For years practicing would make me tired and positively sleepy. The more I practiced and performed, the less interested in making music I would become. I thought that feeling unmotivated and uninspired was just something one had to go through, that is until recently. I came across some information, actually, some new research into the neuroscience behind high performance and alertness.
Consider that playing music, that is, reading, interpreting and improvising, composing etc. require that we be in top form. Making music requires our full concentration. It requires two seemingly opposite things to happen at once. We need to be somewhat excited and at the same time, to be relaxed and open. We need to be able to turn this mental and physical state on at will. The following YouTube is part of a series of videos created by neuroscientist Andrew Huberman, where he talks about some simple and very effective practices one can do to “hack” ones biology, that is, become aware of the built in hardware animals evolved to have and use it use it to bring us into a state of alert and relaxed readiness so that we may have the energy and positivity to travel the paths we need to travel to fulfil our goals.
I especially like the bit of information he gives about special retinal ganglion cells that are to be found on the bottom inside of every animals eyeballs that are used to perceive a particular type of natural morning and evening light, (not so much artificial light), and then messages the suprachiasmatic nucleus… Well, that info is at minute 24:30 and it has really important implications with regards to alertness, sleep and staying healthy.
Timestamps can be found below:
What Is Sleep Really For? – 3:30
Sleep Hunger – 6:15
Caffeine: Devil & Angel – 9:00
Timing Your Sleep Properly – 12:20
Release Your Hormones (At The Right Times) – 14:15
(Pineal) Melatonin Warning – 18:45
Strange Vision Is Good Vision – 24:30
Blue Light Is Great! – 32:50
The Real Problem With Smartphones – 37:00
Blind / Low Vision People – 38:30
Using Exercise & Food To Set Your Clock – 39:45
The Power of Sunset – 42:00
The Healthy Holes In Your Skull – 46:43
Bad Light – 48:15
Light Location – 51:11
Fire / Candlelight – 53:00
When To Eat – 54:00
How To Wake Up Earlier – 55:40
Using The Body To Control The Mind – 1:08:00
Drugs & Supplements – 1:10:00
Sleep Walking – 1:18:00
Office Hours – 1:20:00
Links to several of the tools mentioned in this episode are listed below.
10 Min Yoga Nidra Script (no cost) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0u9G…
35 Min Yoga Nidra Script (no cost) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FroVf…
Research Supported Hypnosis Scripts (no cost) https://reverihealth.com/
Independent Supplement Research Site (no cost) https://examine.com/