Bio-hacking Best Practices from Coach Siim Land
Siim Land is an author, blogger, content creator, an aspiring speaker, and a high-performance coach. He’s been doing biohacking and self-experimentation ever since he turned 18. In this interview, Siim answered our questions so we could get a glimpse into his daily routine in order to uncover tips and tricks for a healthier life. This interview is divided into three parts: Waking up, Sleeping and Dieting.
WAKING UP WITH ENERGY
Waking up sounds the beginning of the day and you know the importance of a good wake up. You even wrote an e-book called “Waking up Empowered”. Why do you believe it to be so important?
"The way you wake up determines how the rest of the day is going to go. If you start ruminating over negative thoughts or hit the snooze, then you’re telling your brain what kind of a rhythm to follow. On the other hand, if you get up doing something productive such as meditation or making your bed, you’re dragging momentum to your side and everything else gets easier as well.
There’s a reason people use the idiom of stepping out of bed with the wrong foot. Your brain is plastic and always listening to the feedback it receives from your thoughts, emotions, and actions. That’s why I believe in getting quick wins as soon as possible. It can be taking a cold shower, reading a few pages, writing a journal or exercise. Whatever puts you into the flow of things. In any case, train your brain to avoid negativity and procrastination."
What would be your top tips for a better wake up? How do you personally combat sleep inertia?
"The best tip for a restful wake-up is to wake up naturally without an alarm clock. This way your brain will gradually pull you out of sleep at the lightest stage of sleep and at the end of a sleep cycle. Sleep inertia happens when you get shooked from a deep sleep in the middle of it.
Ideally, you want to not use an alarm clock and stick to a consistent bedtime so your body could develop the habit of waking you up around the same time. If this is not possible, then using specific smart alarm clock or circadian alarm clocks that start calibrating light towards more brightness to mimic the sunrise is also useful."
What does your routine look like right after waking up?
"After getting clothed I make my bed and go outside to get some fresh air and daylight. This will kickstart the proper circadian rhythm. I may also do some breathing exercises and stretches to get the blood flowing. Then I go inside and start working on my laptop until noon."
SLEEPING MORE EFFECTIVELY
Do you have any sleep hygiene tips that are easily implemented?
"Use blue-blocking glasses to filter out artificial light in the evening. This protects your circadian rhythms and enables the body to produce melatonin the sleep hormone."
Can you explain the relationship between sleep on activity and better performances?
"Sleep facilitates recovery and adaptation. Without enough sleep, your body wouldn’t be able to repair itself from both cognitive and physical activities. Poor sleep also decreases reaction time, alertness and mood."
You also talk about sleep and fat loss. How is that directly affected?
"Sleep improves the body’s metabolic flexibility and insulin sensitivity. Sleep deprivation raises blood sugar and cortisol the stress hormone, which makes it easier to get diabetes and gain weight. Psychologically, short sleep also makes you want to eat more food and you’re less satisfied with it."
Serotonin and thus Melatonin impact our Circadian rhythms and finding the perfect sleep balance is key for a good night’s sleep and to improve our energy. How can one boost his melatonin/serotonin secretion?
"Light exposure affects melatonin the most. That’s why blue blockers and dimming down the lights in the evening are crucial. Certain foods with some carbs and protein will also promote serotonin, which leads to the creation of melatonin. The best foods for that tend to be poultry, meat, bananas, rice, and cherries."
We’d then be tempted to take melatonin (or other) supplements. Is it a solution in on the long run? Are there natural supplements out there that offer a better alternative?
"Taking supplements is a quick-fix that doesn’t address the underlying cause. It should be used only in some cases like jet lag or poor sleep and not as a staple. Instead, you should focus more on the light environment, food intake and stress management."
What would be your main takeaways and pieces of advice for better sleep? Are they any gadgets, products or hacks you can recommend?
"In my own experience, filtering out bright lights in the evening is the most effective strategy for getting better sleep. This way you’ll naturally get sleepier. Tracking your sleep with gadgets will also give you more insight into how well you sleep."
DIETING: KETO, FASTING, OMAD...
With everything that is said above, we might get conflicting information about which diet to carry out. With your experience and personal findings, what have you found to be the best diet?
"The optimal diet depends on the person’s energy requirements, genetics, lifestyle, and preference. Generally, anything that helps you to lose weight and stay lean will improve your health and sleep better. Overeating even healthy food isn’t a good idea but whole foods that are minimally processed tend to be the healthiest. Most people also undereat protein, which is the most important macronutrient for improving body composition. Hyperpalatable foods that combine fats and carbs together are low in protein, which is why you tend to overeat them. Higher fiber intake will also create more satiety while keeping the overall calories low. Carbs should be calibrated based on exercise intensity and activity levels.
Skipping meals and doing some intermittent fasting has been shown to be effective for improving body composition but it also has many longevity and anti-aging benefits. That’s why I eat only 1-2 times a day and avoid snacking."
What are the main reasons for trying to stick to such a diet?
"A high satiety diet that helps you to improve your body composition will make your body more metabolically flexible and helps to stay healthy in the modern food environment."
Have you found any negative impacts of such eating habits? What about positive impacts?
"More energy, easier to stay lean and having more muscle makes my body burn more calories at rest."
Would you have any advice for anyone trying to start implementing such diets?
"Focus on nutrient density and not calorie density. Chew your food properly in a low-stress environment to avoid overeating."
To go further with biohacking
If you wish to learn more about how to master your body, develop your mind, build muscle, lose fat, get motivated, achieve your goals, get more energy and increase productivity, check out Siim’s youtube channel here. Don’t hesitate to also follow him on his socials: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
You can also check out his website here with an incredibly vast amount of resources with blog posts, podcasts, e-books and much more.