Cold Exposure, Maximizing REM Sleep & My Next Scientific Studies |Huberman Lab
In this episode of the Huberman Lab, Andrew dives into the effects of cold exposure on the immune system, the importance of deliberate cold exposure, and how it can be used to enhance physical health.
He also discusses the launch of the Huberman Lab Premium subscription and its role in supporting scientific research.
Cold Exposure and Immune System Markers
Studies have shown an increase in immune system markers in response to deliberate cold exposure.
It indicates potential immune-enhancing effects of cold exposure.
However, if feeling unwell, it is better to opt for rest and avoid stressful heat exposure.
The Role of Epinephrine and Norepinephrine
The molecules epinephrine and norepinephrine, released in response to cold exposure and deliberate hyperventilation, have pro-immune effects in the short term.
However, their chronic elevation can reduce the efficiency of immune cells in combating infections.
The Importance of Rest
When feeling unwell, it is crucial to avoid any stressful or challenging activities, including cold exposure, heat exposure, or exercise.
Resting allows the body’s resources to focus on fighting the infection.
If you warm up after a relatively brief, meaning one minute to, let’s extend out to 10 minutes, 10-minute deliberate cold exposure, although, I really want to caution people to not do 10-minute deliberate cold exposure right off the bat… I can’t see how the deliberate cold exposure itself would enhance your susceptibility to getting sick. – Andrew Huberman
There have been controlled studies in which people go into laboratories… cold, dry air does seem to increase our susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections… more humid, warm environments are going to make your mucosal lining and the general upper respiratory area more robust against bacterial and viral infections. – Andrew Huberman
Nasal Breathing Over Mouth Breathing
Nasal breathing is preferred over mouth breathing, especially during low-level cardio or walking.
It can help reduce the risk of infection, as the mouth is a main site of entry for infections.
Support for Scientific Research
The Tiny Foundation has offered to match all funds raised for research through the Huberman Lab Premium subscription.
The initiative amplifies the support for mental health, physical health, and performance research.
Cold Exposure and Individual Health Status
One’s health status plays a significant role in how to approach cold exposure.
If in good health, there is less worry about warming up after cold exposure.
However, if feeling rundown, it is advised to warm up well afterwards.
Cold Exposure Frequency and Immunity
Repeated cold exposure, such as three times a week over six weeks, has been shown to increase immune cell numbers and markers, potentially enhancing immune system function.
Epinephrine, Norepinephrine and Immune System Suppression
The release of epinephrine and norepinephrine can suppress certain arms of the immune system, potentially allowing individuals to avoid the symptoms of infections.