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#065 Dr. Satchin Panda on Circadian Insights into Exercise Timing, Melatonin Biology, and Peak Cognition

Dr. Satchin Panda

Dr. Satchidananda (Satchin) Panda is a professor in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. 

Dr. Panda’s work focuses on chronobiology, the study of the day-night cycles that drive the multifaceted activities of the human body, using genetic, genomic, and biochemical approaches. He is an expert on circadian rhythms and a pioneer in the field of time-restricted eating. A priority for Dr. Panda when designing his studies is to identify strategies that positively impact public health.

In this episode, Dr. Panda and I discuss...

  • 00:05:31 How circadian rhythms influence human health.
  • 00:12:30 How seeking bright light in the morning and avoiding it in the evening can help us sleep better.
  • 00:20:40 How the ability of supplemental melatonin to counteract evening bright light exposure varies.
  • 00:26:16 How understanding the relationship between melatonin and insulin secretion might help us decide when to eat.
  • 00:33:15 How shift work, jet lag, and modern lifestyles contribute to altered circadian rhythms and metabolic dysfunction.
  • 00:45:10 How naps might aid with afternoon sleepiness and sleep loss.
  • 00:47:05 How we can tailor our indoor lighting environment to promote healthy circadian rhythms.
  • 00:51:20 How time-restricted eating (eating within a narrow time range) can be beneficial.
  • 01:02:13 How Dr. Panda’s ongoing study uses a smartphone app to track when people eat.
  • 01:03:41 How most people are unaware of their eating patterns.
  • 01:07:58 How Dr. Panda incorporates his research findings into his own life.
  • 01:16:21 How our circadian rhythms dictate when we should exercise – and how caffeine provides a workaround.


If you’re interested in learning more, you can read the full show notes here:

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 2021-07-06  1h28m