The Science of Switch On

Resilient Nutrition

THE RATIONALE BEHIND SWITCH ON A huge number of us don’t look, feel or perform our best because we don’t routinely sleep well. There are many forms of sleep problems. Some sleep issues are common, such as recurrent sleep restriction (not getting as much sleep as needed) and “social jetlag” (shifting sleep times between workdays and work-free days). Other sleep problems are more debilitating, however, and these include 6 broad categories of sleep disorders (insomnia, circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, sleep-related breathing disorders, sleep-related movement disorders, parasomnias, disorders of hypersomnolence). Perhaps unsurprisingly, some sleep problems have been exacerbated by COVID-19 lockdowns....

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The human body is astonishingly resilient...

Resilient Nutrition

WHEN IT GETS WHAT IT NEEDS Life on Earth has evolved over several billion years. During this process evolution has produced a wonderful diversity of living beings, each of which has progressed through a huge number of iterations to tailor it to survive in its ecological niche. Some organisms fare better than others, and we humans have in many ways been uniquely successful - so successful in fact that we now live in the Anthropocene, a period in which our species is strongly affecting ecosystems and the climate across the globe. It is in no small part the resilience of...

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What Happens to Your Body When You Go Without Food?

Greg Potter

Many of us are in privileged positions: Whereas it was presumably common for some of our ancestors to experience famine, nowadays food is so abundant that people deliberately fast for extended periods for health benefits. This practice is rooted in science, for intelligent use of fasting can be therapeutic. The punctuated stress of fasting can trigger myriad adaptations that bolster resilience, protecting against a range of future stressors, and people can successfully use fasts of 5 to 21 days multiple times within a single year. We should not take our good fortune for granted, however. The Ukraine War, climate change,...

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Life in a “Blue Zone”: Reflections on Sardinia

Greg Potter

Today’s blog is a departure from previous ones. Over the last couple of years, I’ve spent quite a long time in Sardinia, an island famed for being home to some unusually long-lived people. Some of the early work showing this was done by Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain as part of a National Geographic project. Having identified Nuoro in Sardinia as an area home to some strikingly old men, they drew concentric blue circles on a map to highlight where these people clustered and began referring to the regions as “Blue Zones”. Dan Buettner, a charismatic storyteller and explorer, has...

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