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How To Simulate A Full Sleep Cycle In 20 Minutes, The Best Stress Biohack That Exists, Vagus Nerve Stimulation & Much More!

Ben Greenfield Fitness

Release Date: 06/15/2019

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More Episodes

I'm constantly playing and experimenting with new devices and so-called biohacks to enhance sleep and cognition.

One of my favorites of late is a very handy device called the NuCalm, which I've been using to simulate an entire 120 minute sleep cycle with just a 20 minute daily powernap.

The NuCalm is a next-level cranial electrotherapy stimulation device that uses both a relaxation cream and mild stimulation to help your brain interrupt the adrenaline and cortisol release by mimicking what naturally occurs in your brain right before you sleep. It includes an app with “music” – which is actually neuroacoustic software that delivers frequencies to your brain which take you down to theta brain wavelength.

This thing lets me get a 20-minute intense period of relaxation even when I can’t nap, and I’m now ducking away and using it nearly every day, particularly during travel and on airplanes. It’s spendy, but in my opinion, well worth it. You can get a NuCalm here and save $500 with code: BEN500. My guest on this show is Jim Poole Chairman, President and CEO of Solace Lifesciences, Inc., the maker of NuCalm. J

im is an accomplished business executive with extensive experience in the healthcare,. biotechnology, dental, market research, and IT industries. Mr. Poole manages the strategic direction and ongoing operations of Solace Lifesciences, Inc., a neuroscience company focused on personalized wellness and performance.

In 2015, Solace Lifesciences, the maker of NuCalm, was granted the world’s sole patent for “Systems and Methods for Balancing and Maintaining the Health of the Human Autonomic Nervous System.”

Mr. Poole has successfully launched global products, managed growth strategies, and effectively optimized business operations for large and small organizations alike. Prior to joining Solace Lifesciences, Jim co-founded Focused Evolution, a premier global management strategy-consulting firm.

As a Managing Partner, he managed mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, and growth strategies for venture capital and private equity firms. Under Jim’s leadership, Focused Evolution grew into a multi-million dollar consulting firm, serving a global client portfolio of 49 companies, across a broad in a range of industries. Jim serves on the board of directors of several medical device firms around the world.

He is a recognized business leader, public speaker, an accomplished author, and has published numerous articles in industry trade journals and lectures all over the world globally on topics including stress, recovery, performance, and business strategy. Jim has published over 30 articles in industry trade journals. A New York state native, Poole earned a BA in psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MBA in International Business & Marketing from Babson College.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-What exactly is a NuCalm?...8:30

  • Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES)
  • Designed to halt the stress response and raise the parasympathetic response
  • Was developed over the course of 20 years by a neuroscientist/quantum physicist/naturopath, Dr. Holloway
    • He's not myopic: you'll find biochemistry, electrical signaling
  • Physiological benefit of living like a monk
  • The hand-held device is the core of the product
    • Brain and body communicate in 2 ways: chemical and electrical messaging
    • Cycles brain wave function into data
    • Key is in controlling the adrenal glands
  • It's FDA cleared to treat insomnia, anxiety, depression
  • Amino acid GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid0); the antithesis of adrenal stimulation
  • GABA is transmitted to the brain via the cream
  • Shuts down the HPA axis (adrenals)
  • The cream contains, in addition to GABA, taurine, glycine, casein tryptic hydrolysate (the protein found in mother's milk)
  • If you didn't get all that, get this: The device relaxes the nervous system, which allows the GABA in the cream to reach the brain and work its magic

-How the audio features in the NuCalm app enhance the user experience...22:20

  • Binaural beats:
    • Discovered in 1839
    • The ear can't hear them; they bring the signal into the brain
  • Binaural signal processing (512 hz into the left ear; 500 hz into the right ear)
  • Reticular activating system: Stimulation filter to the brain
    • Two functions: pattern recognition and find a shortcut
  • One track on the NuCalm app is over 700 mb of data (compared to 5-6 mb on an iTunes track)
  • Non-linear oscillating algorithm:
  • Takes the brain from beta (awake) to alpha and theta
    • Theta is when the cells cleanup and create energy source for themselves (healing zone)

-The science behind going through an entire sleep cycle in a 20 minute power nap...28:00

  • NuCalm's claims attracted top scientists to validate them
  • World's preeminent expert in HRV verified that the NuCalm truncates a 2 hours of sleep into 20 minutes
  • Won "best of CES" at Consumer Electronics Show
  • Dr. Hollowell was resistant to creating a 20 minute track mimicking an entire sleep cycle (was 40-50 minutes)
  • Supply followed demand; after months of research the 20 minute track was a reality

-How the NuCalm device measures heart-rate variability...37:40

  • Low frequency (LF) pertains sympathetic nervous system
  • High frequency (HF) the parasympathetic
  • Monk-like meditation level within one minute
  • Took 5 years to secure a patent on the technology
    • Worked with the most renowned experts on HRV
    • C.K. Peng
  • Captured date from 2 groups: metastatic stage 4 cancer, professional athletes
  • LF is lowered while raising the HF
  • 100 patients with depression and anxiety were studied with astounding results after using the device
  • We understand intuitively that stress causes disease, but don't understand why
    • We can't understand the intangible
    • Long-term time horizons make us apathetic in our youth
  • High-stress/poor sleep lifestyle = not enough time in theta or the 2nd stage of sleep
  • Cancer is the best way to articulate the breakdown
    • We all have cancer in our bodies, however our immune system kills them when it's functioning properly
    • Stress breaks down this function over time
  • Physiological benefit:
    • It activates the vagus nerve
    • Slows breath down to one breath per 10 seconds
    • Syncs heart with the lungs
    • Fully oxygenated

-How the NuCalm affects recovery...47:55

  • Elite military units use the device for expedited recovery without the use of drugs
  • It takes the foot off the accelerator, in a manner of speaking
  • Return on investment: 30 minutes yields 12-15 hours of highly focused work
  • Autonomic system is key to managing stress, anxiety, fear, etc.
    • The itty bitty shitty subcommittee in the back of your brain goes away
    • Without proper sleep, we literally stress ourselves to death
  • The offer is not to cure or heal anything; it's to alleviate stress and allow the body to heal itself, the immune system to fight disease
  • Even monks love the device

-The NuCalm's effect on the nervous system beyond HRV and the vagus nerve...56:30

  • 24 page study 

-How the NuCalm affects (or interrupts) your normal sleep schedule...1:01:05

  • Don't take the power nap close to normal bedtime
  • 15 minute rule: use it as an aid to fall back asleep in the middle of the night
  • Sweet spot: between 1-4 pm (normal time body wants to take a nap)
  • Your body cannot compensate for sleep debt
    • NuCalm is not a "hack" for getting less sleep
    • If you live 100 years, you should sleep for 33 years
  • You stay in theta during the NuCalm power nap (which is where the body heals itself); ordinarily you'll be in delta
  • The body relies on GABA during sleep
    • The body keeps the nutrients it needs; secretes what it doesn't
    • The GABA in the cream during a mid-day power nap will still be there when you go to bed at night

-Final rapid-fire questions...1:10:45 

  • Whether there is any efficacy in increasing the cranial electrical stimulation using the device
  • About the other settings on the device (relaxation and recovery)
  • About the Ignite app [link] (sympathetic stimulation)
    • Opposite effect of the NuCalm
    • Can be used in tandem, but not independently of NuCalm

-And much more...


Resources from this episode:

-NuCalm: The NuCalm is a next-level cranial electrotherapy stimulation device that uses both a cream and mild stimulation to help your brain interrupt the adrenaline and cortisol release by mimicking what naturally occurs in your brain right before you sleep. It includes an app with “music” – which is actually neuroacoustic software that delivers frequencies to your brain which take you down to theta brain wavelength. This thing lets me get a 20-minute intense period of relaxation even when I can’t nap, and I’m now ducking away and using it nearly every day, particularly during travel and on airplanes. It’s spendy, but in my opinion, well worth it. You can get it here and save $500 with code: BEN500. -

The Fisher Wallace Circadia Ben mentions early in the interview

-The other apps Ben mentions:

  • Sleepstream
  • Pzizz
  • Brain.FM

-Ecomeditation .mp3 for simulating sleep

-Yoga Nidra for sleep

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Jim or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!