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    #424 How Separate Beds Can Boost Your Relationship, The Truth About Sleep Supplements & Naps, Reducing Night Time Peeing & The New Science Of The Body Clock with Professor Russell Foster

    Prioritizing a stable light-dark cycle and avoiding nighttime light while seeking daytime light can improve mental well-being and reduce the risk of psychiatric disorders. Personalized interventions, like reducing evening light exposure, can also be effective.

    enFebruary 07, 2024

    About this Episode

    Prepare to learn everything you wanted to know about sleep (but were too tired to ask). For today’s episode I’m welcoming back Professor Russell Foster, one of the world’s foremost experts on circadian rhythms and sleep. Russell is Professor of Circadian Neuroscience at the University of Oxford and author of the fantastic Life Time: The New Science Of The Body Clock And How It Can Revolutionise Your Sleep and Health.

     

    The last time I spoke with Russell (on episode 292), we took a deep dive into circadian rhythms, chronotypes, and how best to live in sync with our body clocks. This conversation picks up where we left off and takes in some of the very latest evidence on using circadian science to optimise sleep.

     

    Among many topics, we cover whether you should share a bed with your partner, whether sleep trackers are useful or not, and why routine is key. We discuss the vital importance of daytime light, minimising evening light, helping kids avoid screen time, and how our body temperature cycle affects sleep.

     

    Russell shares the latest research on sleeping pills, magnesium and melatonin and the best ways to use them. We also cover the issue of waking to pee in the night, the importance of rest and relaxation, naps, sound frequency therapy, and weighted blankets.

     

    It’s easy to think that good sleep is something you ‘get’ or miss out on. But Russell wants all of us to know that sleep is dynamic, flexible, and within our control.

     

    This really is a wonderful conversation, jam-packed with practical insights that you can use immediately to improve how you sleep, wake and live.


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal and click here https://drchatterjee.com/events to join me at an exclusive event on 29th February.


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/424


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Sleeping in separate beds can improve sleep quality, reduce resentment, and prioritize individual comfort, ultimately strengthening the overall health and relationship.
    • Distinguishing between snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is crucial for identifying potential risks. Consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Beware of sleep trackers' limitations in accurately analyzing sleep patterns.
    • We are the best judges of our sleep quality and should prioritize sufficient rest by considering our daytime functioning, sleep patterns, and exposure to morning light.
    • Prioritizing exposure to morning light aligns our internal Clock with the external day, ensuring a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Oversleeping on weekends does not fully compensate for sleep deprivation during weekdays.
    • Morning light exposure is essential for maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle and treating depression, emphasizing the potential of light as a natural healing tool.
    • Prioritize sleep, create an optimal sleep environment, and consider separate sleeping arrangements for better rest and intimacy.
    • Embracing our natural sleep rhythms can lead to healthier and more balanced lives.
    • Our sleep needs can be influenced by the season and our body's circadian rhythm, with artificial light minimizing the impact. Pay attention to our sleep quality, body temperature, and optimal bedroom temperature for better sleep.
    • Exposure to bright natural light in the morning helps regulate our internal clock and promote better sleep, while finding the right balance of light intensity throughout the day is crucial for optimal sleep.
    • Exposing oneself to bright light during the day can offset the negative impacts of nighttime light exposure, while limiting device use before bed promotes relaxation and better sleep.
    • Prioritizing a stable light-dark cycle and avoiding nighttime light while seeking daytime light can improve mental well-being and reduce the risk of psychiatric disorders. Personalized interventions, like reducing evening light exposure, can also be effective.
    • Decision makers in education should prioritize sleep and consider the potential long-term consequences of excessive screen time on children's mental well-being.
    • Prioritizing good quality sleep, reducing nighttime technology use, and increasing awareness about the impact of nighttime light exposure are crucial for young people's mental health and overall well-being.
    • Increasing rates of mental health dysfunction in adolescents are linked to decreased sleep and natural light exposure, which can be mitigated by limiting screen time and encouraging outdoor breaks.
    • Understanding our individual chronotype and prioritizing a holistic approach to sleep is essential for a good night's sleep. Consider the biology behind sleep aids and their potential implications.
    • Sleep medications can help in the short-term but can have cognitive deficits and long-term risks. Alternative methods like cognitive behavioral therapy, light exposure, and relaxation techniques offer promising results. Melatonin does not significantly impact sleep quality.
    • Melatonin helps regulate the body's internal clock and can aid in falling asleep faster, but it is not necessary for a normal sleep-wake profile. Claims about its antioxidant effects and need for regulating nightlights are mostly unfounded.
    • Light exposure on other parts of the body has not been proven to affect our circadian rhythm, highlighting the crucial role of the eyes in setting our body clock.
    • Prioritizing exposure to natural light can help stabilize sleep patterns, boost cognitive function, enhance academic success, lower stress levels, and improve overall physical and mental health.
    • The hormonal changes, sedentary lifestyle, fluid accumulation, and decreased sleep depth contribute to nighttime urination in the elderly. Being mindful of fluid intake timing and circadian rhythms may help alleviate this issue.
    • Taking time to wind down before bed and practicing relaxation techniques can improve sleep quality and leave you feeling refreshed in the morning.
    • Taking a lunchtime break to engage in relaxation techniques can help reduce stress, improve sleep, enhance decision-making, and alleviate feelings of being overwhelmed. Individual experiences and the placebo effect should not be discounted.
    • Sleep needs vary among individuals and relying on averages can be misleading. Proper education about sleep and circadian rhythms is essential to reduce anxiety and address sleep challenges effectively.
    • Prioritizing and actively participating in sleep can improve our overall well-being, and implementing strategies like building a support system and letting go of guilt can create a conducive sleep environment.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Prioritizing Quality Sleep for a Stronger Relationship

    Sleeping in separate beds from your partner is not a reflection on your relationship, but rather a way to prioritize quality sleep. If your partner snores, wriggles around, or the bed is too hot, finding an alternative sleeping space can actually improve your relationship. It allows both partners to get decent sleep and avoid resentment or disturbances throughout the night. Different cultures and even aristocrats have embraced this idea, emphasizing the importance of individual comfort and sleep quality. While it may be ingrained in some cultures that couples must sleep in the same bed, prioritizing sleep and its impact on your overall health and relationship should be the primary focus.

    Snoring vs. Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Know the Difference and Seek Medical Advice

    Snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a serious condition that needs medical attention. While snoring itself may not be a major concern, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to periods of oxygen deprivation to the brain, causing surges in blood pressure and potential harm to the eyes and brain. It is important to distinguish between snoring and obstructive sleep apnea and to seek medical advice if there are concerns. While sleep trackers may seem tempting, it is crucial to understand that they are not endorsed by sleep federations and are not FDA approved. The complexity of sleep patterns makes it difficult for a single algorithm to accurately track and analyze sleep.

    The future of sleep tracking: accurate and personalized monitoring with AI-powered devices.

    While sleep tracking devices can provide some basic information about our sleep patterns, they are often inaccurate and can even lead to sleep anxiety. However, the future of sleep tracking seems promising with the development of more interactive devices powered by AI. These devices may be able to accurately monitor biometric signals such as breathing and pulse rate, and integrate them into dynamic algorithms that can personalize sleep recommendations. It's important to remember that we are the best judges of how we feel and perform, and relying on a device to determine our sleep quality may not be necessary. When it comes to determining if our sleep is adequate, asking ourselves questions about our daytime functioning, reliance on alarm clocks, and patterns of oversleeping can provide valuable insights. While it may be challenging to prioritize sleep in a busy life, recognizing its importance and making an effort to get sufficient sleep is crucial. Oversleeping, especially on weekends, may not fully compensate for sleep debt and can disrupt our body clock. It's also essential to prioritize exposure to morning light, which helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. Ultimately, prioritizing our sleep and finding ways to incorporate sufficient rest into our routines is key for optimal well-being.

    The importance of morning light in maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

    Prioritizing oversleeping is not a viable solution to catch up on sleep debt. The data suggests that oversleeping on weekends does not fully compensate for sleep deprivation during weekdays. Additionally, the absence of morning light can disrupt our internal Clock and sleep-wake cycle. Our internal Clock, located in the brain, relies on light to align with the external day. Morning light advances the Clock, making us wake up earlier, while evening light delays it. To ensure our internal Clock aligns with the external world, we need daily exposure to morning light. In situations where morning light is not readily available, indoor lighting, especially high-lux light boxes, can be useful in maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

    Harnessing the Power of Light for Well-being

    Light is a powerful and essential factor in our physical and mental well-being. Our biology has evolved to rely on the natural light-dark cycle, but with the invention of artificial light, we have disrupted this balance. Scientific research has shown that exposure to morning light is crucial for stabilizing our sleep-wake cycle and treating conditions like seasonal affective disorder and non-seasonal depression. The effectiveness of light therapy in comparison to medication like Prozac highlights the potential of light as a powerful tool for healing. As a society, we need to recognize the importance of light and incorporate it into our lives in a purposeful and educated way, allowing us to reap the benefits while also avoiding the negative consequences of our modern advancements.

    Overcoming sleep challenges in the modern world.

    Our modern world has introduced new challenges to our sleep patterns and overall health. Just as junk food has become a problem for our diets, "junk light" has become a problem for our sleep. The accessibility and affordability of artificial lighting has disrupted our natural sleep-wake cycle. It's important to prioritize our sleep and structure our days in a way that allows adequate rest. Additionally, the idea of sleeping in separate beds or having separate duvets can actually promote intimacy and improve sleep quality for couples. It's crucial to consider factors such as temperature preference and noise to create an optimal sleep environment that supports restful sleep.

    The Evolution of Human Sleep Patterns

    Human sleep patterns have changed over time and are influenced by cultural and environmental factors. In pre-industrial societies, people often had a polyphasic sleep pattern, with a first and second sleep. This pattern was determined by the natural light environment and the cost of lighting. However, as society became more industrialized and nighttime became more compressed, the polyphasic sleep pattern became less common. Research has shown that when exposed to extended nighttime darkness, individuals can revert to a biphasic sleep pattern, sleeping in two separate periods. This suggests that biphasic sleep may be a natural human sleep pattern, particularly during long winter nights. Understanding and embracing our natural sleep rhythms, along with other biological rhythms, can help us establish healthier and more balanced lives.

    Factors Affecting Sleep Quality and Duration

    Our sleep needs may vary depending on the season and our body's natural circadian rhythm. Studies suggest that we may require slightly more sleep during the winter months when there are shorter daylight hours. However, as we can manipulate our environment with artificial light, this difference has become less pronounced. It is important to ask ourselves simple questions about our sleep quality and functioning rather than relying solely on technology. Additionally, our body temperature plays a crucial role in our sleep-wake cycle. A drop in core body temperature signals the initiation of sleep, making hot baths or showers before bed beneficial. It's essential to find the optimal temperature for our bedrooms, which is generally around 18 degrees but may vary for different individuals and age groups.

    The Impact of Light on Sleep Patterns

    The amount and quality of light we are exposed to can significantly impact our sleep patterns. Lux, a measure of environmental brightness, plays a crucial role here. Exposure to bright light during the day, especially in the morning, helps set our circadian rhythm and promotes better sleep. Natural outdoor light, even on cloudy days, provides a substantial amount of lux that surpasses indoor lighting. Therefore, spending time outside in the morning is important for regulating our internal clock. On the other hand, low levels of light in the evening, such as 90 lux in most homes, may have minimal effects on our sleep. However, brighter light exposure during the day can override these effects. So, finding the right balance of light intensity and duration throughout the day is crucial for optimal sleep.

    Mitigating the Effects of Nighttime Light Exposure

    Exposure to bright light during the day can help mitigate the negative effects of light exposure at night. Research shows that reasonable levels of light during the day can counterbalance the small effects of reading a light-emitting ebook before bedtime. This means that getting outdoor light exposure or taking a walk during the day can provide insulation from nighttime light exposure. Additionally, it's important to note that while nighttime light can increase alertness, it may not necessarily delay the body's internal clock. Lower levels of light can still have an alerting effect on the brain without impacting the circadian system. Therefore, it is recommended to limit device use, especially social media and emails, in the 30 minutes to an hour before bed to promote relaxation and better sleep. While the effects of TV screens and smartphones on the circadian system are not well-studied, it poses an interesting question for future research.

    The impact of light exposure on mental health

    Light exposure, both during the day and at night, can have a significant impact on our mental health. Studies have shown that greater nighttime light exposure is associated with an increased risk of psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. On the other hand, greater daytime light exposure has been linked to a reduced risk of these disorders. It is therefore important to prioritize a stable and robust light-dark cycle to improve our circadian and sleep health, which in turn can positively affect our mental well-being. Avoiding light at night and seeking light during the day may be simple yet effective non-pharmacological strategies to bolster our mental health. Additionally, personalized interventions such as reducing evening light exposure have shown promising results in helping individuals, particularly adolescents, improve their well-being and reduce suicidal tendencies.

    The risks of excessive screen time for children's mental well-being.

    We need to exercise caution when it comes to the widespread use of screens for homework in the evenings, especially for children. While technology can be beneficial and important to teach kids about, excessive nighttime light exposure can have negative effects on mental well-being, including potentially increasing the risk of suicidal ideation. The demands placed on students in the educational system are already high, and by cramming more and more activities into the evening, we are sacrificing personal well-being and the ability for our brains to function optimally. It is crucial for decision makers in the educational sector to prioritize the importance of sleep and consider the potential long-term consequences of excessive screen time for children.

    The Importance of Prioritizing Quality Sleep for Young People

    Prioritizing good quality sleep is essential for young people, even if it means reevaluating and changing current practices. The use of technology in the evening and the lack of awareness about the impact of nighttime light exposure are affecting children's mental health. While some schools argue that technology is important for future job requirements, the cost of meeting these metrics can result in severe mental health problems, including self-harm. It is crucial to have open discussions involving teachers, parents, and students to find ways to mitigate these issues. The debate should focus on prioritizing what truly matters and ensuring that all children, regardless of socioeconomic status, have access to proper sleep environments. Ultimately, poor sleep is a hallmark of poverty in young people, and it is time to address and prioritize their well-being.

    The Impact of Screen Time and Lack of Natural Light on Adolescent Mental Health and Eye Health

    The increasing rates of mental health dysfunction in adolescents are a cause for concern, and it is linked to the decrease in sleep and natural light exposure. Many kids spend their downtime on screens, which further disrupts their circadian rhythms. Additionally, a rise in myopia or shortsightedness is seen in children who don't get enough outside light exposure. While wearing glasses may seem like a simple solution, it is indicative of a larger issue. Our biology requires suitable light exposure for overall eye health, and the lack of it can have other implications. Teachers can encourage children to go outside during breaks and limit screen time in the evenings to mitigate these issues.

    Embracing the broader values of life for a good night's sleep

    The key to a good night's sleep is not about cramming more activities into your day, but rather stepping back and embracing the broader values of life. As we age, our sleep patterns may change, and it's important to understand our individual chronotype. Late chronotypes, for example, may find it easier to go to bed late and wake up late. When it comes to sleep aids, it's essential to consider the biology behind them. Sleep aids like benzodiazepines and Z drugs target the GABA system to calm down the central nervous system. However, it's crucial to note that sedation is not the same as sleep, and these drugs may have side effects on memory and cognitive processes. In mimicking the effects of alcohol, certain sleep aids provide the calming benefits without the toxic byproducts. Ultimately, it's important to prioritize a holistic approach to sleep and consider the potential implications of sleep aids.

    The dangers of sleep medications and alternative approaches to improve sleep quality.

    Short-term use of sleep medications like soppy clone can be helpful, but it's important to be cautious. While these drugs can assist with falling asleep, they are correlated with cognitive deficits the following day. Additionally, long-term use has been linked to an increased risk of dementia and excessive daytime sleepiness, especially in individuals with dementia. Clinicians often prescribe these medications as a short-term solution, but it can be challenging when patients desire to continue using them. However, there are alternative approaches to consider, such as cognitive behavioral therapies for sleep, light exposure, and relaxation techniques like magnesium supplementation, which has shown promising results in improving sleep quality. As for melatonin, it is a neuro hormone produced by the pineal gland, but it does not have a significant impact on the soul.

    Melatonin: A Biological Marker of Darkness

    Melatonin is not a sleep hormone, but rather a biological marker of darkness. It is released during the dark period of the light-dark cycle and plays a role in regulating the circadian rhythm. Melatonin does have a mild modulatory effect on sleep, reducing the time it takes to fall asleep by about 20 minutes when taken in supplement form. It also reinforces the effects of light on the body's internal clock. However, it is important to note that individuals can have a normal sleep-wake profile even without melatonin. Additionally, claims about melatonin's antioxidant effects and the need to regulate children's nightlights are mostly unfounded. Overall, melatonin is an interesting hormone that contributes to the body's response to light and darkness.

    The Importance of Light Exposure through the Eyes in Regulating Our Body Clock

    Light exposure through the eyes plays a crucial role in regulating our body clock. The old night lights that produced low levels of light were sufficient for our visual system to function but had little effect on our internal clock. Melatonin has been used to stabilize the sleep-wake profile in individuals who have lost their eyes or have non-functioning eyes, as they become visually and time blind. Although there were claims that light exposure on other parts of the body could set the body clock, the experiment was flawed and not replicated. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that light exposure outside the eyes can entrain the circadian rhythm. Eye loss or covering the eyes renders us unable to entrain, highlighting the importance of light exposure via the eyes. While future discoveries may shed light on other receptors, the current understanding emphasizes the role of the eyes in setting our body clock.

    The Importance of Natural Light in Improving Sleep, Cognition, and Well-being.

    As we age, the strength of our sleep-wake cycle and the release of hormones under circadian regulation may become diminished. This can lead to issues such as waking up to pee at night. However, increasing exposure to natural light can help stabilize the sleep-wake cycle and improve sleep and cognition. Architects are recognizing the importance of natural light in building design, and there is even an award dedicated to enhancing exposure to natural light. Studies have shown that greater light in classrooms correlates with higher academic success. Additionally, being exposed to nature, which includes natural light, has been linked to lowered cortisol levels and improved well-being. Therefore, making an effort to prioritize natural light in our environments can have a positive impact on our physical and mental health.

    Understanding the Factors Behind Nighttime Urination in the Elderly

    As we age, the hormonal drive underlying urine production becomes less precise. This can result in a stronger urge to pee at night, especially in elderly individuals who are sedentary. When they lie flat after a day of sitting, fluid collects in the lower limbs, increasing blood pressure. The heart detects this increase and triggers the production of urine. Additionally, the depth of sleep tends to be lower as we get older, making us more aware of the need to pee. Understanding the circadian rhythms of our body and being mindful of the timing of fluid intake, especially after 2 PM, can potentially alleviate nighttime peeing. This concept of each organ system running on its own clock aligns with the principles of traditional Chinese medicine that recognized rhythmicity.

    Prioritizing Rest for a Good Night's Sleep

    Prioritizing rest and winding down before bed is crucial for feeling refreshed and well-rested. Many people may sleep a sufficient number of hours, but they still wake up exhausted. This is often because they are staying stimulated in the hour before bed, which prevents their minds and bodies from properly preparing for sleep. By incorporating an hour of relaxation before bedtime, individuals can experience the same amount of sleep but wake up feeling revitalized. Additionally, practicing quiet restfulness during the day can enhance productivity and even improve sleep at night. Ultimately, anything that promotes relaxation before sleep, whether it be mindfulness or other methods, can positively impact sleep quality.

    Reducing Stress and Improving Sleep through Lunchtime Relaxation Techniques

    Taking a lunchtime break and engaging in relaxation techniques in the second half of the day can help reduce stress and improve sleep. Accumulating micro stress doses throughout the day can lead to feeling overwhelmed and hinder the ability to multitask. Good sleep can enhance decision-making and alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed. While weighted blankets may not have a significant impact on sleep according to studies, individual experiences should not be discounted as they may still find benefit. Averaging out results in scientific studies may overlook the variations and individual responses. Placebo effects can also have a positive impact, so if something works for you, use it without worrying about the downside.

    The importance of individualized sleep and the need for proper education on sleep and circadian biology.

    Sleep is not a one-size-fits-all concept. The idea that everyone needs eight hours of sleep is completely wrong. The recommended amount of sleep actually ranges between six and 10 and a half hours, depending on the individual. Using averages as a metric for everybody can be deeply misleading and harmful. However, as more awareness about the importance of sleep grows, there is a risk of generating anxiety without providing proper education. It is crucial to embed knowledge about sleep and circadian biology within our curriculum, particularly for young people. An authoritative website sponsored by the government can address common questions and dispel confusion surrounding sleep and circadian rhythms. Additionally, for shift workers and young parents, asking for help and not worrying too much are important strategies to cope with sleep challenges.

    Embracing the Power of Sleep for Better Health and Happiness

    Sleep is within our control and plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. The quality of our sleep directly impacts the quality of our wake, and by making simple modifications to our behavior, we can improve our sleep. It's important to prioritize sleep and not see it as something we passively receive, but rather something we actively participate in. Building a support system, reaching out to friends and family, and letting go of guilt are also essential in creating a conducive sleep environment. By understanding the importance of sleep and implementing strategies that work for us, we can improve our health, happiness, and productivity. So, let's embrace the power of sleep and make it a priority in our lives.

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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/442


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #441 BITESIZE | The #1 Lesson From The World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness | Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz

    #441 BITESIZE | The #1 Lesson From The World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness | Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz

    By the end of today’s episode, I’m pretty sure you’ll feel inspired to reconnect with an old friend, phone that family member you don’t see enough of, or make plans for a face-to-face get-together. You’ll feel happier, and even be healthier, if you do because the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 364 of the podcast with co-authors of The Good Life: Lessons From The World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness - Professors Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz.


    They are the directors of the Harvard Study of Adult Development which is an extraordinary research project that started all the way back in 1938 and is now in its 85th year.


    In this clip they share why having high quality relationships may just be one of the most important things we can do for our happiness and our mental and physical health.


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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #440 Dr Gabor Maté: The 5 Life Lessons People Learn Too Late, Why We Should Stop Trying To Live Longer & How Curiosity Leads To Compassion

    #440 Dr Gabor Maté: The 5 Life Lessons People Learn Too Late, Why We Should Stop Trying To Live Longer & How Curiosity Leads To Compassion

    Since his first appearance on Feel Better Live More, way back in 2018, Dr Gabor Maté has become a valued friend, as well as a regular guest. I’m proud to say that he recently joined me in London as a guest speaker on the Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine course that I co-created with Dr Ayan Panja, to teach healthcare professionals the principles of lifestyle medicine. 

     

    We recorded this conversation - Gabor’s 4th appearance on my show - a couple of weeks ago in London the day before that event, and we both agreed that it is perhaps our favourite conversation to date.

     

    For anyone not aware, Gabor is respected the world over as an expert on trauma, stress, addiction and childhood development. He is a physician, speaker and international bestselling author of some truly game-changing books such as When the Body Says No and The Myth of Normal - which has just come out in paperback.

     

    As this is Gabor’s 4th appearance on my podcast, I was keen to explore some new ground and different topics. Gabor has worked as a family doctor as well as in palliative (end of life) care. Back on Episode 383 of this podcast, I had a wonderful conversation with Bronnie Ware, author of the book, The Five Regrets of the Dying and I thought it would be interesting to examine each of these 5 regrets, through the lens of Gabor’s thoughts and work. 

     

    We chat through all five of these regrets and Gabor provides some thought-provoking insights on each of them. He explains why we work so hard to the detriment of time with family and friends. We talk about how disease can be a teacher, why it’s vital children grow up able to express their emotions, and how we wish more doctors were aware of the connection between emotions and physical health.

     

    We discuss happiness and if it’s possible to be happy or seek happiness when there is so much suffering in the world. This leads us on to talk about the nature of forgiveness, curiosity, compassion, and also regret. Gabor says that living life with ‘no regrets’ is about learning and understanding from your perceived mistakes, but not being unkind to who you were then. Instead we should recognise that we did the best we could do at the time.

     

    Like all of my previous episodes with Gabor, this is a powerful conversation full of compassion, knowledge and wisdom. I hope you enjoy listening.


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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #439 BITESIZE | How Your Brain Creates Your Conscious Reality | Professor Anil Seth

    #439 BITESIZE | How Your Brain Creates Your Conscious Reality | Professor Anil Seth

    Today’s guest asserts that the way we encounter reality is a construction. Our thoughts and perceptions are merely interpretations of external and biological cues. We’re all hallucinating, all the time. It’s just that when we agree on those hallucinations, we call it reality.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 366 of the podcast with globally respected neuroscientist Anil Seth - Professor of Cognitive and Computational Science at the University of Sussex.


    Anil’s theory is that our brains don’t read the world, they write them – all of life is a controlled hallucination.


    In this clip he explains how our brains create our conscious reality.


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    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.




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    #438 The Surprising Truth About Alcohol with Andy Ramage

    #438 The Surprising Truth About Alcohol with Andy Ramage

    Over the past five years, it’s been incredible to see how the alcohol-free landscape has changed. Pubs, restaurants and supermarkets boast a range of appealing 0% options. We’re seeing a rise in AF communities, influencers, bars and events. There has been a marked cultural shift towards acceptance of not drinking – and that’s in no small part down to today’s guest.


    Andy Ramage is one of the world’s leading alcohol-free performance coaches. Since his first appearance on this podcast, in 2019, countless listeners have got in touch to share how they’ve transformed their lives by giving up alcohol.


    Andy co-founded the One Year No Beer movement and recently co-created the Dryy app and AF community. Collectively, these innovations have helped hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of what he calls ‘middle lane’ moderate drinkers transform their health and happiness.


    He is also the author of two best-selling books - The 28 Day Alcohol Free Challenge and Let’s Do This, and is one of only a few coaches to hold a Masters degree in coaching psychology and positive psychology. 


    Many of us discover alcohol as a teenager. We start to believe we can’t socialise, dance or talk to strangers without it – and we carry these myths with us long into adulthood. We think others will find us boring if we don’t drink. Hangovers become a celebrated end to a ‘great night out’. And we play down negative effects such as risky behaviour, poor sleep, low mood or junk food cravings.


    Andy is passionate about reversing all these beliefs and behaviours. He explains his ‘ambivalence seesaw’ – a framework you can use to work out your current relationship with alcohol and start to shift it. We discuss why moderation isn’t a good tactic, why Dry January often fails, and why slip-ups are part of the learning process. And he shares some valuable advice on coping with social pressure to drink, and cultivating a kinder self-talk.


    I’ve not drunk alcohol myself for four or five years now and I can honestly say there’s not a moment when I miss it. But like Andy, I’m not here to judge anyone else, simply to encourage you to try out the benefits we’ve both felt.


    Andy is motivated, passionate and full of positivity, and someone who describes a life without alcohol, as a gift to yourself. He has managed to transform his own health, happiness and relationships and wants to inspire you to do the same.


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/438


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #437 BITESIZE | 3 Steps to Unlock Your Full Potential and Become Limitless | Jim Kwik

    #437 BITESIZE | 3 Steps to Unlock Your Full Potential and Become Limitless | Jim Kwik

    Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in life, unable to break free from limiting beliefs and habits? 


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.

     

    Today’s clip is from episode 380 of the podcast with globally renowned brain coach Jim Kwik.


    In this clip Jim explains how the 3Ms of Mindset, Motivation and Method can keep you stuck in limiting beliefs but also liberate you from them.


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    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/380


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    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #436 How to Make New Habits Stick, Why You Can’t Break Old Habits and The Secret to Great Communication with Charles Duhigg

    #436 How to Make New Habits Stick, Why You Can’t Break Old Habits and The Secret to Great Communication with Charles Duhigg

    My philosophy as a doctor has always been connect first, educate second. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And this goes for all relationships, not just doctor-patient.


    Good communication is something we’d all like to master. And today’s guest, Charles Duhigg, author of Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection, is here to help us do it. A graduate of Harvard Business School and Yale College, Charles has won a prestigious Pulitzer Prize for his investigative reporting and he is also the author of international bestselling book, The Power of Habit, which has sold over 10 million copies to date.


    We start off our conversation, talking about habits, and why it is that so many of us struggle to make our new desired behaviours stick. The brain wants rewards and it needs cues. The trouble is we tend to let both of those things go, once we think a behaviour is becoming routine. But Charles shares that that’s exactly when we need to double down and take steps to make our new behaviours feel more enjoyable. We also discuss the science of small wins, momentum and the importance of keystone habits.

     

    We then move on to talking about the importance of good communication. Good communication is inherently rewarding. It’s how humans connect, form families,

    villages, and share information. Charles believes all of us are capable of being supercommunicators and having more meaningful conversations. And during this episode, he explains some of the skills involved, such as mirroring others and asking deeper questions – those that probe feelings not facts.


    Finally, we talk about how fear of saying the wrong thing can often stop us from being vulnerable and connecting, why supercommunicators ask 10 to 20 times more questions than the average person and how they often shine in group situations, not by being the ‘ideas person’, but by giving the right people a spotlight.


    This was a truly wonderful conversation - full of practical insights to help you build better habits and become a better communicator in all aspects of your life.


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/436


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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