CEO of their health. I deliver them their exercise programs, their nutrition [00:35:30] programming. I monitor their sleep, their nervous system, everything. A lot of options.
Daniel: I have one last question and I’ll let you get to dinner and your family. I really appreciate everything you shared in your time here and your contribution to the space as a whole. We’ve spoken about, obviously, just methods to help the body, but also methods for the body affecting the mind, emotional and cognitive. The other direction of things that you can do with your mind to affect your body I know is something that you also focus on and have disciplines and trainings around. [00:36:00] What is something that you can say about that in closing for people?
Ben Greenfield: Something you can do with your mind that would affect your body?
Ben Greenfield: I would say the number one thing is something that I do every single day, every single morning when I wake up that has been shown to decrease blood pressure, decrease visits to the doctor, improve longevity, decrease production of cortisol, increase empathy, and result in a host of symptoms … Symptoms. [00:36:30] Host of, not symptoms or consequences, but a host of effects associated with better happiness, better physiological status, and almost like an anti-aging effect. That would be every single morning, I write down one thing that I’m grateful for. That’s how I start every single day, writing in my little gratitude journal.
Daniel: Awesome. Thank you, Ben. Delight to have you here on the podcast from your own red light district. [00:37:00] We will put in the show notes links to many of the things that you mentioned and to places where people can find more information on your site. Appreciate it, and look forward to future dialogues.
Ben Greenfield: Well, thank you, or as they say in Thailand, [foreign language 00:37:13].
Daniel: Have a good night. Thanks.
Ben Greenfield: Night.