In this kick-off “behind the scenes” episode, Drs. Haroon, Sohaib and Royan figure out the theme of their brand new body clock podcast. Listen to them get to know each other and brainstorm on ideas.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: And we are live. Thank you for joining us today. This is Dr. Haroon Kazem and I am joined remotely by Dr. Royan Kamyar and Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz and thank you so much for joining us again. We’re going to be diving into some content together today for the first time so I am going to hand the microphone over to Dr. Kamyar and the floor is yours sir.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: Thank you, Haroon. I can call you Haroon, right?
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Yes.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: Dr. Kazem? Or-
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Haroon sounds good, that way everybody can kind of become our friends over time, right?
Dr. Royan Kamyar: Sounds good, alright. Well, okay. So basically this is the making of this is where we determine what the template or the blueprint will be for moving forward on the show. And I have through just suggestions for you all. And you know just make it an honest open conversation about what makes the most sense. And what we’re most interested in doing. Okay, so one is an Owaves themed podcast.
Owaves is obviously the startup that I’m involved with, which now you guys are very welcomed part of. Glad to have you on the team as part of this podcast. We could focus on the software, make it very technology specific show, and also a lot of what we’ve done on the blog, which is interview key influencers, physicians, like ourselves, Olympic athletes, yoga instructors, people who really embody health and wellness and figure out what they do on a daily basis to consciously or not optimize their circadian rhythms.
OK. And then also when I mention that technology we can get into IOT, we can get into machine learning, AI, wearable devices, there’s a lot of interesting topics there – to medicine, etc.. The second choice would be what we came in this show with which was the Body Clock Podcast. So we all know that circadian rhythms won the Nobel Prize last fall. We’re still pretty tipping point in terms of circadian rhythm becoming common knowledge or common conversation.
We know that through the BBC’s coverage which I think has been the most in depth out of you know, say, the public media or last few years, they’ve gravitated with the word the body clock to describe circadian rhythm and say that the average person because you know terms like circadian rhythm chronobiology really get lost in translation. And with this theme, we really focus on the science. It’ll be very circadian rhythm specific.
We would interview scientists in the fields, Ph.D.’s–people who are publishing the papers who are actually carving the literature and we’d actually discuss those research papers you know maybe in our introductory materials et cetera. But it would be very you know scientific focused podcast and really talking about the science of circadian rhythms. Finally there’s a third choice that I think would be compelling. Again you know there’s plans to write a book around this topic that Owaves is involved with and for Owaves to really take off, you know, we we want to create a movement around keeping time around our biological clock.
And so the third choice would really be about creating this movement. We would call a time revolution, right, so you know the potential title for the book would be The Time Revolution. And what that means is you know basically acknowledging that the way we tell time today–hours, minutes, and seconds–is largely manmade and was created in the B.C. era and has a lot of room for improvements.
There’s phenomenon such as time stress, time sickness, time famine, and what we think is a major root cause is that the the integration of the biological clock or the body clock is just not there with how we tell time. Telling time the way we do today is very good for scheduling meetings, for avoiding train crashes, but given the fact that the term circadian rhythm was just coined in the 1950s and the Nobel award was given in the fall was for the very basic science kind of DNA level research around this topic that translational science is still not fully there.
The clinical implications of that science is still very vast and broad but very fundamental which is why it won that award because of the potential of this category science to really just disrupt or break out of the way that we practice medicine today. And so ultimately what I’m getting at is there is this thing where we can actually create a movement around integrating the biological clock to the way we tell time which because it’s such a every day fundamental experience, how we tell time, could actually be a revolution of sorts in terms of health and wellness. So those are three choices.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Awesome. So I love the name the Body Clock Podcast. I personally think it’s awesome because I feel like it goes very much in line with the goal of OWaves as a whole and falls in line very much with what you were going over just right now. Sohaib, what are your thoughts?
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: I mean, I love AI and I love movements so it’s a hard choice but I mean body clock could probably the one because I think because of the recent research, as you said, I think people need to know how to optimize their body clocks and have access to the experts in the field. So I mean, that would add a lot of insight to peoples lives, I think. So, I mean I like all three names but maybe the Body Clock for me.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: That was an easy choice then, if everyone gravitates to that. I agree it’s probably the most ignostic of the three and the most pure. I mean, you know, basically it really gets at the root of, you know–
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Yeah
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Agreed.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: I mean yeah I mean even though AI always gets to me, it’s the buzzword these days–
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Yeah.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: –and technology is very fascinating but yeah, Body Clock, I think we’ve agreed on that.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: I mean we definitely don’t have to ignore the other themes but I think if we move forward with the Body Clock Podcast as our title, then we kind of have to stay true to ultimately defining that for the listener, right? That becomes sort of an–
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Yeah
Dr. Royan Kamyar: –implicit task. If someone comes to, you know, download or listen to the Body Clock Podcast, they better be getting information related to circadian rhythms and relevant and up-to-date information on that theme.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Yeah, I mean, maybe even in the future spin-offs into the time revolution because I mean that sounds amazing as well. It seems like an actual movement. So, and then technology, I mean, that links in as well because you could argue you could use technology for your body clock as well. But yeah, I mean, I think I agree. Body Clock would be would be the one for now.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: The reason why I lean towards it too is just because I feel like it does allow for leeway to dive into additional topics and also to sort of expand upon it. And we can even do that in the sense of like sub-genre shows and whatnot. Which, you know, as a big time podcast listener myself, I love when things sort of get changed up from the usual and you get sort of like a fresh new take from people who you’re used to sort of hanging out with, which I think is the coolest part about a podcast is that for the most part you become almost sort of like friends with the podcasters because you have a very intimate relationship with these people after a while because you’re getting to spend so much quality time listening and sort of like you know pondering over like you know everything from regular simple ideas to really complex technical ones and you sort of feel like you know the person who’s doing the podcast for awhile so hopefully users or listeners will feel that way about the three of us in that suit
Dr. Royan Kamyar: So Haroon, this question mark is checked. How much time do we have to kind of take it one step further. Or explore some other–.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: We’re about eight and a half right now so-
Dr. Royan Kamyar: Okay, so halfway through. Well okay, so one thing that we probably should do, since is the first episode is define circadian rhythms, right? Or the body clock, if that’s actually the theme that we’re going to move forward with. So maybe we just start then with each person’s interpretation or definition–personal working definition of a body clock, because that will obviously iterate with time, and the more knowledge that we gain from the scientific community around the topic.
And then, we’ll take it, depending on how much time we have left, one step further, which would be to identify the key remaining questions we have on the topic because that would be sort of the father for this subject matter that will be going over later. Who wants to go first? Who wants to try taking a stab at defining the body clock?
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Go for it Sohaib
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: The British one.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Yeah, right? Exactly. You articulated so well that’s why.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: The Oxford dictionary.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Like, after you. So yes, I’m you know obviously quite new to the whole field, but my understanding of the body clock would be, so it’s essentially a biological process which is regulated by an endogenous entrainable system, which helps you to function efficiently according to the different tasks you perform throughout a 24-hour cycle.
With 24 hours obviously being quite flexible because what I’ve learnt is that everyone’s body clock isn’t exactly 24 hours–I think the average being like 24 hours eight minutes, I heard. Yeah, and by entrainment, I mean, it’s synchronized with the environment. So environmental cues take the lead with the body clock. So I mean I believe it changes with seasons. Obviously, you got your sleep wake cycle, your solar light-dark cycle–so I think it’s quite quite complicated but that would be my definition.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: Cool.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Awesome.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: I didn’t know words like entrainable would be coming up already. So we’re already ahead of the game. Sohaib’s been doing his homework. That’s pretty impressive.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: I think I’m providing for that exam.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Royan, what’s your definition, brother
Dr. Royan Kamyar: Okay sure. Okay, so I have what I think is a pretty layman’s definition of the body clock because that’s how we try to translate it for, you know, people who use our software. We don’t try to overcomplicate things and so we’ve been in the business of trying to communicate the body clock as simply as possible, but you know really, it’s the way that we, as a human species, evolved to deal with the rise and fall of the sun.
And it’s such a fundamental phenomenon that even single celled organisms go through it or have gone through it and have a biological clock. So pretty much every known organism with minor exception has what we know to be a 24-hour clock. And so what was taught to us in medical school was that it mostly revolved–Sohaib mentioned as one of the many important things that he said around the sleep? And we really we only gotten probably half the day maximum two days of lecture on circadian rhythms and all how to do is sleep-wake cycle.
And so what was the exciting thing to me when I came across a science as an aspiring entrepreneur, I happened to be at UC San Diego which has one of the first dedicated centers for circadian biology, was that it goes way beyond just the sleep-wake cycle. The circadian rhythms or the biological clock or the body clock, has implications for the way we think, for the way we feel, for when we want to make love, for the best times to eat, the optimal times to exercise, why we gain weight over the seasons–pretty much every major issue you can think of including death, right, so heart attacks and strokes, has fundamental circadian components.
And so it was just mind-blowing to me that this knowledge pool existed but was never introduced to me in medical school. I had to literally stumble across it at a general club meeting being held by the body clock group on campus. And anyways, I guess I was a long definition, but basically the body clock is the way that our physiology has adapted to the fact that we have nighttime and daytime and ultimately it has implications for every major physiological function we could think of.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more. I mean–.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Yeah, nice.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: –myself, you know like, when it comes to the body clock is a still currently practicing provider at the moment, like I’m always preaching you know the the upstream downstream concept to my patients in terms of why are they not healthy. You know, why are they getting sick? What’s the root cause of disease and what’s the root cause of problem and to be honest, you know, I for the longest time took for granted the importance of managing our own individual body clocks.
And so my perspective on it was very much an upstream downstream perspective in the sense that this is as upstream as it gets. And it’s comparable to building a house on a shaky foundation. You can’t build a healthy successful life on a shaky foundation of not properly managing the body clock. And nowadays with all the science that’s being released and all the information that’s out there and all the tools and technology, you know, there really is no reason why that isn’t, you know, dived into more by just you know mainstream medicine and the media, all that sort of thing, because personally, I feel like it would solve a lot of the problems that are happening right now.
And my mission is to hopefully work with the two of you and under the Owaves umbrella, under the Body Clock Podcast umbrella, to be able to at least enlighten to a certain perspective a lot of listeners out there that probably aren’t taking good care of their personal body clocks. And if it betters one person’s life from listening to the three of us sort of ramble on and have fun with each other, you know, I feel like this show is a success.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: I mean that’s a good–I like the points you brought up at the end there because what you’re pointing out is the reality is today, more than ever, people are mismanaging or abusing their body clocks. Right? On literally an everyday basis because we’re surrounded by technology, blue light 24/7. Our melatonin release signals, you know, our body clocks are suffering. And you know really artificial lights–iPhones in the bedroom etc.–have caused a massive shift in terms of how we take care of ourselves. And it’s a really subtle but powerful component for–contributor to the obesity epidemic, the diabetes epidemic, depression, mental health, you name it. The science has been tying the two together. Major types of cancer, right? So the World Health Organization, they hold nightshift were a probable carcinogen in the same class as UV radiation.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Wow
Dr. Royan Kamyar: So it has implications for breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. The scary part is, even though we might not be working night shifts, circadian biologists would argue that we are acting like social shift workers because our social events take us to 2AM or we’re using the iPhones at 12AM, which delays our melatonin release by maybe three hours. And so, we are almost living like shift workers even though we’re not charged with being an actual shift worker and that has major public health implications.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Exactly. So Royan, that brings me on to the point where do you feel then the next generation, now children, as they’re developing, they’re staying up later on phones and technology even though we use as an advocate for health. I mean, it can be a double edged sword where it’s causing people to disrupt their circadian rhythm. So do you think the health implications, you mentioned diabetes et cetera, do you think they’re going to carry on increasing and you could find some developmental problems and you could say the millennials or people growing up today?
Dr. Royan Kamyar: The short answer is yes, and then, before I even dare going into the long answer, Haroon, how are we doing in terms of time?
Dr. Haroon Kazem: We’re about seventeen going onto eighteen right now.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: So I think that’s a beautiful question actually be the topic of an entire show. We could actually bring in-I do know a couple experts-because it’s a powerful issue and we’re busy talking about the fate of the next generation. Facebook Apple’s-
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: That would be good, actually.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: This is such a timely topic so I think that should actually be, you know.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Be an episode, yeah.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: We might want to, because it’s such a timely topic you know Google just launched their digital wellbeing initiative.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Yes they did.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: We might-and actually Instagram’s founder just last night, Kevin Systrom. Instagram, we know is probably the most powerful, you know. It’s owned by Facebook. But in terms of the level of user engagement and time spent and ability to influence people, Instagram is you know being considered the most powerful platform on the planet. Their founder just released that and they will be spending statistics on how much-or, they’ll be sharing statistics on how much time we’re spending on Instagram’s feed.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: That’s right, that’s right. There’s a new option-right?-that shows you how much time you’re sort of on the app and not-.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: This would be good for the podcast as well. People are interested in Instagram. It’s a topic of discussion.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: So hard question. Let’s just go ahead and say let’s skip ahead and say that’s going to be the topic of our next episode. So should we call this one a wrap and sort of you know let the users know that we’re going to hopefully offer a new episode and new fresh new content on a regular basis.
The three of us also have our personal lives and a lot of other business endeavors that we work on so we’re going to try very hard to be able to regularly meet and provide just, you know, new episodes on interesting topics relating to the Body Clock Podcast and whatever else that we find, you know, fascinating and the three of us are,you know, we’re from different places and Sohaib is across the pond over in London, I believe.
And so you’ll be able to get a nice perspective of sort of an international take on a lot of the stuff as Royan and myself here very American and we sort of give you the perspective of how things are from like a Southern California mindset versus one a little bit farther away if you will. Royan, you want to you want to close it out?
Dr. Royan Kamyar: I’m excited. I think the next topic is very timely, very relevant, and I already have a couple of ideas for people we could bring in to help inform the issue. But nevertheless it’s ripe for discussion.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Yeah so that was an awesome topic that would be great in the next episode.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Yeah I mean Facebook-I had a recent live session with Harvard actually, Harvard Business School. So I mean, I’m looking forward to it.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Aw man. I think people would really really want to hear about that. I was able to listen to a little bit of it and I was very impressed, man. You’re a very good speaker. I’d be a lot more nervous than you were.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Very kind of you.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: That was the topic that you had brought up so I think I saw the clip that was the topic. Either you asked or were being asked.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: I was being asked, yeah. So, the professor brought it up.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: So, why don’t you give us a snippet of your answer and then we’ll just close with that.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: I mean, you mean a repeat of that? So it was basically around-
Dr. Haroon Kazem: a teaser for what to expect next time or-
Dr. Royan Kamyar: give us a 30 second-put it together in 30 seconds. No pressure.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Thirty seconds.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: So I was asked basically about Facebook. There was there was conclusive evidence that Facebook was addictive for children. And I was a company and I had a Facebook page. How would I approach that?
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Your answer is good, yeah. You said AI.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Exactly. Even the professor started laughing. I mean these days you can throw AI at anything, right? Correct?
Dr. Royan Kamyar: Seriously.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: So yeah I mean this guy next time I mean Facebook, Apple, these companies, I mean they’re facing a lot of social questions. So I mean timely topic as you guys are-looking forward to it.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Certainly a reason why I’ve lost sleep.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Facebook.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Yeah exactly. Well, thank you for everybody that was listening to the show. Please make sure as always that you get Owaves, so make sure you get on the App store or the Google store and download the application. Tell your family-.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: It’s not on Google yet. It’s only on Apple.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Oh, check that!
Dr. Royan Kamyar: Okay, so if you guys are Android users, there’s a sign up for our beta, beta trial on the bottom of our website. So you can click on it and we’ll add you to our e-mail list.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Awesome.
Dr. Royan Kamyar: Owaves.com. Like Ocean. W-A-V-E-S.
Dr. Haroon Kazem: Get the app people. It will make your life better. I promise. Thank you guys again. We will be back very soon. Have a nice day. Make sure you get some sleep, okay?
Dr. Royan Kamyar: Sure.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Bye.