341: Why You Wake Up At The Same Time Every Night, How To Hack Your Nervous System, Is Your Fish Oil Bad & More!

Affiliate Disclosure

Biohacking, Podcast

Listen on:

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

December 30, 2015 Podcast (Ben mentions AlignMed shirt in intro): Why You Wake Up At The Same Time Every Night, How To Hack Your Nervous System, Is Your Fish Oil Bad & More!

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.


News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Instagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitness, Facebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.


Special Announcements:

This podcast is brought to you by: FitLife's “Organifi” Green Juice Powder.Easier than eating vegetables or juicing. No shopping, no juicing, no blending, no clean-up. Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free. Special Ingredient includes Ayurvedic Herb Ashwagandha – shown to lower cortisol, increase strength, and improve mental focus! Go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/FitLife. Coupon Code ‘BEN’ will get you 25% off through January 1!

Did you miss the weekend podcast episode with Brian Rose? It was a must-listen – titled “Ayahuasca, Smart Drugs, Anti-Aging & More With Brian Rose of London Real”. Click here to listen now or download for later!

Jan 9, 11am: Ben is speaking at the Spokane Health and Fitness Expo. For all the Spokane and Coeur D' Alene locals, find more info here: http://spokanehealthfitexpo.com/

May 27-29, 2016: Ben is speaking at PaleoFX 2016 in Austin, Texas. This is the The Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including New York Times bestselling authors, leading physicians, scientists, health entrepreneurs, professional athletes, fitness professionals, activists, bloggers, biohackers, and more. And you DON’T need to be Paleo to be able to get a ton of benefit and fun out of this one!

Nov 17-18, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker's Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week's top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.

How To Hack Your Nervous System

Josh says: How should he go about balancing his sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system? What should he eat, how often should he exercise and does weed help?

How To Know If Fish Oil Is Bad

Anthony says: How do you go about testing rancidity of oils around the home? He has a bottle of cod liver oil that he's had in the fridge for about two years, and he's not so sure if it's a healthy oil to be putting into your body.

In my response, I recommend:
Kion Omega Fish Oil
This Olive Oil Hoax

5 Ways To Increase Grip Strength (& Become A Better Rock Climber)

Anne says: She recently started rock climbing and she's wondering what you think of rock climbing and what would you do to get really good and as fast as possible?

How To Get Motivated To Exercise

Erick says: He's the host of a podcast “How to be a Grown Up” that he does for his high school students, when he tries to put forward that despite their economically depressed home lives they should still care about their health, wellness find a purposeful direction in their lives. He has a few students that struggle to be motivated to get active and he'd love to know what is something you might suggest to get them off the couch and making positive decisions to be healthy?

In my response, I recommend:
How To Get Motivated To Exercise


Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!


Ask Your Question


Ask Ben a Podcast Question

26 thoughts on “341: Why You Wake Up At The Same Time Every Night, How To Hack Your Nervous System, Is Your Fish Oil Bad & More!

  1. Justin says:

    Do you think all chiropractors can do a jaw alignment or is it a specialized technique that is only aquired through some advanced training. Ive been to several chiropractors throughout life and none of them have said anything about my jaw although i feel that i may be a good candidate after listening to this podcast.

    1. Definitely look for a chiro who has done jaw alignment. You'll need to search around a bit…

  2. WJE4 says:

    Hi Ben, I have two clarifying questions:

    1) if your LF numbers are consistently much higher than you HF numbers, does that mean that your para-sympathetic nervous system is weak you should focus on strengthening your vagal nerve with the techniques you mentioned?

    2) Does a high LF compared to HF mean you have sympathetic dominance?


    1. 1) Yep. 2) Yep. Great Q's.

  3. WJE4 says:

    Ben, I tried the nicotine patch, 7mg dose (step 3 patch for smokers trying to quit…first step is 21mg). Dave Aprey actually did a podcast on nicotine as well. He recommended the patch over the gum since the gum could be bad for your dental health…

    Anyway, unfortunately my body didn’t do well in response the patch. I got a headache and felt kinda nauseous…it felt like i was poisoning myself. These are two side effects listed on the box. I feel much better smoking a cigarette or pipe tobacco… although i don’t do this except when camping… i’ve found it helps me relax and enjoy the camp vibes but can also keep me up at night.

    Has anyone found another solution for obtaining some positive benefits of nicotine without actually smoking???

    Thanks and great show!

    1. e cigarettes and gum come to mind…

  4. hotdish says:

    I think your comments on how to get motivated to exercise were good, but I don’t necessarily agree with posting body images of other people as a method. It’s not a bad idea but it could also have the opposite effect. People with low self-esteem, and I’d hazard a guess and say especially females and adolescents, are prime to feel devalued by these images instead of inspired. I personally vacillate between being inspired and sometimes not and have to stop visiting fitness sites or magazines (and sometimes general interest magazines!) for a while because I start feeling bad about what I may never achieve instead of celebrating what I do have and pushing myself further. (FYI, I’m 5’7″, 125lb with a great a** but yes, I still have body image issues).

  5. Remy says:

    In terms of increasing parasympathetic activity by increasing acetylcholine, what is your experience with adding choline supplements like alpha GPC or phosphatidylcholine directly? Or alternatively adding an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor to help keep acetylcholine from breaking down as quickly?

    I patched my nervous system together with nicotine for a decade but it doesn’t work anymore for me as it exacerbates migraines. Perhaps the dose is too high now that I’m not a regular user but it was extremely helpful for a time. Not only does it increase acetylcholine but it also increases circulating cortisol, dopamine, serotonin and NE. It packs a massive punch.

    Nicotinamide may work to inhibit acetylcholine but it looks like the doses required are quite large. A rat study used 1000 mg/kg which provoked a minor release of choline but also produced detrimental cognitive effects. Given that it also will quench methylation reactions, there must be a better choice.

    I’m curious if lobelia would have a similar effect since it also acts on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Many smokers use it to help with withdrawals so it makes sense that it would have similar effects but I’ve not researched it thoroughly.

    1. Yep, TianChi, for example, the one I use <a href="http:// (https://getkion.com/shop/body/tianchi-chinese-adaptogenic-herb-complex/)” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(https://getkion.com/shop/body/tianchi-chinese-adaptogenic-herb-complex/)” target=”_blank”>(https://getkion.com/shop/body/tianchi-chinese-adaptogenic-herb-complex/) has citicholine. You must replace choline if you use any CNS stimulant, really.

      1. Remy says:

        I’d love to try TianChi but the ribose makes it a no go unfortunately. 8 g of purely insulinogenic carbs are not going to fly on my diet plan. Maybe someday they’ll make a version without it.

        1. Unless you are 100% sedentary, 8G of ribose is a very small drop in the bucket and there are much, much bigger fish to fry than that. I personally have tianchi every day and I stay in ketosis just fine. And FYI it’s only 4 grams of ribose and the other carbs are freeze dried raspberry and herbs.

  6. Ken says:

    Hi Ben,

    I’ve $1,000 to spend and want the best bang for my buck when it comes to helping me sleep and recover from exercise. I can buy my friends no-emf infrared sauna (2 person) or an Earthpulse PEMF device to place under my bed. What would you suggest?

    Thx, Ken

    1. Totally depends on what you are and are not currently doing, health history, exercise history, etc. but if it were me, I'd do Earthpulse if it is mitochondrial related. If you really want to dig into details, I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching. and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.

  7. Remy says:

    What do you consider optimal low LF/HF values? High?

    1. I discuss this in a ton of resources that you can explore at https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/naturebea… but basically low would be below 1000 (for me at least) and good/high would be above 5000.

    2. Remy says:

      Thanks, I’ll check it out.

      I have the SweetBeat app already and the interface looks the same. Are there added features in the NatureBeat that you have customized? I’m still learning how to use it.

  8. Michelle Silbernagel says:

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for another great show. I am curious about your recommendation for cold thermogenesis (or a cold shower) when addressing adrenal fatigue. I am aware of its benefits from fat loss and faster muscle recovery after workouts, to better sleep and reduced inflammation. However, I also know it is a “stress” on the body. I was thinking that those who are recovering from adrenal fatigue perhaps should not partake in this practice until they have recovered. Thoughts?

    Also, what are your recommedations for people with autoimmune issues (such as multiple sclerosis, hashimoto’s, etc…). Would you recommend cold thermogenesis for systems that are striving to maintain homeostasis?

    And finally, what do you think of Dave Asprey’s hack — the ice face bath? https://www.bulletproofexec.com/ice-face-cold-the…

    Thanks! Michelle

    1. It's a mild stress and for folks with adrenal issues I recommend easing your way in with a hot shower first then slowly turn to old then finish with hot. The ice face bath works OK for vagal nerve tone, but not as good as full immersion or shower…

  9. Borrowed time says:

    Hi Ben ! I just started experimenting with nicotine melt under your tongue tablets 2 mg. The first time I tried it i took less the a quarter of a tablet (0.5mg). Within minutes I noticed a significant improviment in concentration and night vision. The next two times ( a few days apart) I took the same amount and didn’t notice any effect so finally I decided to try the full tablet at once to see if the first time was just a coincidence. This time I felt suddenly nausited and had to remove the tablet before it was finished. That is my experience but It may not be typical. my vagus nerve surgically disconnected from my heart and I’m on medication.

  10. Ludwig R. says:

    Ben, I love the show, and you have amazing information to convey, of course, but while I don’t mean this to be nasty, you really should consider upgrading from Rachel. She knows nothing, and adds nothing but annoying banter and small-talk and isn’t even particularly good at the banter/small-talk, since she doesn’t appear to have much of a sense of humor or natural social skills, so that the small-talk seems forced, usually no more than a “Yeah” or “Nice!” thrown in along the way. The only thing of value that she adds comes in the form of her questions that prompt further information from you, but many people can ask questions while, at the same time, contributing something themselves and not being annoying.

    1. Ludwig, thanks for your thoughts, but I would beg to differ. Rachel offers a perfect balance to the show, asks the questions that keep me "grounded" in terms of not getting too far off the nerdy deep end, and while I agree that (like any new relationships) our first few podcasts weren't "perfect", I think every single one is getting better and, frankly, Rachel is doing an amazing, amazing job. I'd keep listening if I were you. I think she'll grow on you. ;)

      1. WJE4 says:

        I’m all for Rachel and agree with Ben! I really miss Brock but Rachel adds some good stuff and many times will ask questions that i’m already thinking.

    2. Eggo says:

      Agree with Ludwig. Her inappropriate bursts of laughter are ill-timed and annoying. It’s a plus to have someone ask insightful questions to avoid overly technical discussion (like you did with Doc Parsley), but her questions aren’t particularly well-formulated. Her part of the discussion makes me feel like I’m listening to one end of a bad first date.

  11. Nick says:

    Hey, talking about grip, what’s your thought on this (link below), I actually just came across it right before listening to your podcast. Big thanks Ben, happy new year!


    1. Just bought one to trial. I'll let you know what I think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *