Day in the Life:
Benjamin Smarr, PhD
Benjamin Smarr, PhD is an NIH data scientist and physiologist working to enrich life by helping to get everyone behind the wheel with their biological dashboard. Dr. Benjamin is a professor at UC Berkeley. His skills and expertise involve Circadian Rhythms. Just last October, he published an article called, “3.4 Million real-world learning management system logins reveal the majority of students experience social jet lag correlated with decreased performance” which correlates body clocks and college student performance. Check out his daily routine:
What’s your favorite vegetable?
What’s your motto?
Time is on my side.
What’s your favorite book?
On Growth and Form by D’arcy Thompson.
What’s your favorite exercise?
What’s your favorite way to center?
Benjamin’s Daily Routine:
6-6:30 AM tai chi & weights
6:30-7:30 AM coffee & chocolate
7:30-8 AM walk to work
8 AM-11:30 AM code & write
11:30 AM-12:30 PM walk to lunch and back
12:30-5:30 PM work
5:30-6 PM walk home
6-7:30 PM wind down, cook, eat, connect
7:30-9 PM work, love
9-9:30 PM read & wind down
9:30 PM-6 AM sleep.
What gets you out of bed every morning?
Working toward exciting discoveries! (and my biological clocks).
What is the most important part of your daily routine?
Feeling appreciative of time well spent.
What about your “O” do you think is unique or special?
Might involve more explicit chocolate time than some.
Whose “O” would you most love to see?
Charles Darwin, but if you mean living, then Elon Musk: man gets a lot done.
What is your #1 wellness habit?
Valuing my own sustainable (long-term) well being.
What is the best piece of health advice you’ve ever received?
You determine your own level of happiness.
What is your favorite part of living a healthy lifestyle?
Feeling energized to take on the challenges I care about.
Describe your sleep ritual. What time do you go to bed?
I brush and floss, then read until I pass out (~5 minutes), usually before 10 PM.
What’s your biggest wellness challenge? How do you address it?
The world is full of hurtful actions, and that makes me sad, and sometimes feel defeated. I try to counter that truth and that sadness by contributing to positive actions every day.
Tell us about a time you were stuck in an unhealthy cycle and how you got out of it. What was the main inspiration for positive change?
Sometimes science feels like throwing sand at the waves. I love discovery as an antidote to malaise, and I learned sharing that with younger students – visiting schools or giving public talks – felt like an immediate good to bolster the much longer gains science brings.
If you could give one piece of health advice to the next generation, what would it be?
Invest time and energy in mental well-being, and everything else will be easier.
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