Andrew Huberman’s Optimal Morning Routine

TLDR

  • Hydrate by drinking water upon waking
  • Spend 10 minutes outside, exposed to bright light to set circadian rhythm
  • Delay caffeine intake for 90-120 minutes after waking to allow the body to clear adenosine
  • Stay hydrated while consuming caffeine and consider taking a pinch of salt to combat lightheadedness or low blood sugar symptoms
  • Engage in a 90-minute “work bout” combining meditation and functional work (writing, planning, reading). And avoid distractions like email and social media during the deep work session to maintain focus.
  • Engage in physical exercise after the work session, alternating between weight training (45-60 minutes) and cardio activities
  • Enjoy the first real meal of the day, typically consisting of oatmeal, fruit, fish oil, and a protein drink
  • Have a more substantial lunch 90-120 minutes later, often including steak, salad, and Brazil nuts
  • Briefly attend to emails in the early afternoon
  • Take a 10-30 minute yoga nidra nap or a non-sleep deep rest session to enhance neuroplasticity and accelerate learning
  • Get some sunlight exposure in the late afternoon or evening to reinforce the circadian rhythm

Andrew Huberman’s Morning Routine

Huberman’s routine begins with hydrating by drinking water upon waking, followed by spending 10 minutes outside, exposed to bright light.

This practice helps set the circadian rhythm, promotes alertness, and regulates melatonin production for better sleep later on.

Interestingly, Huberman advises delaying caffeine intake for 90 to 120 minutes after waking up, allowing the body to clear out adenosine, a molecule that contributes to feelings of fatigue. He also stresses the importance of staying hydrated while consuming caffeine and suggests taking a pinch of salt to combat lightheadedness or low blood sugar symptoms.

The cornerstone of Huberman’s morning routine is a 90-minute “work bout,” which combines meditation and functional work, such as writing, planning podcasts, or reading.

During this time, he avoids distractions like email and social media to maintain a narrow focus. While it may take some time to get into the focus mode, Huberman emphasizes that this practice allows for the best work to be done and tunes up neural circuits for better focus and attention throughout the day.

Following the deep work session, Huberman engages in physical exercise, alternating between weight training for 45-60 minutes every other day and cardio activities like jogging, skipping rope, or swimming on the off days.

These activities have numerous benefits for overall health, including improved heart health, gut microbiome, and mental well-being.

Exercise is a crucial component of his routine, as it helps to reinforce the benefits of the earlier practices.

After his workout, Huberman enjoys his first real meal of the day, typically consisting of oatmeal, fruit, fish oil, and a protein drink. About 90-120 minutes later, he has a more substantial lunch, often including steak, salad, and Brazil nuts. This balanced approach to nutrition helps to fuel his body and mind for the rest of the day.

In the early afternoon, Huberman briefly attends to emails before taking a 10-30 minute yoga nidra nap or a non-sleep deep rest session. These practices enhance neuroplasticity and accelerate learning, but he cautions that naps should not interfere with nighttime sleep and should be kept under 90 minutes.

This brief rest period serves as a transition point in his day, allowing him to recharge and prepare for the next phase of his routine.

To further reinforce the circadian rhythm, Huberman suggests getting some sunlight exposure in the late afternoon or evening, as it sends additional signals to the master circadian clock and helps regulate the morning and evening oscillators.

This practice ties back to the importance of light exposure in his morning routine, creating a cohesive and interconnected approach to optimizing health and well-being.

Optimizing Sleep for Overall Well-being

Building upon the importance of light exposure in his morning routine, Andrew Huberman emphasizes the significance of incorporating sunlight exposure into your daily life for optimal health and well-being.

Exposure to natural light, particularly within an hour of waking up, sets in motion a cascade of neurobiological and hormonal processes that are beneficial for your health, reducing stress late at night, offsetting cortisol, and providing a myriad of other benefits.

Even on cloudy days, it is essential to get outside and expose your eyes to as much light energy as possible. Huberman advises against wearing sunglasses during this morning sunlight viewing but notes that it is perfectly fine to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. He also cautions against staring directly at the sun if it is too bright or painful, suggesting instead to look towards the sun without focusing on it directly.

Sunlight exposure can have a significant impact on our mood and hormone levels. A study conducted in Israel found that people who spent 20 to 30 minutes outside in the sunshine, wearing appropriate clothing but no hat or sunglasses, experienced significant increases in testosterone and estrogen levels.

This is because sunlight penetrates the skin and triggers a pathway involving a molecule called P53, which stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain and body.

In addition to the effects of sunlight on our mood and hormones, Huberman also discusses the role of adenosine in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Every cell in the body has a circadian rhythm, regulated by genes, and it’s crucial to align these internal clocks for optimal functioning.

Misalignment of these clocks, often caused by jet lag or shift work, can lead to various health issues, including digestive problems, increased susceptibility to illness, and impaired cognitive function.

Light triggers melanopsin ganglion cells in the eyes, which send signals to the hypothalamus to release a wake-up peptide and set a timer for melatonin release 16 hours later. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for making you sleepy and ready for bed.

In addition to regulating sleep, morning light exposure also triggers the release of dopamine, a neuromodulator that drives motivation, craving, and pursuit, acting as a “life force” molecule.

Huberman also discusses how the body’s temperature fluctuations throughout the day play a crucial role in regulating sleep and wake cycles. The time at which a person wakes up naturally is determined by an increase in their core body temperature.

As the day progresses, the body’s temperature continues to rise, reaching its maximum around two to three in the afternoon when all systems are functioning at their peak capacity. As the temperature begins to drop, sleepiness sets in when it falls one to three degrees below the maximum.

This is why it is important to keep the bedroom cool at night to facilitate sleep.

Exercising and exposure to cold water, such as through cold showers or ice baths, can also help to increase core body temperature. While the initial shock of cold water triggers the release of adrenaline, causing a brief period of panic, this is followed by a prolonged release of dopamine and epinephrine when exiting the cold water.

This mood-enhancing effect is based on a real neurochemical response and can be beneficial for those struggling with addiction or seeking a natural way to boost their mood.

By incorporating elements of Huberman’s routine, such as exposure to natural sunlight, exercise, cold exposure, breathwork, and a nutritious breakfast, individuals can create a personalized morning routine that works best for them.

Leave a Comment