Home » Hacking Yourself: Dave Asprey (Full Transcript)

Hacking Yourself: Dave Asprey (Full Transcript)

The species will propagate. We will still have sex. We will still eat. And we will still avoid things that kill us, without really having to do any thinking at all.

And if you don’t believe that, accidentally lean on a hot stove and pull your hand away and then realize how hot it was.

If you think you’re in charge of your body, you simply aren’t, because some system that you don’t own and control made you move. And that honestly should scare the crap out of you. 

Because if you don’t understand that system and learn how to control it, it will control you. Because it’s faster than you are, even though it’s far dumber than you are.

And the scary thing is that this energy that you get from eating things and from breathing. First, it feeds the reptile. Then it feeds the Labrador. And only after that’s done, does it feed the human part of your brain, your prefrontal cortex.

So if you want to spend time in the state where your brain works the way you want it to work, you better pay attention to how things are fueled and how you maintain the hardware system, because it eats first, you eat last.

Let’s talk about a couple of techniques, the ones that are really risen to the top in biohacking:


The first one is sleep. I mentioned that I slept only five hours a night. How is that possible?

Well, it turns out the world’s largest sleep study with 1.2 million people, so much data when they did it in the 80s, they couldn’t crunch the numbers. So someone figured out a little bit later that the data was available and they crunch the numbers on their iPhone.

Okay, Maybe on Amazon.

But the cool thing there is they found the people who lived longest slept six and a half hours. People who slept eight hours died more often than people who slept six and a half hours.

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So obviously this means you should only sleep six and a half hours to live a long time, right? Oh, that whole causation problem.

No, what that data actually tells us is that people who are healthy need less sleep. People who sleep nine hours a night and need nine hours a night die more often than people who sleep six hours a night, interesting.

And the death curve for people who slept only five hours a night was not that different from the six and a half.

So I’m not saying five hours a night is optimal. It’s not for a lot of circadian reasons, but I’m saying healthy people can do it, and do it… and do it all day long and all night long, and they totally don’t die. They don’t get sick. They don’t stop performing. That’s just what they do.

And I did it. If you’re going to do that though, you better eat for sleep.

And I’ve read a lot about sleep hacking on the site. I’m not going to tell you all about how to do that.

Make for a calmer sleep environment, reducing electromagnetic fields. If you don’t believe me, use any of the available sleep monitoring technologies.

My two favorite ones are sleep cycle, it’s an app that’s like two bucks on your iPhone. Or beddit, which is an embedded sensor that you can put under your mattress. I love beddit. Do that and put a Wi-Fi router next to your head and watch what your sleep quality does. It’s not that hard to tell. 

Also, stop staring at bright white and blue lights before bed. The last time you look at a bright light, whether it’s from fluorescents overhead, or just from the screen you’re staring at before bed with the brightness turned all the way up, that is going to mess with your sleep.

So when you do that, you have a four hour window where you don’t make melatonin. So you can change these things easily and track the results.

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Let’s talk about exercise. Well, over-exercise is an endemic problem with the clients I work with.

Walking isn’t exercise, that’s called moving. Workouts actually push the body’s limits. So to work out 15 minutes, once a week is enough. And that sounds like a big claim.

There’s lots written up on my website about that. You might want to do that twice a week if you’re really into it, but the more you exercise, the more you must recover.

So if you think you’re going to be a hedge fund manager and an Ironman triathlete at the same time, you probably can do it and it’s probably going to take years off your life because the real pro athletes do two things: They exercise and they rest.

And if you’re going to exercise like a pro athlete, work like an entrepreneur, 50 hours a week, be a family person and somehow sleep and recover, probably not going to work.

Less workouts, more useful workouts.

You can cheat, whole body vibration can give you the effects of a long walk in a shorter period of time. 

And electricity works. In fact, I am 42. I don’t really exercise very much right now, but this is all from electricity. I’ve done a CrossFit workout in the last few months and twice a week, I stick electrodes to my body.

Is it the optimal way to live?

I’m not really sure, but I’m having fun.

In terms of fuel, the bulletproof diet infographic is free. You can download it. There’s extensive research into this, but what’s different about it is its stack ranked.

So you’re going to eat some fat. These are the ones that are less inflammatory that contribute more to human performance. And these are the ones that don’t, you don’t have to eat perfectly.

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