Biohacking has been a buzzword for almost a decade now. However, nobody has an exact definition of what biohacking is.

Some say that biohacking is a rebranded Vedic teaching, going back thousands of years. Others claim biohacking is about a diet, timely exercising, and absolute abstinence from alcohol and sugars. On the other hand, there are also practicing biohackers who casually mention micro-dosing, LSD, and shrooms as part of their daily routine.

The most reasonable definition seems to be as follows: Biohacking is a set of self-experimented measures to improve one's vitality and increase productivity through physiological change.

Biohacks do not necessarily need to be borderline risky. Those that work would always look more like general recommendations from a family doctor. Below we outline four productivity biohacks that have already proven their efficiency if implemented.
 

Hardening one's body to cold

Start small — with the contrast shower every morning. This will help with waking up and staying concentrated during the workday. Later a person can move on to cold water immersion and eventually to winter swimming.

Multiple peer-reviewed studies (see, for example, here and here) have found sufficient evidence to prove that hardening human bodies to cold benefits health a lot:

  • Improve blood circulation,
  • daily spikes in energy levels,
  • boost the immune system,
  • provide quick weight loss (in cases when needed, of course),
  • decrease frequency of infectious diseases and inflammation cases.

These are only a few of the most frequently registered observations made by cold swimmers and scientists.


How and why does it work?

The thing is that humans' tech-equipped, civilized life fully protects bodies from various thermal stimuli. In summer, people tend to stay under the A/C. In winter — wear clothes made of smart materials outside and switch on central heating inside.

This avoidance of natural risks gradually leads human bodies to develop various degenerative diseases in the skeletal, muscle, and heart systems.

However, it is possible to recreate the natural thermal stimuli artificially. Cold swimming is one of the methods. Daily limited exposure to cold keeps the body alert and much more resistant to various external challenges, acute diseases in the first place.

Improving sleep quality through dream cycle monitoring

"Getting enough sleep" is a very vague, subjective notion. One might have eight hours of sleep and then wake up barely functioning. For other people, even four hours of sleep would be enough. It is not important how long a person sleeps — it is crucial when they wake up, at which sleeping stage. Most people need about 7-9 hours of sleep. However, this number varies significantly among individuals.

Anyone interested can request a personal sleep study (like this one) from a doctor and find out their chronobiological type. It will help the person set up an individual sleep routine that would be unique to them.

Not everyone has a chance to participate in such studies, however. The good news is — wearable sleep trackers work. We intentionally will not mention any brand names here because, again, it is all very individual. Ideally, a person would need to test drive at least three different devices to find The One.

The general recommendation, though: slick design is not the most important thing about a sleep tracker. The significant one is the alarm that would wake the person up during the lightest phase.


No exposure to cold blue light before sleep

As it is commonly known, the human eye can differentiate eight basic colors of the visible spectrum (the so-called rainbow colors). Light blue is the most hostile to us among all eight, partly because it has the highest vibration intensity.

Exposure to artificial cold blue light (screens of all Internet-connected devices, TVs, neon ads, and other street signs) causes eye strain and migraines. Long-term exposure to blue light tends to suppress melatonin production in our bodies and damage sleep quality (find a detailed explanation here).

Melatonin hormone is responsible for a range of essential processes, apart from sleeping. Permanently reduced levels of its production would eventually mean worsened metabolism and much quicker aging.

What can we do? The universal recommendation is strict but straightforward: no phones or laptops at least 2-3 hours before bed. If this sounds unrealistic, blue-light-blocking glasses will help. These glasses filter the cold blue light, thus reducing the unhealthy load on our eyes and brain.


Meditation to stay focused

Meditation is one of the most genuinely ancient biohacks of humankind. 

Throughout centuries it has proved to be working and evolved into a variety of forms and methods. There are no rules here. If this helps get through the day, we recommend starting every morning with five minutes of meditation. If it encourages a person to relax and sleep better, we recommend meditating straight before bed.

In most cases, anyone can download an app with professional guidance. 

If there are problems with understanding the technique, it is better to seek help in meditation classes. They are usually available at yoga centers and Buddhist temples, accepting people of all religions. If it is hard to detach oneself from the external noises, use earplugs. The main principles are simple, though: one should feel the body and focus on the breath.


Wrapping up

Remember that while biohacking might not have a single, commonly approved definition, it is more about experimenting with a human body and keeping an open mind to new ideas. We never know what might end up working best for us. 

Bio or not, hacking always takes courage to get started. Consistency and patience come later.