Andrew Huberman's Daily Morning Routine: Explained

Are you interested in optimizing your morning routine to get the most out of your day? Andrew Huberman's morning routine might do the trick. Let's get into the science behind his pretty simple but incredibly helpful methods.

Key Takeaways

  • Finding your Temperature Minimum is a crucial step in optimizing your daily routine
  • Moving your body and absorbing sunlight through the eyes first thing in the morning sends important signals to the brain to wake up
  • Simple steps like hydrating first thing will increase mental stimulation
  • Starting your day with Huberman's routine will give you more energy throughout the day and week

    Who is Andrew Huberman?

    Dr. Andrew Huberman is a neurobiologist and ophthalmologist at Stanford University, his credentials are stacked and he’s made significant contributions to the fields of brain plasticity, neural degeneration and brain development. His morning routine is rooted in neuroscience, so it’s based on what our physical, mental and spiritual bodies actually need to thrive.

    As people living in the modern world, we often take for granted how incredible it is that all of our insides are working in tandem to keep us alive. This morning routine helps to regulate the autonomic nervous system, reduce anxiety and lead to more focus and memory retention. Basically it could be the difference between a crappy day and a great one. 

    Find Your Temperature Minimum 

    To get started with Huberman's morning routine you first need to determine your "temperature minimum". This will determine the time in your 24 hour cycle that your body temperature is at its lowest point. It's an important anchor to your circadian rhythm. Knowing what time your temperature minimum is will help to optimise your morning routine.

    1. Write down the average time you wake up in the morning
    2. Your temperature minimum is generally 2 hours before the time that you wake up.
    3. Your peak performance time is between 4 and 6 hours after your temperature minimum

    Temperature Minimum Example

    If you wake up at 9am, your temperature minimum is 7am. Once you know that your temperature minimum is 7am you can calculate your peak performance time, which is generally between 4 and 6 hours later. So if your temperature minimum is 7am your peak performance time will be between the window of 11am and 1pm. 

    Andrew Huberman’s Daily Morning Routine

    1. Take a Morning Walk

    Now that you know your temperature minimum, you can start your routine. The first thing you should do in the morning is take a walk. Getting into forward ambulation, which is just a fancy way of saying going for a walk, causes optic visual flow which has a powerful effect on the nervous system. When you’re in optic visual flow, the amygdala quietens your neural activity.

    The amygdala is a cluster of almond-shaped cells responsible for emotions like anxiety, fear and threat detection. Peer reviewed studies have shown that a morning walk in the sun initiates optic flow and reduces neural activity which thereby reduces anxiety. 

    Remember this isn’t about weight loss or calorie burning, it’s about getting into optic flow, exposing your eyes to sunlight will promote metabolic well-being and positive functioning of the nervous system.

    Going for a morning walk will ensure stimulation in the nerves of the eye that convey to the brain that it’s day time and it’s time to be alert. This sets in motion a huge number of biological cascades within every cell of your body from the liver to the heart and brain. We only get one pulse of cortisol in 24 hours and this is it.

    Timing this pulse with exposure to sunlight will start to affect your mental health in a positive way. If you'd like to try this out Huberman suggests 2 minutes should be the minimum, 10 minutes is great and 30 minutes is best. 

    2. Hydrate

    I personally love to drink water, but find it hard drinking it first thing in the morning. Huberman would tell me that hydration first thing in the morning is essential for mental stimulation.

    As you sleep your body becomes more dehydrated so it is vitally important to hydrate when you first wake up in the morning. He also recommends putting half a teaspoon of sea salt in your water to stimulate ionic flow. This will help to absorb sodium, magnesium and potassium. Leaving some water by your bed for the morning makes this one a little easier to remember.

    3. Delay Caffeine Intake

    One factor that increases sleepiness is a build up of an organic chemical compound called adenosine. Adenosine starts to build up in the system as you wake up. When you consume caffeine first thing in the morning it blocks your adenosine receptors. Usually this will lead to a bit of energy as soon as you drink your morning coffee but a huge crash by the time you hit the afternoon.

    If you avoid caffeine for the first 90 minutes after you wake up you will allow the natural adenosine chemical to build to a sufficient amount in the system. This will help you maintain focus and be more alert for a longer period of time during the day.

    4. Fast

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day right? Wrong. This has been proven to be a little touch of propaganda created by good ole Kellog’s in the 19th century to sell their breakfast cereals. Crazy, right?

    Fasting in the morning has lots of data supporting its benefits like; improved sugar control, improvements in heart health, brain function and importantly provides a cheeky adrenaline boost. When adrenaline is within its optimal range (not too low, not too high) it gives us a heightened sense of focus and the ability to absorb information. Huberman recommends eating your first meal of the day around 11am or 12pm. 

    5. Physical Exercise

    This one seems a little bit obvious but is nonetheless important. Huberman recommends exercising for 1 hour, 5 times a week. If you can do it in the morning that's great, if you can't that's fine too. The data is undeniable though, weight training exercise maintains muscular health and cardio is beneficial for the muscles, organs and brain.

    While this 5 day regiment is important, it is equally important to have what he refers to as “weekend drift” where you recover and rest for 1 day of the week and don’t stick to any type of schedule. 

    Final Thoughts

    Staying in tune with your circadian rhythm and knowing your temperature minimum is important to your everyday health. Following a similar routine daily will help your body to stimulate the right biological chemicals at the right time in your 24 hour cycle. Let’s not go too overboard though, stay up late, party and socialise when you want to but try to find an equilibrium for the rest of the week.

    If you stay up late try your best to wake up around the same time as usual (unless the hangover's brutal), this will help to keep your body in a nice rhythm. The first 2 steps of Huberman’s morning routine are pretty easy; figure out your temperature minimum, go for a walk in the morning and hydrate. The latter 3 can seem a little more difficult and require a bit of work before they become second nature. 

    Either way, try it out for a week and see how it feels. If you think Andrew Huberman is as interesting as we do, check out his Huberman Lab podcast.

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    Author Bio

    I went into the field of neuroscience not realising the profound connection between science, spirituality and ancient tradition. I share some fascinating connections between science and spirituality that will hopefully shift your perspective on what it means to be spiritual.