The Best Barefoot Shoes for Every Occasion

There's no better feeling than your bare feet against the soft ground, your toes squishing in the mud and the great connection you feel with the earth. Well at least that how it is for me. Your experience may be different. 

No matter how you feel about walking barefoot, the evidence shows that we were not meant to wear the types of footwear which are commonplace today.

OUR FEET

Our feet are were made to get us from point A to point B. Before the domestication of horses, and for many people long after, our feet have been our primary mode of transportation. We are able to walk great distances EVERY day without many of the problems associated with our feet in this modern era. So what's wrong today?

In the grand scheme of things, footwear is a relatively recent invention. Modern footwear is almost certainly hurting your feet! Modern shoes are certainly worse for your feet than the shoes your ancestors used to wear.

For most of us, wearing shoes is just what we did from an early age.

I hear so many parents today yelling at their children to put shoes on before they go out the door. My own parents have yelled at my kids to put on shoes before they go outside. "It's cold out, put on shoes!"  "You can't go without shoes" and other lines. It turns out you can go outside without shoes, even in cold weather, and it's definitely healthier. We've also gotten away with walking into a car dealership without shoes (because we forgot to put a pair in the car) and we never bring shoes with us when we leave the house for jiujitsu practice. 

Your shoes are forcing you to walk with an unnatural gait, deforming your feet (Chinese foot binding anyone?) and is most likely the cause of knee and foot pain.

The majority of people wearing shoes will experience knee and foot pain often related to the shoes they are wearing. Never knowing that they could often alleviate this pain through using appropriate footwear.

In Daniel Vitalis’s ReWild Yourself Podcast #140, a medical foot doctor describes something crazy that we're doing to our feet. He says that people having bunion surgery are actually cutting off a natural part of their foot. The bunion is actually caused by trying to fit our feet into unnaturally narrow shoes (which are the majority of shoes on the market) and this pushes the big toe into the other toes, causing the bone to appear to protrude out the side of the toe. In fact, this is the natural position of the bone and only appears to protrude because the toe has been squashed into the wrong place. Many people opt for surgery to remove this “bunion” which is actually a natural part of their foot.

Don’t let this happen to you.

You can prevent this. You can even reverse your foot problems by slowly transitioning to the right footwear and learning to go barefoot as much as possible. Most people can do this. Please listen to this podcast and learn some of the tools and practices you can implement to support your feet.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH SHOES?

Most foot related issues and many issues with the knees and hips can be traced back to standard footwear in some way. Whether you know it or not, most adults in America have feet that aren't anything like what nature intended for us. Most people purchase 

Most people purchase shoes out of convenience, comfort or the way they look. The problem with that is most shoes will, over time, change the actual shape of your foot, leading to many of the problems below.

WHICH SHOES WOULD YOU WEAR?

Make the wrong choice and you may be setting yourself up for a lifetime of foot pain.

According to Kelly Starrett and a handful of medical studies, wearing the wrong footwear can cause knee pain, foot pain and ankle pain, much of it due to shortened heel cords and improper functioning of the foot.

Stop wearing shoes with heels and start wearing flat shoes, otherwise referred to as zero drop. Ideally, you would go most of the day without shoes, but not everyone can do that. 

We'll dig into the best barefoot shoes for you based on our trials at work, play and travel.

HIGH HEELS AREN’T JUST FOR WOMEN

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We may think that high heels are only for women and men don’t have to worry about heels, at least barring the men who like to wear women’s high heeled shoes. But we would be wrong.

In the photo above you see my old pair of black leather shoes I used to wear often. My feet and calves would hurt so much after wearing those "fashionable shoes". Look at those heels!

Men, listen up. Check out those heels on your leather dress shoes and the more traditional pairs you have in your closet. Yes, most men's shoes have quite a significant heel on them. In fact, check out the heels on the running and athletic shoes you have in your gym bag.

Men and women’s athletic shoes may not appear to have heels in the same obvious way that dress shoes do, but most athletic shoes come with a huge heel cushion, causing the heel to be higher than the toes.  Take a look at these athletic shoes and notice the difference between the height of the heel and the toe. You’ll notice that the heel cushion causes the toe to be sloped down.

Even these minimalist looking men’s dress shoes have a much higher heel than the toe, and trust us, there's way better options that looks just as good, or better, without the heel.

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While we may not think of men wearing high heels, in fact, many of us men ARE wearing high heels. Like it or not, most of the shoes we all wear do have heels, in that the heel of our foot is much higher than our toe.

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Picture from "Why Shoes Make "Normal" Gait Impossible"

When we stand on the ground barefoot, which is how our bodies were designed to operate, our whole body should be perpendicular to the floor. Does that happen when we wear shoes with heels?

NO!

Heels throw our body completely out of alignment, and because of that, our body needs to compensate. That actually alters our normal center of gravity and stresses our body while completely altering the way we walk.

What’s Wrong with Heel Cushions

Heels in dress shoes may be fashionable but are likely easy to do away with, for men. But what about the heel cushion in athletic footwear. That heel cushion is what causes the heel to be higher than the toe, but it also cushions the heel during the impact of a run, jump or lift. But the heel cushion is probably causing more people to strike the ground with their heel, a poor mechanical compensation. Striking with the heel on a walk or run is not how the body was designed. Heel cushions are not only making it easier to heel strike, but may be casuing it. This is not good news because heel striking is bad enough and a high heel can cause issues in our legs, feet and knees.

Dr. Kelly Starrett, a physical therapist, CrossFit gym owner, and advocate for wearing flat shoes makes the point that the time we spend in shoes with significant heels causes the tissues in the lower leg to shorten and form into states of poor mobility. He likens shoes with heels, including athletic shoes to Chinese foot binding.

It all adds up. We are wearing these heels essentially from birth, our heel chords shorten and never receive the range of motion in normal daily activity that they should. It’s like wearing a cast on your foot. Then, when we play a sport or go for a run, we ask these tissues to handle a greater stress and range of motion than they have been adapted to and this can cause pain and injury.

2014 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise considered the common practices of runners in regards to heel-raised footwear and found that those wearing cushioned heel running shoes with a heel offset of 10mm above the toe caused increased stress to the Achilles. A 6-10mm offset in heel height is common in most athletic shoes.

While cushioning in running, work and dress shoes is a great idea and can protect the foot from the various hard surfaces we stride over each day, the raised heel is something that we think needs to go away.

We at PrimalHacker think everyone should wear the minimum drop shoe they can get away with whether engaged in an athletic activity or working all day. We like to wear zero drop shoes to both work and the gym.

What Does Zero Drop Mean?

Zero drop simply is the measure of the distance of the heel off the ground versus the ball of the foot off the ground. On decent shoes, you will find the drop differential listed in the sales literature. For example, looking up a pair of Innov8 shoes on Amazon tells me that some have 0mm drop and some have 4mm drop. Most shoes list the differential in millimeters (mm). Get a zero drop shoe or as close to it as you can.

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FOOT RELATED ISSUES

Shortened Heel Chords and Achilles Tendinitis

A huge issue that comes from wearing shoes with a heel is the shortening of your own heel chords and calf muscles. This moves the center of your mass forward over your toes instead of over the heels where it is supposed to be.

We were born with heels that are meant to be on the ground. As we said above, almost all traditional shoes have a raised heel whether it looks like it or not. When we elevate our heels, our heel cords start to shorten which can lead to many issues down the road, not to mention the increased risk of injury.

Achilles Tendinitis is one of the common issues and can even cause problems to people that transition too quickly to barefoot running. Your Achilles allows you to run on your forefoot or midfoot and absorbs the landing forces of each stride. If you're used to running in a traditional trainer with a built-up heel platform, the sudden difference in workload can be too much for a tendon that's been babied by modern running technology.

Check out this video from with Kelley Starrett to learn more.

Plantar Fasciitis and Arch Issues

Plantar Fasciitis is caused by inflammation, tearing and stretching of the plantar fascia, hence the name. The plantar fascia is the band of connective tissue that goes from the ball of your foot to the heel. 

I don't know how many people I have talked to that belive the NEED arch supports in their shoes. Just to let you know, you were born with arch support. The problem is that the first time you put on shoes that do the supporting for your foot is being weakened and even causing it damage 

Narrowing of the Foot and Bunions 

"What a bunion truly represents is a progressive dislocation of the big toe joint caused by footwear." - Dr. Ray McClanahan

Bunions are when your big toe no longer lines up in a straight line with your first metatarsal. They are not a growth that needs to be removed.  Almost all traditional footwear available hold your foot in that position so it comes as no surprise that so many people have these types of issues.  Bunions occur when your footwear pushes your big toe towards the second toe, which takes part of the big toe off of where it should be bending on the first metatarsal and gives the appearance of something growing on the outside of the foot.

Let me make this perfectly clear, there is nothing growing there. Ther isn't extra bone, a calcium deposit or anything that shouldn't be there. That is just your bone! The reason it sticks out like that is that your big toe has been pushed WAY to far out of alignment. 

So for anyone thinking about getting an operation to remove your bunions, PLEASE DON'T! You will be removing part of your actual bone and there are ways to fix it without surgery.

Additional Issues

From your feet all the way up to your neck, many issues stem from the shoes we wear. It's quite overwhelming how many issues can be related to footwear. 

While all of the items above are all issues with the foot, shoes can also cause many other problems in your legs, hips, back and even neck. One study on patients with osteoarthritis in the knees even showed that walking barefoot significantly decreases the load on your knees and hips. It also showed that:

"Peak joint loads at the hips and knees significantly decreased during barefoot walking, with an 11.9% reduction noted in the knee adduction moment. Stride, cadence, and range of motion at the lower extremity joints also changed significantly, but these changes could not explain the reduction in the peak joint loads."

 

HOW TO FIX MANY ISSUES RELATED TO FOOTWEAR

Spend Time Barefoot

The first thing you should do to correct and reduce your chances of problems down the road is to start spending as much time as possible barefoot. The easiest place to start is in your home. Take your shoes off when you walk in the door and keep them off. Also, spend some time walking around outdoors barefoot on the grass on the beach. Once your feet start to get used to this you can progressively introduce different types of terrain into your walks.

Minimalist Shoes

Besides being barefoot as much as possible, transitioning to barefoot or minimalist type shoes is one of the best things you can do to start fixing these issues. There are many different types of minimalist shoes available so we decided to try out quite a few of them to find out what the best options are.

Most of these shoes aren't available at normal stores so you may have to order them online. If you do decide to continue shopping at normal brick and mortar shoe or department stores, here are some tips to get the best shoes possible.

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  1. Heel- Get shoes with the smallest heel as possible. You may have to do some research on your shoe to find out how close to zero drop they are. 0mm-4mm drop is what you are shooting for.
  2. Toe- Place your shoes on a flat surface and make sure that the toe of the shoe is flat on the surface, not raised like the picture above. This is common with many athletic shoes.
  3. Toe Width- The best way to find a shoe with enough room for your toe when buying from a store is to remove the sock liner and stand on it. That's the thin removable insole in many shoes. When standing on it, make sure that you can spread your toes without them going off the liner.

 

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Correct Toes

One of the best ways that I have found to correct bunions and many other foot related issues is by using a product created by Dr. Ray McClanahan called Correct Toes, which are silicone toe spacers.

Using these spacers, Dr. McClanahan treats many different running injuries along with foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, heel spurs, bunions along with other things.

The way those toes look with the spacers in them are much closer to the way our feet are supposed to look. Instead of the toes close together and in many cases, pinched together, they should be spread. The spread of the toes gives us much greater balance and a better stride when walking.

The only negative to this product is in my opinion, the price. For what it is, I think $65 is a little overpriced. 

 ARE THERE BAREFOOT SHOES AVAILABLE?

Normal shoes make our feet weak and can cause a host of foot problems.

I learned about barefoot shoes from Daniel Vitalis on his ReWild Yourself podcast.  I like Daniel and I really trust his opinion when it comes to gear. He's really put it to the test.

Chris and I met him at the Bulletproof Conference, and he's the real deal.

After checking out barefoot shoes online, Chris and I decided to try out the Vivo Barefoot shoe first.  And low and behold a 60% off sale was happening, and the ad got me to click through to the site. They had shoes from 20-60% off and we decided to make the leap and give these a try.

The rest is history. We spent over $1000 on barefoot shoes and tried them in the woods, in the coporate office, and walking around town. We even wore some to the Spartan Race. What you'll find below is an updated version of our shoe trials.  After tyring to many shoes, Some of the shoes companies have now given to us some shoes to try out. We only recommend shoes we liked. 

XEROSHOES

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I walked 30 miles in the Prio XeroShoes and 22 miles in the Z-Trail XeroShoe sandals in just 4 days. All over Boston, NYC, and Walden Woods. These shoes and sandals never let me down. My feet were happy and I felt great. These have become my absolute favorite shoes!

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PRIMETROTTER

Our favorite barefoot shoe for work, if you're looking for something both traditional, stylish and very unique is handmade, bespoke, leather shoes from Primetrotter. Primetrotter made a pair of shoes for both Chris and me over the winter.

We measured our feet. 

Traced them on paper. 

Chose the leather color and style we liked best. 

We then sent all this over to Primetrotter along with any instructions for unique styling on the shoes. 

Thaddeus ordered the bespoke boots and asked for a wingtip style to be added to the boots.

What came back to use was simply amazing!

First, the package, shipped over from Greece was really neat.

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Next, the box they came in was beautiful

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The shoes themselves were so light and smelled of fresh leather

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and they fit like Butter

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You can use code PrimalHacker for money off your own unique order. Be sure to just send them an email or use comments to tell them the code and they will take 5% off your order. 

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VIVOBAREFOOT SHOES

We just got you guys a discount on these shoes! -  PRIMALVB with get you 10% off your next order!

VivoBarefoot's goal is to allow you to reconnect. Reconnect your feet to the world rather than keeping them insulated from any sensation of the ground. And reconnecting you to your childhood, where you ran barefoot outdoors.

Sustainable

As a sustainability professional, I look for companies that are eliminating toxic chemicals in the products I buy and sourcing materials in a way that enhances nature.

Vivo claims to use local and recycled materials whenever possible. They also use leather from wild roaming cattle and sustainably tanned hides to minimize water and chemical use.

Durable

Importantly, they claim to make a durable shoe. This is super important for us. I once bought some Tony Hawk flat skate shoes from Kohls for $15 after Kohls usual and insane discounts added in. They lasted one season. I want a nice pair of shoes to last many years. Vivo claims they intend to make durable shoes that get better through use and make you love them more the more you wear them. Sounds awesome.

Shaped

Vivobarefoot shoes are made wide and flexible with a thin sole vs standard cushioned soles with narrow and stiff architecture. These shoes are made to let your feet be feet. Check out this really great graphic on shoe shaped shoes vs foot shaped shoes on foot, knee and overall health.

Check out our review of the Vivos and other minimalist shoes below.

OUR 6 MONTH TRIAL

Check out Chris's Unboxing Video HERE.

CHRIS

VivoBarefoot

I have an over 40-mile hiking trail that runs along the edge of my property so I'm always either on the trail or just out in the woods.

I really wanted a hiking book that I could wear year round and also more of a trail running shoe. I decided to get the Tracker FG and the Primus FG.

"I'm going to put these to the test during trail runs on the wooded trail and hiking about my property."

Will they hold up to the rugged use?

I hope so because they aren't cheap.

Sizing

One thing to mention is a little difference in sizing. I normally wear a 11 or 11.5 depending on the shoe. Since I can fit most size 11 shoes comfortably and these shoes supposably are a little big since they're minimalist shoes, I figured a size 11 would be perfect. The Primus Trail FG fit great but the Trackers were real tight. Hoping that the leather just needed a little loosening up I took them for a hike. I even tried to get the leather a little wet.

That didn't work so I decided to contact their customer service. Since I had worn them outside I knew that I wouldn't be able to send them back, but I did want another pair so I asked them if I could get the same price that I bought them for( I got them during a really good sale). Even though I explained to them about the size difference and that another size 11 fit great they would not give me the same deal AT ALL. No discount what-so-ever. Their customer service people seemed not to care at all.

I still wear them but they are super tight so can't be worn with socks which sucks for the winter time.

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Primus Trail FG

I quickly learned that the Primus Trail FG had horrible traction on anything but dry, firm ground. Even the dew from the morning made running in these a little dangerous. These have become my normal everyday shoes when I am going out places and don't want to wear the Vibram 5 fingers. I'd recommend these to anyone looking to start a more barefoot lifestyle. They even come with removable insoles that you can use if your feet aren't used to minimal padding. I still use these insoles if I have to run on gravel.

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Tracker FG

The same goes for the Tracker FG in regards to the traction issue, which really bummed me out since I was wanting to use them for hiking. I still use them but I have to be very careful when walking on slicker ground. Especially when I am going up or down hills.

Just for clarification, the FG stands for firm ground and the SG for soft ground. Even knowing that I assumed that since they were for trail running that they would be good when the ground was just damp for the morning dew. 

Not so, AT ALL!

Another thing that I love about these is the lack of noise as I move through the woods. I feel like I am walking with moccasins. 

Even with the traction and sizing issues, I still love these boots A LOT! They are waterproof and if I could wear thick socks with them, they would keep my feet very warm during the winter. Hopefully, I can catch them on sale again so I can get a bigger size or maybe they'll come out with a version of these with better traction.

Primus Trail SG

The Primus Trail SG has much better treads and grips the ground much better.

Way better!

I almost feel like I am running in cleats when I have these on.

The only problem I found with them is that I had to really break them in before they were comfortable. When I first got them I went out for a short 1.5 mile trail run just to break them in. After just a few minutes on the trail, I had 3 raw spots on my feet and had to take them off and walk barefoot just to get back. I normally don't wear socks with minimalist shoes so you may be able to minimize this by wearing them.

Use CODE     PRIMALVB for a discount.

Check Out VivoBarefoot's Shoes

CARETS

Carets is a strange name for shoes. We met Mountain, the owner of Carets, at Paleo FX 2018. He hooked us up with a pair of barefoot dress shoes. 

The packaging blew us away. The attention to detail and feel of luxury with these shoes was incredible. 

From the packaging:

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To the little details like the shoe inserts, the thank you note and the individual cloth wrapped shoe.

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We love the Primal wording on the bottom

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Carets looks like they have a heel, for the dressy and stylish look we're all used to, but they don't actually have a heel and are true zero drop shoes.

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Carets even allows you to return the shoes after 365 days if they don't fit properly. And they offer a service to replace the soles ao you don't need to buy yet another pair of shoes and break them in.

These shoes fit wonderfully. If you're in need of a barefoot dressy shoe, here you go. 

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Vibram

The Vibram 5 Fingers are probably my favorite everyday shoe. I ended up buying the V-Trail since it had the best soles for trail running. Since wearing them I have noticed that my feet have slowly started to regain the look of a healthy foot. My toes have started to spread, the use and range of motion of my toes have seen great improvement. I really love trail running with these because the separate toes allow me to grip hills that I am climbing and really feel the surface underneath my feet.

I wear these shoes almost daily for running, hiking working outside or just around town and when they are clean still look brand new. These shoes are built to last and I have no problem believing that they will last for years to come.

The only issue I had with these shoes is that it can take a little bit of time to get them on. When I first started wearing them it could be a little frustrating trying to get my toes into the right places, especially when I was in a hurry to get out the door. After about a month though my toes started finding the right spot all on their own.

Check out Vibram 5 Fingers

 

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EarthRunners

The EarthRunners sandals are a minimalist running sandal that features a copper plug on the bottom that allows you to stay grounded to the earth without being barefoot.

I ordered the Circadian model because of the reported all weather traction that allowed you to run on any terrain. I really love the feel of running in these sandals, that is until they get wet. Once they are wet my feet slide around in them and running is not very comfortable.

I've stopped using these for running and use them mainly to take walks. They feel great and I get the benefit of grounding while being almost barefoot.

Pluggz

Thaddeus and I both got these sandals with the Biohacked subscription box from Dave Asprey. The sandals have a "plug" in the bottom of them that grounds you similar to the EarthRunners. The difference is that this plug is much bigger and you can really feel it when walking on uneven or hard ground.

When walking on soft, even ground they feel great.. Until I step on a rock or stick which shoves the plug up into the bottom of my foot. It doesn't hurt but wouldn't be comfortable to walk on for long periods of time.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS 

Displaying IMG_9621.jpg My favorite shoes are the Vibram 5 Fingers and the VivoBarefoot Primus Trail FG. These are the two shoes that you will find me in most days and I love them both. I also really love the feel and look of the Tracker FG. Hopefully, I can get a larger pair during a good sale soon. It would also be great if they started to make these with the SG sole Use CODE    PRIMAL123 for a discount

If I'm wanting to wear a sandal, then the EarthRunners are definitely my goto. While I like flip-flops, the Pluggz are just too uncomfortable to be worn for long periods of time for me.

THADDEUS

Primus, Gobi, Tracker FG, SAAMI LITE

 I hike through the snow in Minnesota daily with my dog on plowed paths and across snowy soccer fields. I tested the snow, ice, and waterproof capabilities, warmth, and comfort of the SAAMI LITE. First of all, these are very comfortable shoes. Vivo does not always offer half sizes. So no 9.5 or 10.5 and notes to size down if you are between sizes. I found this to be exactly the opposite. I wear size 10, so bought size 10. They are totally too small. My feet rub a bit at the top of all the shoes I bought and I would suggest sizing up!   After a full winter of wearing the boots, they held up perfectly, but I found them lacking. For a MN winter, they were a bit chilly though. I’d like some additional insulation in these for a true winter boot. But for getting around town and short walks they were fine. I also found that the soles were not very grippy. Ice and snow caused me many slips and near spills. I’d definitely like to see better tread on a winter boot.  Vivo Barefoot told me that the wax just had to wear off and they would be grippier, but I did not find that to be the case. Overall, not warm enough and slippery tread makes these a non ideal boot for winter in the north.

 

Displaying IMG_9631.jpgDisplaying IMG_9584.jpgGobi II on my feet in a suit. 2nd photo Gobi II on top, common dress shoe below. 

I also picked up a pair of the GOBI IIs for travel. I travel 2 weeks every single month through various airports and locales. I wanted to see how the GOBI's stack up to travel, city walking, presentations and office work. Will anyone notice?  Will they be comfortable?

I wore these for both my TEDx talk and a few key presentations at customers facilities. There were super comfortable, able to be worn for multi mile hikes in San Francisco and Sacremento. They looked super great with my sports jacket and also with jeans on the TEDx stage. For the business traveler who wants a leather shoe, these fit the bill, are stylish and can pair with most anything.

I'll definitely use these whenever I need a leather dress shoe, which hopefully isn't too often these days. 

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The Vivo Primus were my go to shoes for getting around town and wearing to work when I didn’t need to look dressy. These are fun shoes. I bought the blue version. I love the look, I love the feel and I have used them for everything from presentations, to customer meetings to getting around town to hiking. Word of warning, they do not have the best traction. Vivo told me that there is a wax on the bottom of the shoe that will wear off soon and give me more traction. I’ve worn these for months and they are ideal for city and town, but take them on a hike in the dirt and any sort of downhill slope had me scrambling on my butt because of the limited traction. Still, I’ll continue to use these for hiking when traveling because they are just so easy to pack, extremely light weight and I love the look and feel.

I went hiking in the Bay Area in June this year. We hiked in Redwood City Park and I slipped down the steep dirt path all the way to the bottom. I wasn't alone though, my hiking partners wearing Earth Runners had the same issue. The only shoe I've been able to hike in without slipping are the VivoBarefoot Trackers and the Vibram 5 FIngers hiking shoe.  Nevertheless, I love the look and feel of these shoes. They are likely the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn and I will wear them everywhere.

Again, try code PRIMAL123 for a discount on your own

Earthrunners 

I bring the Eartrunners with me whenever I travel so I can ground myself to the earth after a flight. I wear them in the summer at home when I go for walks. I’ve found it hard to use these shoes actually. I love the feel of the sandal and the grounding circle at the bottom. I totally use them at home whenever I’m out walking, but my theory of taking them with me when I travel hasn’t born fruit. I typically just go barefoot when I land and whenever possible during the day, so these don’t actually get used for travel. For use at home, I take these on walks with the dog and when I go to shoot archery.

 I love the feel of the sandal and the grounding circle at the bottom. I totally use them at home whenever I’m out walking, but my theory of taking them with me when I travel hasn’t born fruit. I typically just go barefoot when I land and whenever possible during the day, so these don’t actually get used for travel. 

For use at home on walks to get in some grounding, they are ideal. If you were someone who was embarrassed to go barefoot when traveling or just can’t get barefoot, these would be perfect to bring and are so light and compact, I put them in my carry on without evening noticing they are there. Usually I just throw them on when I'm heading out to the farmer's market or running to the store and on my walks with the dog. I'll still travel with them in case I decide to do some hiking and can't go barefoot due to the terrain.

 

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I use the Innov8s when I go to primal and biohacking conferences. In other words, non-work events. They totally stand out, meaning more people come talk to me, many times just to ask about my shoes.

They are super comfortable and allow me to engage in fitness competitions and impromptu workouts. These things actually happen at most non-work conferences I attend. Why is it that attending a work conference the energy is low and depressed, people are bored and just want to get home, yet at conferences I attend in the primal and biohacking space, people are hugging, happy, excited and never want to leave. All conferences should be like this. I absolutely love these shoes. The color alone makes them awesome. They have more cushion and support than other barefoot shoes I own and are perfect for fitness. I hope to find another pair when these bite the dust.

 

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I use the Vibram 5 Fingers to cut the grass every single week and wear them around the house too. I’m still not enamored by the look of these and am too embarrassed to wear them traveling. My feet also don’t fit these properly. The pinky toe on both my feet tucks under, probably a result of wearing too narrow shoes my whole life. Meaning that I can’t even put the Vibram's on! I literally have to spend 3 minutes manipulating my pinky toe with my hands to get it into the pinky toe of the Vibrams.

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I'm sure this is a classic example of what shoes are doing to our feet!.

Once I get my feet into the Vibrams, they feel amazing. I think they may even be helping to spread my toes out in a more natural position and might even be correcting this pinky toe issue I have. I’ll wear them around home as much as I can stand in hopes to fixing my foot. They are damn comfortable. And Yet, I don’t think they’ll fly at work.

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The Lems shoes look like solid leather corporate footwear. I fit right in with the standard corporate uniform wearing shleps at work. Even though these are barefoot, I really don’t like the style. They feel great and definitely beat a standard dress shoe, but look too much like a standard dress shoe for me. They scream boring. If this is the type of shoe you need to fit in, they do the job wonderfully. But I’m not in love with the style, they aren’t edgy enough for me and I don’t use them often because of that. I guess if I were following the love it or donate it philosophy of minimalism these would already be at the thrift store.

 

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PLUGZZ

I received a pair of Plugzz from a quarterly Biohacking box from Biohacked. I have used them a few times while camping. They are definitely comfortable. If you wear flip flops, definitely grab a pair. I do not like wearing flip flops and do not like how I have to keep gripping with my toes when I walk. It seems unnatural. I'll keep them around for when I need to shower while camping or after pool use, but likely will stick with my Earth Runners because I enjoy the fit. Earth Runners have a strap around my heel which keeps them in place without my toes needing to grip the shoes. They can also be uncomfortable when the plug is poking you in the foot.

Shoes purchased - VivoBarefoot SAAMI LITE and GOBI II, Primus and Hikers. Lems shoe. Vibram 5 fingers hiking shoe, Earth Runner sandals.

OTHER ZERO DROP SHOES TRIED

We liked these too.

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TOP RECOMMENDATIONS 

Displaying IMG_8707-1024x768.jpgXeroShoes

Primetrotter (Code Primalhacker)

Vivo Barefoot Primus   (code  PRIMALVB)

Vivo Barefoot Gobi

Innov8 F-lite Barefoot

Earthrunner Sandals

HOW TO TRANSITION

Don’t go cold turkey. Well, you can, and I did, but I can’t suggest you do that in case you get hurt. In fact, just take it slow. Before you go out and buy a few pairs of zero drop shoes, spend more and more time each day barefoot. This will build up muscles you haven’t used in years and begin to strengthen the tendons and ligaments that have to take on supporting your body where your neoprene cushion in the shoe used to do it.

Go barefoot as much as possible at home. Take your walks, mow your lawn and spend your weekends shoeless or using the most minimal shoes or sandals you can find. I like to take my walks and mow my lawn in a pair of Teva like sandals. I also take my shoes off at work and don’t put them back on until I have to move out of my office area, like to use the restroom or visit a colleague.

Go out and buy a pair of 4mm drop shoes, or even a zero drop shoe and begin taking your walks and working in the zero drop shoe.

As your feet become accustomed to this, you can transition to zero drop athletic and dress shoes full time. We have found Innov8, Lems, Soloman, and Nike make some great zero drop shoes of high quality. And of course you can always Old School it in some Chuck Taylors or Vans, in fact, many powerlifters swear by these as their favorite lifting shoes. We have no relationships with any of those companies, we simply find those shoes work well. You can check out the Strong First blog for complete details on wearing Chuck Taylors for all your lifting needs.

Remember, your feet have been stuck in a compromised position for years. You aren’t going to switch to zero drop overnight and expect to be pain free. As you spend more time barefoot or in zero drop footwear, you will be using muscles in your ankles and feet that haven’t been used since you were a kid.

Take it slow and you can make the transition without injury and set yourself up for healthier ankles, feet and Achilles for the foreseeable future.

 

Don't forget to checkout our free ebook, "Biohacking 101" to get more tips to increase you performance, health and energy!

Other articles:

Why You Should Block Blue Light at Night

Humans, for all natural history that we know of, have never been exposed to blue light after dark.

Because of this, our bodies are tuned to the color blue, only present in the daytime sky.

This attunement to blue tells our body that it’s daytime.

Daytime means we humans will produce cortisol to be awake and alert and stop producing melatonin, a hormone of darkness and sleep.

When we see blue after dark, our bodies destroy melatonin, lose many of the benefits of sleep, and set us up for long term health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer according to the National Institute of Health.

In order to minimize exposure to blue light at night, the very best thing you can do is to wear blue light blocking glasses.

If Blue Light is Necessary, Why Block it?

Blue light is present in the sun always.

Our bodies have receptors that decode blue light.

These receptors are called melanopsin.

Melanopsin reads the blue light in the environment and uses this information to produce hormones that keep us healthy.

The amount of blue in the environment also tells the body what time of day it is. There is a varying amount of blue from sunrise to noon to sunset. The body reads these levels to know what time of day it is.

Knowing what time of day it is, helps our body set circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is so important to human health that the nobel prize in medicine was given in 2017 for the study of circadian rhythm.

Every cell in our body contains a clock and these clocks are required to be set to the right time for optimal health.

Our clocks are set by the color and brightness of light.

When we live indoors and turn on lights after dark, we confuse our body and the melanopsin receptors into thinking it’s daytime. We mess up our circadian rhythm and cause chaos in the body.

Blue light at the wrong time of day is devastating.

Blue light after sunset tells the body it's daytime, releases stress hormone and keeps you awake, destroying the healing hormone melatonin and ruining your sleep. 

In addition, strong blue light during the day from devices and overheads lights that are devoid of UV and infrared light can damage the eyes by causing too many free radicals in the eye without the mitigating effect of infrared light.

Blue light after dark has been shown to reduce melatonin and shift circadian rhythm.

Why Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses at Night

When the sun sets, melatonin is released from the gut and pineal in the brain into the blood. Melatonin stays high for about 12 hours and helps us clean up cancer and even boosts our immune system!

But artificial light, which has a high amount of blue light at a time when nature provides no blue light, messes with melatonin levels.

Blue and green light have both been associated with decreasing melatonin, blue more than green. Red light does not decrease melatonin.

When blue light is removed at night, people sleep longer and get better sleep and melatonin is preserved.

Blue light blocking glasses have been shown to filter out blue light and preserve melatonin.

Blue Light Blocking for Better Sleep

Wearing blue light blocking glasses after sunset have been shown to improve sleep and reduce insomnia. Personally, I find these glasses so effective that I gave a TEDx talk about the effect HERE and also developed my own blue light blocking glasses because good looking effective blue light glasses on the market were too expensive and I wanted everyone to have them.

Blue Light Blocking to Control Cortisol Release

Cortisol is released with blue light, because blue is always present only when the sun is up. When the sun rises, we want to be alert and awake. This is because we are diurnal animals (we sleep at night and awaken during the day) as opposed to rats that are nocturnal animals. 

Our biology is coded to the light. 

Cortisol is a stress hormone, but also keeps us alert and awake, which is fine during the day but not before bed.

 

Blue Light Blocking Glasses for Reducing the Risk of Disease

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has published multiple papers showing that exposure to artificial light at Night (ALAN) is associated with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. In addition the World Health Organization has declared ALAN or artificial light at night as a Class 2B carcinogen, in the same category as microwave radiation, lead, and asbestos.

It's important to note that light at the wrong time of the day is likely carcinogenic and also leads to health issues. This is true for everyone, even if you do not "feel" like it affects you. 

Protect your Eyes

If you work on a device all day or work under fluorescent or LED lights, you must protect your eyes. Daytime blue light blocking glasses filter some, but not all blue light to help protect the eyes.

Blue light during the day is necessary, but the intense blue light from devices is too much for your eyes and can create free radicals leading to macular degeneration. 

Shift Work

Shift work is anti-life. I’m sorry about this, but humans are diurnal animals while rats are nocturnal animals. Humans are not nocturnal and this means no matter what kind of night owl you “think” you are, you are designed biologically to be asleep when it’s dark.

Yes, you can “try” to hack nightshift work, and HERE is our article on how we would hack nightshift if we had to work nightshift. Ultimately, you will want to find a new job that allows you to work during the day.

How to Choose Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Everyone and even all kids really need to be wearing blue light blocking glasses after dark.

We all are exposed to phones, devices, TVs and lights after dark, especially if we’re not at home where we can control the light.

The cheapest glasses you can buy are THESE and while they aren’t something you’d wear out of the house, you can definitely get the cheaply and try the out at home to see how they work for you.

We recommend you try them out for one month and see what happens. I haven’t yet met someone who didn’t notice a benefit.

For daytime blue light blocking glasses that look amazing, we made these glasses 

Nighttime glasses that you can wear out of the house and look cool can be found here 

Finally, if you want to block blue and green light at night, as both can mess with melatonin, then THESE glasses will do just that.

Other Ways to Avoid Blue Light at Night

  • Use Red Lights in your home like these LEDs or Gembared (Discount code SLEEP) which can also be used for red light therapy.
  • Add Twilight or Iris aps to your phone and use iris or F.lux on your laptops.
  • Use Candles at night.
  • Turn off the power in your bedroom at the circuit box. Many people do this to avoid EMFs as well..
  • Get sunlight during the day. This has been shown to allow you to get better sleep at night.

 

As soon as the sun sets, put on your blue light blocking glasses.

When the sun rises the next day, take them off.

This will ensure you preserve your melatonin and build optimal health.

Portable Red Light Therapy is Here

There are so many different light therapy devices on the market that it might get overwhelming. It's hard to make a choice. But, how do you pick the best one for yourself? What is the best red light therapy device - the answer is surprisingly simple.

The best red light therapy device is the one you use every day. So, it's more than just numbers, outputs and features (although, they are important). It's about convenience. So, behold FlexBeam!

 

There are many different red light therapy products on the market. They include cosmetic devices, cheap red light lamps, wall panels, and even masks.

So, why would you pick a portable device like this instead of a red light wall panel or a different RLT device? Generally, it all depends on how you want to use your device and what you need it for.

Whatever you use, make sure that it does what you need it to do (ie, it has good features and specifics) and that it's convenient for you to use. People often stop using inconvenient devices even when they are amazing.

 

Here are couple of reasons why FlexBeam makes an excellent choice in comparison to other types of RLT devices:

 

Flexibility

 

One thing that makes FlexBeam an amazing choice is its portability and flexibility. You just put it on, placing directly onto your skin and you let it do its thing. This means that you can go hiking, driving, cooking or just normally go about your day. You still get your dose of red light therapy along the way.

Usually, when you have a wall panel, you don’t get as much flexibility. You position it at a convenient place in your home and have your therapy. Panels are excellent devices, but not many people have the time to use them. You have to expose the part of your body you want to treat to the panel. Which sometimes means you need more privacy than you can get in your home.

On top of that, the effects of red light therapy weaken as you move away from the source of the light. Let’s say you have a knee problem. Which side of your knee do you place directly next to the panel? What about the other side? Do you do two sessions? This is all much easier when you can wrap your RLT device

 

Excellent Specs

 

If you want to dig deeper into choosing the best red light therapy device for you (as you should) make sure to check the specs of the device. Keep your eye on:

-          Wavelength

-          Energy density

-          Irradiance


Wavelength

Let’s start with the wavelengths. You want a device that emits the light between 600 to 1020 nm. That’s what science says. It also says that the best healing range is between 625 and 635nm for red light and that the LEAST effective range is 700-770nm. As for infrared, aim for 810 to 850nm. 


Energy Density

Energy density is expressed in J/m2. The maximum of energy density you should go for is 60 J/m2. Everything above that is too much and your body may stop responding to red light therapy.


Irradiance

Irradiance is the flux of radiant energy emitted per surface area. The most effective irradiance for red and near-infrared light is 20-200 mW/cm2. FlexBeam has a safe and solid 100 mW/cm2.

 

Get Yours

You can get yours at a special Indigogo sale for up to $250 off using THIS LINK and you can also buy it on the website for a 10% discount when the Indigogo is over using THIS LINK and discount code PRIMALHACKER

 

We have been using the Flexbeam for almost 3 months and it's amazing. The portability means that we use it more often than a standing panel. 

The power of the device has been incredible. We can bring it into bed, the car and on a hike. 

I would highly recommend this product. 

Why you need to keep your mouth shut for better sleep and performance!

If you have been biohacking for any amount of time now, you have surely discovered the importance of sleep.

As a human you have a very unique set of sleep requirements. According to Dr. Michael Breus, these unique characteristics can be categorized by an individuals chronotype and their sleep drive or circadian rhythm is cued by a combination of epigenetic factors such as sun light, blue light, food, exercise, hormones and body temperature.

Improving your sleep efficiency is key to improving your deep sleep and regulating your sleep drive (circadian rhythm). Circadian rythms will change or can be disrupted by the season changes, age, stress, schedule, alcohol, food,  and how much one is plugged into the matrix. So, where does mouth tape come in and why is it important? (sleep foundation. org - Sleep Drive + The power of when quiz.com)
 
In this modern era [wo]mans connection to nature and its subtle yet immensely impacting biological cues it provides has affected the respiration rate and the way we even breath. According to  James Nestor, author of Breath, The New Science of a Lost Art; a respiration rate increase has taken place in the last 50-75 years and the modern [wo]man is breathing more rapidly and less efficiently than that of our predecessors. According to the Cleveland Clinic the “normal” respiration rate of an adult is 12-20 breaths a minute and an abnormal rate is below 12 and above 25 breaths per minute. I’d argue that above 15 is abnormal and hitting 9-10 BPM is extremely healthy. Why has this shift taken place and how can a simple tool like mouth tape change this and improve your sleep.
thepowerofwhenquiz.com
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm/sleep-drive-and-your-body-clock

What is Mouth Tape?


Mouth tape is a simple yet effective tool to improve your respiration rate and improve your sleep without impacting your wallet. I’ve experimented with all of the products that are out there and have ended up with 3M’s Nexcare gentle paper tape, medium hold. A roll cost me $2.99 plus tax and has lasted for over two months now. I have been mouth taping since the begging of June 2020.

mouth tape 3m

What improvements I saw from mouth taping

With all the things affecting our health and emotional status a great nights sleep can improve your emotional and physical resilience. I’ve tracked my sleep every night for two years until very recently when I removed all tracking devices from my life ( why you should do this is for another topic)! According to my BioStraps data on my last ever recording of July 27th,2020 my deep sleep was 5h 38min, improving on my best ever deep sleep of 3h 14m.

 

Most interesting thing to me was the change in my BRPM. From an average of 15.2 at the begging of June to an average of 12.8 at the last day in July. According to the Oxygen Advantage, “breath light to breath right”! Disclaimer, as [wo]man we throw a lot of the kitchen sink at our problems so its hard to quantify if the mouth tape alone improved my deep sleep or was it a combination of buteyko breath work and mouth taping but I can tell you that the continued mouth taping and decrease in buteyko exercise and my sleep is still anecdotally amazing!

oura ring data on mouth vs nose breathingoura ring nose breathing with taped mouth

Tips for proper mouth taping 

Proper mouth tape positioning is key for first timers to reduce potential claustrophobic feelings and anxiety. Some of the made for mouth tape sleep aids out there have a piece that covers the entire mouth and has a small slit to allow for restricted mouth breathing but this can still be too much for newcomers. 

 

This is why I have chosen the 3M Nexcare tape, a simple two inch piece taped vertically from the upper lip directly under the nose to the base of the bottom lip works wonderfully. This, method and brand of tape works over facial hair and by taping this way you feel less confined because you may breath from the corners of your mouth. Don’t worry if your tape comes off at night as this is a training tool to help improve breathing quality and function.

Breath Light to Breath Right

Remember you must breath light to breath right! Reduce and eliminate chronic mouth breathing and use techniques like mouth taping to improve nasal breathing, sleep, energy, and performance.

 

What to do now?

Take a few moments today to really focus on your breathing. It is a s simple as sitting with your eyes closed to see where your breath begins and where it ends. If you notice through out the day you are yawning frequently its a good sign that you are a mouth breather and everything from your sleep to mental performance will and is suffering to some degree.  Here are my five tips to improve your nasal breathing and respiratory function.

 

  1. Tape your mouth shut at bed time!
  2. Slow controlled nasal breathing with breath holds to improve your C02 tolerance. For instance inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 7 seconds and hold for 8 seconds. repeat for 5 minutes
  3. DO NOT YAWN ever again. Yawning is a nervous system response to off load excess CO2 but most-likely you are actually hyperventilating and not under breathing. If you feel a yawn coming on, close your mouth and quickly exhale through your nostrils and return to controlled nasal breathing.
  4. O-H-M, yes, Ohm! Ohming will naturally increase the nitric oxide profusion in your paranasal sinus which will aid respiratory efficiency and improve epithelial oxygenation. ie. decreased stuffy noses, improved sports performance, and cancer fighting to name a few things. (buteykoclinic.com/docs/Nasal-Nitric-Oxide.pdf)
  5. Use a Neti pot before bed to get things cleared up. Winter in the Midwest can be brutally dry, leading to increased mucus production and congestion. A bit of structured water and mineral rich sea salt will loosen mucus and hydrate epithelial tissue helping you sleep tight!

 

As a bonus tip! You better be blocking blue light and you start here by purchasing a pair or two of stylish blue light blocking glasses.(Secret Discount code Tomorrow20)

 

Check out THIS post of ours on how to sleep right.

CREATE A PRIMAL SLEEPING ENVIRONMENT

What is a Primal Sleeping Environment?

A primal sleeping environment is creating a sleeping environment, bedroom, that aligns our body to the natural and healthy energies in the world to help us heal.

Primal sleeping environment has healthy lighting, temperature, EMF signals and more.

For most people have never slept in a primal environment and have never allowed themselves to heal in the way their body is capable.

A primal environment stimulates the body’s innate healing capabilities.

Primal environments filter out the harmful manmade frequencies that are designed to harm us and are everywhere.

Frequencies are sound, light, temperature, toxins and more. 

When you first sleep in a primal environment you sleep amazingly well. 

After about 2 days you may not! This is due to detox. Your body finally has the opportunity to detox in this environment and it may take 2 weeks to fully detox and get back to sleeping well. Take note of this.

 

Why Create a Primal Sleeping Environment

Primal sleeping is the best way to build immunity, reduce the effects of aging, heal, and recover.

When you create a primal sleeping environment, you eliminate man made frequencies that are harming you and allow in the natural healing frequencies that are usually covered up by how we live today.

When people create and sleep in a primal environment, they heal without supplements. People have found that they can reduce or eliminate prescriptions.

 

How do you Create a Primal Sleeping Environment?

Light

Ensure all LED lights are removed from your bedroom. Any blinky lights like the green light on the smoke alarm must be taped over with black electrical tape or turned off.

Put in red lights or very dim incandescent lights. DO not use dimmers, these create huge and harmful magnetic fields.

Ensure absolute blackness when it’s time for sleeping.

You can also use an eye mask, though your skin can also detect light, so it’s best to have it black.

PRE-SLEEP

What you do before bed is key. Do this right and it makes 100% difference. 

1. Routine - do your best to keep the same routine every single day. 

2. Blocking Blue Light - wear blue light blocking glasses after sunset. These will allow your life extension and healing melatonin to keep on coming. 

3. Many people find magnesium helps a ton with getting to sleep. We like magnesium citrate. You can also try a pre-built formula by Neurohacker (Discount Code primalmind for 15% off) that is taken a few hours before sleep. This worked well for increasing deep sleep when we tried it.

4. Avoid Alcohol - this can disturb sleep, deep sleep, and cause you to awaken around 2am. However, Dry Farm Wine is biohacked wine made and tested to exacting specifications to make it healthier to drink. If you must have wine close to bedtime, try Dry Farm Wines and get a bottle for a penny. 

Cold

Our bodies naturally drop in temperature at bedtime. Most of us take hot baths or showers and then get into a bed with lots of warn covers.

Turn your thermostat down at night. I keep ours at 65F and would enjoy 59F at night and 65 during the day. Your body likes it colder at night as that’s what would have happened through all of human history.

Cooler temperatures help people sleep deeper.

You can also buy an ooler or chilipad that runs cool water under your sheets to cool your body down if your partner doesn’t like it as cool as you do. You can sleep cool while your partner sleeps hot. 

EMF

Man made electromagnetic fields (EMF) have been shown to reduce melatonin and harm sleep. They have also been shown to reduce immunity and immune system function.

EMF fields are in our homes from WiFi, your neighbors WiFi, cellphone towers that allow your phone to connect while in your house, electric fields in your walls from wiring and Bluetooth from all your connected devices.

All these fields impact your body 24/7. They all cause stress in the body.

You want to eliminate those so you can sleep in a non-stressed state.

Natural EMFs from the Earth’s magnetic field, Schumann Resonance, and the Earth’s magnetic and electric fields are what we want our body tuned into, and we can’t do that when we’re bombarded by man made fields.

Start by turning off your wifi at night.

We originally used this timer  to turn off wifi while we slept. The timer would turn on the wifi when we woke up. We had it turn off at 1030pm and turn on at 530am every day.

Then we moved to a remote control to turn off wifi when we went to bed and turn it on when we woke up. We just hit the remote to off at night and on when we woke up.

Now we actually just eliminated wifi and never turn it on!

Next, turn off your phone at night. Put it in airplane mode. Your alarm clock and clock will still work. But it won’t be irradiating you all night.

We use BOTH airplane mode for our phones AND put them in these pouches. The pouch is a faraday cage, which means it stops radiation getting to or from the phone. I honestly have some concern that the cellphone companies are embedding software to allow our phones to come out of airplane mode at intervals all night long to send data back to various companies about our location and other things. In addition, there may be frequential software embedded in the phones that can manipulate your mind at night. I want to minimize all of this. Your phone will still work as a clock and alarm in the faraday cage. Another great advantage of the Faraday cage is that your phone’s GPS chip tracks you literally everywhere you go, even if your phone is turned off. I do not want to be tracked everywhere. Putting your phone into a pouch allows you to move about without being tracked. Why carry a tracking device in your pocket?

If you want to eliminate all EMFs in your bedroom, it’s best to use shielding paint on the walls, ceiling and floor. This is what the NSA and other spy agencies do to stop others from spying on them. This typically costs about $300 for a bedroom using THIS paint off amazon or the paint from Shielded Healing I used this in my kid’s bedroom.

If you don’t want to paint, you can use shielding fabric to create a canopy around your bed. This is what I did in our own bedroom. I built a 4 poster bedframe for about $50 from Home Depot and hung the shielding fabric over my bed. This eliminated EMFs in my bed as measured with all my meters. You can buy some of the material yourself from Shielded Healing (Discount Code PRIMALSLEEP).  You can also have shielded healing do an entire EMF home assessment for $100 off using discount code SLEEP. Everyone from Dr Mercola to Ben Greenfield, to me have used Shielded Healing to perform expert EMF assessments on their home.

Brian, who runs shielded healing, is literally the most knowledgeable EMF shielding expert in the entire country. Possibly in the world. He has shielded Dr Mecola’s home, worked with Luke Storey and Ben Greenfield, and even shielded the famous EMF medical doctor Dr. Klinghardts medical office.

Primal Sleep

Primalhackers sleep natural.

We use natural materials like organic cotton and silk.

We do not use metal in our mattresses because they act as antennas for EMF drawing them to our bodies. Casper makes a really comfortable metal free mattress. 

We keep our sleeping environment free of any lights except candles, red lights or no lights.

We keep our bedrooms free of all EMF.

Keep your bedroom cooler at bedtime and throughout the night.

Top 10 ways to upgrade/biohack your relationship

Living with another human can be challenging especially when the world is being turned upside down.  Elevated Cortisol and stress could cause many couples to feel like their living space might be too small.  We are here to let you know there are many many ways to reconnect with your partner. Co-Creating harmony in your home begins with you, and then your partner/lover.  We have come to you from a place of peace, we are centered, nurtured, loving and grounded. You asked for this information, if it has found its way to you or your home, it means you are ready, awake, and open to new ideas.  Take a deep cleansing breathe, relax your body, feel the love wash through every cell of your being. You are here for a reason, use this precious time to reconnect with your beloved and Co-create a sacred space for just the two of you.  


Top 9 way to upgrade your relationship

1. Get Kinky!  

(in a positive healthy way, that upgrades your spirit)

Thought we would ease into it...nope,  why not start with sexy time?

couple sittingo n lap on couch

Having a deep connection with your lover is healthy in so many more ways than you even know!  Connect spiritually/physically/mentally/emotionally all through sex. We are not sexperts, but we are practicing for sure.  


We have a secret we want to share with you.  Her name is Kim Anami.  She is the worlds’ leading expert on all things SEXUAL.  Kim explains “The essentials for lifelong, passionate sex, and how to use your intimate relationship as a vessel for spiritual growth.” Now is not the time to be shywhen you can open up to your partner and Co-create or Re-create a romantic love affair  your whole world can change. Don’t you want to walk around grounded in bliss, feeling so much love and share that with someone?  Sounds good to me, actually that is my reality. Find Kim here online. https://kimanami.com.  You can take a course, watch videos, listen to a podcast, read about a gazillion blog posts and learn so much about your body that i'm certain no one has ever taught you (unless you were raised by hippies ;) You and your lover are a center of power, why can’t we rearrange the “old puritan belief system” and shout from our rooftops that religious dogma has no place telling us how to view our bodies and sex!  Lets begin by raising our vibes through our sexual encounters, its magic...see what happens.  

2. PUT RED LIGHTS IN YOUR BEDROOM

You may have seen therapeutic red lights being talked about in the health and wellness world recently.  What is that all about? Find out here.

(Not only are red lights therapeutic for your health & healing, they can be very seductive in the bedroom.  Ever wonder why they call it the “red light district”? They create an atmosphere of relaxation and sensuality.  If your partner isn’t up for changing out all your bedroom lights, just them it's for sexy time. Red light is way better than blue light for your circadian biorhythms and really that is the only spectrum of light we should be seeing after sunset.  

couple holding each other in red light

click here  to read the whole shebang  (no pun intended) about the link between red light and circadian biology.  Ever wonder why the setting sun is mostly reds, pinks, orange? That is nature's way of telling your eyes/body to produce melatonin.  If you put blue lights into your eyes after sunset you are telling your body mixed signals. This can lead to sleep disturbances, weight gain and many other problems.  So, my friends, replacing your light bulbs with red bulbs is not only great for your sexy time and sleep, it’s so powerful for your overall health optimization. We recommend Gembared (discount code sleep) and Flexbeam (Discount code primalhacker) lights as both therapeutic and for lighting at night.

 

3. Tape your mouth

Have you heard of this latest fad?  Taping your mouth shut at night might just be your husband's dream come true...just kidding. We women do like to communicate but ladies there is a time and place for it.  Seriously though some people have a lot of success with taping their mouths at night, so they breathe through the nose. Studies show that this can lead to better night's sleep and increased morning alertness for many people.  It does look pretty sadistic and crazy.  


I remember when Thaddeus started taping his mouth, he looked over at me and he had on his sleep mask, ear plugs and now mouth tape.   OMG we laughed for a half an hour. He is very committed to his sleep and that also says a lot about his commitment to our relationship.  If he's that committed to sleep, then he can show up better to us. Pretty cool. I'm very grateful everyday for his commitment to sleep, so he keeps a calm cool state of being even in stressful situations.  


Want to know more about the mouth tape click here for a good quick read all about it.  Mouth Taping: The Cheapest Life Hack for Better Sleep

Improvements can be feeling more well rested, not getting up to use the bathroom.  


One other thing I learned while writing this article...mouth tape section in particular, is the Butekyo Method.   It's a very gentle breathing technique that I have found to be pretty profound just in the first few days of discovery.  Some of the other breathing techniques we have tried are of course Wim Hof, yogic breathe. Oftentimes the techniques feel very aggressive, but the Buteyko method is gentle. Here is a link to the TED talk about it.  I have been using the Butekyo method in my morning routine and I'm really enjoying it. If you have any trouble meditating or are just starting out, might be a great place to start.  


  4.  SLEEP! 


 Consistency is key here friends.  One habit we practice, that is super simple is going to bed together.  By retiring together you are actually making a commitment that you cherish your time together then it becomes sacred.  


If one of you decides to stay up and god forbid watch TV, or look at your phone.  What you're actually saying is that thing, whatever it is,  is more important.  Ladies am I wrong? We all want more romance in our lives. We all want more love in our lives.  Tonight go to bed together and make it a habit. You have to protect your sacred time together.  


Next we TANK THE TECH.  99% of the time we never bring phones or computers or tv into our sacred sleeping chamber.  Our bedroom is used for two things...hahaha and one is sacred sleep! We pillow talk, we meditate, we read a lot and we sleep!  Bringing tech into the sleeping chamber kills the mood, instead set yourself up for success. If your significant other refuses, tell them you just want some time to ...I don’t know give him a mind bending blow job!  You may get his attention pretty damn quick! Link Here is a Kim Anami link for your educational purposes.  


WHAT IS ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?  What does your room say about you, your relationship? 


 I also work as an Interior Designer part time (email me at tomorrow@primalhacker.com if you want pricing) and you would be surprised by the amount of people who put photos of family members on their bedroom walls.  In the Feng Shui tradition only photos of you and your beloved belong in the bedroom.  Here's another tip,  whatever you put on one side always put on the other.  The key here is balance and partnership harmony. Clear the clutter, dim the lights, use candles, essential oil diffusers, get some sexy sheets ( organic cotton or bamboo) to create an atmosphere that shows outward how much love you have for yourself and your beloved.  They will appreciate it.  


Whatever is on your nightstand is the last thing you see before you go to sleep.  Make sure it is something relaxing, soothing. Bringing the NY Times into the bed isn’t a great idea.  Fiction novels and spiritual texts are great things to read to engage your dream time. When you are well rested you can show up better to your partner.  Lead by example, prioritize sleep. If your partner wants sexy time and you know you need sleep, cuddle them and explain how much better it might be in the morning when you're well rested.  Keep that promise whatever it takes. 

 

5.  Do Something Neither One of you has Ever Done Before, Together

What more is there to say?  When you experience something together for the first time, you bond and share in that experience, this in turn creates memories and strengthens the entanglement between you.  


Einstein talked about quantum entanglement, or “spooky action”, that when two things come into contact with each other they are forever entangled, the more you create this with your partner the more entangled you are.  I love that! Just the imaginary notion of being entangled with my lover under the covers legs intertwined not knowing where one person begins and the other ends all tangled in their whispers and kisses is the perfect ending to the first thought of spooky action and entanglement.  So, thank you Einstien I will romance the shit out of your “spooky action”  

 Float Tank

One thing we did recently is experience a float tank together, we were in separate pods, but experienced it together at the same time slot.  We highly recommend doing this on a date night! We talked all the way home about our experiences, they were so different even though the environment was the same.  Really cool!

Another thing we just did was find a new spot to jump into a really cold stream together.  We have done that in the past but this time neither of us had ever been to that particular stream or at the spring equinox.  We actually started a new tradition.  


If you live in a warmer part of the country you can get a stock tank fill it with cold water, ice...and both jump in together!  Just an idea. Think outside the box. Make a list of things you can do together for the first time. This is a great time to ditch the kids.  They get a lot of your attention all-the-time! Take this time for you and your partner to do this new experience together. The kids will be fine with a babysitter and they can learn from you how to harness loving escapades you take together.  The glow on your face when you return is the best thing you can do for them. Protect your time together.  

 

6.  Love & Respect


What women want and what men want are two seemingly different things but quite similar if you break it down.  


Women want to be loved, guys really are you surprised?  In everything you do, if you do it with love,  you will be greatly rewarded. (wink)- I'm actually serious, if you ask your beloved to pick up dogshit in the yard, do it with love.  You might be pleasantly surprised at the reaction you get. WOMEN NEED AND WANT LOVE, TO BE LOVED, TO FEEL CHERISHED AND HONORED. We are the givers of life, we used to be cherished as such.  That doesn’t mean we get to act like princesses however. Loving your woman will bring her natural hormones to levels they are supposed to be. Read more about this by John Grey. 


Do these things 10 times a day to change your life.  Hold her hand, touch her, kiss her, massage her shoulders, when you walk in the door find her first (before kids and dog) and hug her for 8 secs min, make her coffee/tea, dance with her, introduce her first, always help with her coat, open her door( all of them...cars too), pour her wine, tell her how you feel about her (Insert cheesy BillyJoel song…”tell her about it”), text her you love her, call her tell her you love her, leave her a note and ...yes you guessed it let you know how much you love her.  If you do this your life will change. Here’s the key, never stop doing this for the rest of your life together.  Or in the after life either.  Haha  


Quick story, we were at our friends home about a year ago, just a casual visit with appetizers and some vino ( Dry Farm Wines is biohacker approved and you get a bottle for a penny,   if you are local to the Twin Cities you can get into the Healthy Wine Club from Swirl)   (If you haven’t tried wine from DFW, might want to look into it.. They test for toxins, never add sugar, you really have to drink like three bottles to get a hangover….)

I digress, we were having wine, and Thaddeus took a gluten free cracker and added some beautiful cheese to it, I watched across the island as I couldn’t reach any of the food.  I observed if he was going to offer it to me or eat if for himself.  He was going to eat it! I thought this might be a good time for a little social experiment.  I love social experiments. I sometimes feel like my whole life is filled with moments of social and personal experiments.  Again I digress.  


He was going to eat it!, and not offer it or anything else to me.  So I piped up and reached across the island and took it gently out of his hands and looked him in the eyes and said “oh you are so sweet to make that for me”  He seemed a bit taken off guard for a split second, then quickly responded and “of course for you, my love” 

My friend looked at me wildly and said “WOW” I'm gonna try that out loud in front of everyone.  We all started laughing. But in reality I could tell they learned something from that little experiment that evening.  


For the rest of the night and many evenings after that Thaddeus always finds me brings me a cracker or glass of wine first, as an honor.  I in return give (by showing & using my words) him ultimate gratitude and respect.  


The teaching moment has to be done ->in the moment.  If you ever try a social experiment with your beloved, be sure you leave any resentment at the door.  It must be done with love and with men, respect.  


Even if he loses his phone and we have to drive 3 ½ hours to go look for it in Northern Minnesota, you smile and tell him it's ok, well have a fun adventure.  Always with respect. Then make it enjoyable, could be another perfect time for a mind blowing blow job. Just saying.  


Men quite honestly like the idea of love, but it isn’t earth shattering like it is for us women.  Ladies, Men want respect. I learned this from...experience, social experiments, Cleopatra, a class I took online and John Gray. It’s kinda cheesy, but it works. What I learned has been invaluable when interacting with all the men in my life, first and foremost my lover, my sons, my father and any male I encounter actually.  Always with respect.  Try it out, try a social experiment for yourself.  


Another friend of mine tried it for herself, first with her words alone.  Everything she uttered was from a sincere place of respect. Within a couple days her husband of 7 years, who never texted her anything in the last 3 years that was loving, out of the blue wanted to come home from work early to give her a back rub for taking such good care of the kids all day.  Whoa, that was quick! I'm telling you if you want more LOVE from your man, start by using only RESPECT with your words and actions. Your life will change rapidly. Your home will become a place of peace, love and respect. It's a practice, it will take time, then it will become a habit. Ladies, you are the leaders of the home whatever you do the ducklings will follow suit.  Treat men with great respect. Teach your daughters to do the same and teach her why. This is the path for great romance and a beautiful future. 

 

7.  Build a fort together  


We say this to protect your space.    We already talked about sleep and using your bedroom as a sacred sleeping chamber. 

Us biohackers take it a bit further, we build a fort. This isn’t just any fort, it is the most peaceful sleeping chamber.  The curtains you see in the image are made from silver thread.

This is EMF blocking material .

 farday cage bed

This material will keep harmful EMFs from entering your sleeping chamber.  Thaddeus and I both worked on this together, we put our loving energy into building it. We built it for our health out of love and our love of restorative sleep. Under our mattress we have magnetico magnets as well.  That makes a contained EMF free zone. 

Getting primal sleep is key. We know the EMF building biologists install these into homes and people are able to get off their meds because they finally get 8 hours of peace, without the microwave fields everywhere. 

 

8. Look into each other's eyes,  and ditch your sunglasses...


Yes, we said ditch your sunglasses.  “But they look cool” -->doesn’t matter... if you're not getting sunlight in your eyes/skin,  you can't achieve optimal health. Here is the down low.  


Do you think maybe you’ve been designed to use the light of the sun in any way?  You, the plants, the animals all live under the light of the sun. 


It seems silly that the sun would be toxic to you. It’s warm and inviting. Staying out in the sun feels good.

You think the sun is healthy and likely your body was designed in some way to use sunlight?   More than you could ever know! 

Do you think sunlight is a cue to help you remain healthy? Sure seems that way. It also tells you what time of day it is. What you might not know is that your body, your brain, and your eye also need to know what time of day it is. Your brain tells your organs what time of day it is. Sunlight gives you that information.  Thaddeus wrote a this genius blog on wearing sunglasses (blueblockers) at night. Click here to read the rest of the article.  


No one in history has kept their eyes and skin from the light of the sun.  Who began this nonsense...companies who want you to be sick and unhealthy, so they can make money off of you.  Not joking folks we've all been duped by these a-holes. There is a protocol for safe sun exposure. It's free and it has nothing to do with sunscreen or sunglasses!  

Lastly, not only is covering up your eyes bad for your health, it's the window to the soul.  Looking in your lover’s eyes is very important for relationship health. Where is your attention, are you fully present for your lover?  Or is your attention elsewhere, what does that say about your relationship? I know I don’t like it at all when I can't see Thaddeus’s eyes, (when he's wearing his red blue blockers late at night).  When making love, don’t we want our lover to look into our eyes? The connection deepens beyond worlds and words. There are so many reasons to ditch your sunglasses. We get a lot of people asking questions about contacts, driving and wearing sunglasses...follow our IG page @primalhacker_ for more information.  In the meantime, let your lover see your eyes, they are beautiful, play games with them. Paint them dark or sparkly, but please don’t hide their beauty from the world and more importantly your lover.  

 

9.  Sprint! I mean run like your life depends on it!

Because we are “Primalhacker” we can say “RUN as if you're running for your life, like running away from liger!”  Ok we’ll call it primal movement. Want to feel sexier when you're naked? This little hack is priceless. If you have the capacity, sprinting 2-3 x’s a week and working your way up to 5-6 x’s a week is a great way to stay in shape.  Ancient peoples didn’t run for long distances/run marathons, they walked long distances or sprinted short distances. 


Check out this photo of a marathon body and a sprinter

 sprinter vs marathon body

 

One article suggests the combo of  intermittent fasting and exercising until you’re “out of breath”. Here’s a suggested protocol that we here subscribe to (for the warm months of the year if you live up north).  Find a well maintained soccer or athletic field that is devoid of anything but soft grass, or find a nice beach. There’s added benefit if you also sprint barefoot.

Mark off about 100 yards. Sprint as hard and as fast as you can for the 100 yards, or whatever you’re capable of. You will be totally out of breath, then walk back to your starting place, you’ll recover your breath on the way back, then do it all again.  In the beginning you may only be able to do this 2-3 times, build up to 5-6 times twice a week. Make this a habit for life.” Here's a link to the full article. http://fitcommerce.com/2019/10/10/stay-youthful-by-biohacking-your-hgh-through-sprinting/


The moral of the story is when you feel sexier you feel more like having sexy time!   When you look better ->you feel better-> you can show up better in bed with your lover!  So sprint for you and your health. The coolest thing about this hack is that you aren’t spending long hours in the blue light gym, we would call this overworking  in a toxic environment! I don’t know about you, but when I workout for over an hour I'm trashed the rest of the day, then I for sure can’t show up for sexy time. If you work your joints too much you're going to put yourself at risk later in life likely with hip and knee replacements.  So, do less. Be gentle with yourself, SPRINT! if it feels right for you!

We also recommend doing as the children do.  If you have kids and you bring them to the park and they are running around, then run around with them!  If you go to the state parks and they climb under a fence, then climb under the fence! Don’t forget to be young.  Move like children and see what magic happens!  

 

10.  Appreciation 

This is the best hack for your relationship.  We haven’t missed one time since we started this habit.  Here is how you do it. EVERY MORNING and EVERY EVENING before you go to bed AND when you wake up, tell your partner one thing you appreciate about them.  Not joking every morning and every night! 

Here's why, when you tell your lover what you appreciate you acknowledge that you are conscious of the big and small things!  Your lover will start or end their day with you appreciating something they never even knew you noticed. How cool is that?  

If you begin this process it will become a habit and throughout the day you will start to think of things you appreciate about your partner!  Instead of focusing on something they aren’t doing, focus on what you want more of.

One example, I love when Thaddeus touches me in the kitchen, and throughout the day.  So, I will tell him before bed how much I appreciate it when he touches me as he’s brushing by me in the kitchen and guess what?  He will do it more!!!! THIS IS GOLD PEOPLE. He in return tells me how much he appreciates it when I make him lunch, guess what? I make him lunch more often and with more and more love everytime!!

Give it a try, you have nothing to lose.


It’s time for you to stop reading this blog and 








 












Want Better Sleep? Read This (A Review of Qualia NIGHT)

More than one-third of Americans have trouble sleeping at night. That's roughly 100,000,000 people. 

Many of them reach for prescription products to help them sleep. 

Many others suffer restless nights, tossing and turning only to awaken in the morning feeling like they haven't slept. 

I used to be one of those people. 

I went to bed at 8pm, read a book till 10pm and then turned out the lights. 

Immediately my head would ramp up and spit out thought after thought. At 2am, frustrated and anxious I would feel like screaming. 

Finally, I found a solution that worked for me. 

I mixed 5-HTP (hydroxtryptophan) with collagen and some water, drank it down and fell asleep. 

I would keep this solution next to my bed for most nights when I couldn't sleep. 

It worked like a charm. 

But it was an unbalanced formula and I had heard that it would eventually burn out my neurotransmitters. So the goal was to use it only a couple times a week. 

I wanted to use it every single day. Because it worked. 

Whenever you take a supplement to sleep, you want to make sure its balanced. 

Taking 5-HTP with collagen wasn't balanced. I had to ensure I took time off every so often to allow my neurotransmitters to re-balance naturally. 

I didn't have the time back then to find a truly balanced formula to help with sleep, but there's now a company that has! 

I'm going to tell you about a new sleep formula called NIGHT that works and was designed by formulators diving deep into the science of biochemistry to ensure its balanced and effective. 

But first.... 

If You Can't Sleep, Try This

Remember, I found a solution to my sleep issues. It was taking 5-HTP and collagen with water. 

This did nothing for my active mind at night. But it definitely allowed me to sleep. 

With more sleep, I had less brain fog and more focused attention. 

I spent a ton of time researching about biohacking, eventually training with Dave Asprey and his team in the first class of bulletproof coaches. 

I learned two things I was doing wrong. One of them from Dave and one from Dr Jack Kruse. 

1. Do the inner emotional work. 

Part of my problem was that I had unresolved emotional issues.. don't we all. But I was actively avoiding dealing with them. I didn't want to talk to anyone about it because I thought people would think I was stupid or broken. My ego was in full force preventing me from living the life I wanted to and of course preventing me from sleeping well. 

Other articles on this blog, and on our newsletter, if you sign up, discuss how I dealt with this part. 

Please start here before relying on a supplement. A supplement will absolutely help, and I find they are valuable while doing the inner work, and then you can wean off all supplements later on.

For you, do the inner work. It will help you sleep. 

2. Block Blue Light After Dark. 

I learned so much about light in those early years it was like drinking from a fire hose. 

When I finally implemented the strategies, my sleep was FOREVER changed. 

I started wearing blue light blocking glasses and my entire world changed. 

I was able to sleep!

Now I sell my own version because I found the so effective. You can get a pair here using discount code primal10. 

Blocking blue light at night helps signal to our body that it's night. The body can then produce the right hormones to help you sleep and get the benefits of sleep.

This is SOOOOO important. If you haven't bought a pair of blueblockers, do this first. 

Next, work on the emotional issues, and if you need a supplement to help, get that while doing the inner work! 

Sometimes You Need Extra Support

 If you've done the blue light blocking and inner emotional work, or perhaps you haven't and just need to sleep, NOW, then a supplement might help. 

Remember, my concoction of 5-HTP and collagen worked wonders for me. 

Now you can try a pre-built sleep supplement that is far safer than prescription compounds. 

And guess what? It's built with that 5-HTP backbone in it that was so effective for me. 

One of the ingredients is L-tryptophan. 5-HTP is just 5-hydroxytryptophan and is a modified version of L-tryptophan. 

Each of these is modified in the body to become serotonin, which is converted to melatonin. 

5-HTP and tryptophan have been shown to decrease anxiety and to aid with sleep. 

Which should be obvious because melatonin is the hormone of sleep. 

Most people are wildly deficient in melatonin. 

This is because light at night destroys melatonin. And most of you are not blocking light at night by wearing blueblocking glasses. 

So you destroy your melatonin. 

Taking a supplement with tryptophan gives your body the precursor to the hormone you are losing by playing on your phone after dark. 

Qualia Night is the pre-built supplement that was designed to help you sleep. You can try it out and save using discount code PRIMALMIND. 

Qualia Night Benefits

L Theanine and Sleep

 Let's take a closer look at the other ingredients. 

L-theanine is associated with relaxation, focus and sleep. 

It's a key compound in green tea. Paired with caffeine, it takes away the caffeine jitters and provides a calm focus. 

At night it can help you relax and sleep better. It has been shown to boost GABA and reduce excitatory neurotransmitters.

Here's an article describing some of the studies showing these effects. 

White Peony

 White peony is one of the oldest remedies in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been used for everything from reducing anxiety to helping with sleep, anxiety, depression, and autoimmune issues. 

Y-Oryzanol

This is a compound from rice bran oil.

There really isn't a ton of studies on this compound yet. It has been used for anxiety and also building lean muscle. Some people use it to boost mental performance and athletic performance. Because not a ton of research has been performed, there isn't a lot of scientific data backing this up, but data from people who use it agree that it is effective. 

 Uridine

Uridine is a naturally occurring nucleic acid that plays a key role in many different neuroregulatory processes. It is believed to support short and long term memory, learning, attention, and executive function.

Mechanisms:

  • Uridine plays a key role in phospholipid synthesis, critical for cell membrane integrity
  • Acts as a novel endogenous neurotransmitter via purinergic receptors
  • Neuroprotective via its interaction with NGF and other integrins and growth factors
  • Supports synaptogenesis and neuroplasticity through increasing cerebral phosphatidylcholine levels needed to create dendrite membranes
  • Elevates dopamine without downregulation
  • Building block of RNA
  • Involved in long term potentiation which mediates memory and learning
  • Found in high amounts in human breast milk
  • Synergistic with choline donors, DHA, and other phospholipids


More Info:

 Ashwagandha

Personally, I love this compound. On days when I'm stressed, I'll take 4 tablets of Ashwagandha before bed. 

It's an adaptogenic herb and helps your body de-stress if its stressed or gain more energy if you need more energy. 

This herb has been in use for over 3,000 years and is well used in ayurved. 

It has been shown to reduce blood sugar, may have anti-cancer properties, may reduce cortisol and anxiety, increase testosterone in men and fertility in women, and increase lean muscle gain. 

Here Are The Other Ingredients

Qualia Night ingredients

I'm Using this for the Next Month 

 Neurohacker holds Beta tests to determine how effective their formulas are. They tweak the formulas based on the tests. I was not part of the SLEEP beta test, and so now that it's launched Ill be trying out for a month. 

My sleep if pretty dialed in and I'm aware of any changes. I also will track via my Oura ring and see how it affects my deep sleep and REM sleep. 

Get Your Own Qualia Sleep RIGHT HERE for a HUGE discount using code PRIMALMIND and also choosing they cancel anytime subscription. 

My Results

Stay tuned as I update this each week and compare against my previous sleep without Qualia Night