Q&A with Tim — Tools for Better Sleep, Musings on Parenting, the Different Roles of Fear, the Delight of Deepening Friendships, the Purpose of College, How to Boost Your Mood, HRV Training, and More (#557)

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Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is usually my job to sit down with world-class performers of all different types to tease out the habits, routines, favorite books, and so on that you can apply and test in your own life. This time, we have a slightly different format, and I’m the guest.

As some of you know, I tested a “fan-supported model” in 2019, but I ended up returning to ads by request. That’s a long story, and you can read more about it at tim.blog/podcastexperiment. I recently sat down with the supporter group for a fun and live Q&A on YouTube.

I answered questions on plantar fasciitis relief, manga-assisted language learning and retention, breathing exercises, wolf conservation, parenting ambitions, mood and energy remedies, tools for better sleep, the different roles of fear, the value of college, favorite wrestling movies, and much, much more.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the Q&A on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement, GiveWell.org charity research and effective giving, and Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#557: Q&A with Tim — Tools for Better Sleep, Musings on Parenting, The Different Roles of Fear, The Delight of Deepening Friendships, The Purpose of College, How to Boost Your Mood, HRV Training, and More

This episode is brought to you by AG1! I get asked all the time, “If you could use only one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG1 further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

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This episode is brought to you by  GiveWell.org ! For over ten years,  GiveWell.org  has helped donors find the charities and projects that save and improve lives most per dollar. GiveWell spends over 30,000 hours each year researching charitable organizations and only recommends a few of the highest-impact, evidence-backed charities they’ve found. In total, more than 100,000 people have used GiveWell to donate as effectively as possible.

This year, support the charities that save and improve lives most, with GiveWellAny of my listeners who become new GiveWell donors will have their first donation matched up to $100 when you go to GiveWell.org and select “PODCAST” and “Tim Ferriss” at checkout.

This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear a previous Q&A? Listen in on my conversation with you, my lovely listeners, in which we discussed how to go about finding a mentor, how to extinguish anxiety, cocktails, relationship advice, training into confidence, the meaning of life, and other light topics.

#363: Tea Time with Tim — How to Find Mentors, Decrease Anxiety Through Training, and Much More


  • What worked best to help with my plantar fasciitis? [05:27]
  • What breathing exercises do I practice and recommend? [07:20]
  • What did I implement from Andrew Huberman’s advice on sleep? [08:38]
  • If I were to revise The 4-Hour Body, what would I change? Has my opinion changed in regards to keto, intermittent fasting, multi-day fasting, PAGG, et cetera? [12:02]
  • Why did I stop gymnastic strength training? Do I think I’ll revisit it? [13:57]
  • Would I ever have David Goggins on the podcast? [15:31]
  • When I’m learning something new, do I still follow the DS3 method from The 4-Hour Chef? [16:09]
  • A recommendation for rock climbers. [20:01]
  • How has my work with wolf conservation been going? What has been the impact of my support thus far? [20:19]
  • Thoughts about the most important qualities I’d hope to pass on to my children, what I suspect a modern educational curriculum might omit from their lessons, and parental role models I might hope to emulate. [24:34]
  • Outside of psychedelics, what other somatic experience/physical modality has created the largest positive shifts for me? [26:49]
  • What past vacation destinations would I most like to revisit? [32:49]
  • What are one or two of my super long-term goals? [33:15]
  • Congratulations to Matthew W. Johnson for his U01 grant from NIDA to study psilocybin for tobacco addiction! [36:20]
  • There’s been a lot of talk of experiential therapy techniques like psychedelics. Are there any promising research programs using VR gaming for similar results? [38:37]
  • Favorite book from the past year. [41:08]
  • Has moving to Austin made me more reflective? [43:30]
  • Have I ever spent time in any Scandanavian countries? If so, what was my impression? [47:23]
  • When can I get Steve Martin on as a guest? [49:35]
  • How do I maintain the languages I’ve learned? What tip do I most recommend to language learners? [50:11]
  • What principles have I learned from chess that I can use outside of the game? [53:13]
  • Feel like low energy is keeping you from thinking optimally? Here are a few ideas about what might be causing it and what you can do to try and remedy the situation. [55:22]
  • Outside of sleep, what is my biggest force multiplier? [56:23]
  • After undergoing isolation, stress, and trauma, how would I suggest individuals deal with the lingering psychological effects and cognitive biases of the pandemic (heightened scarcity, mindset, risk aversion, et cetera) so they can keep making growth-based decisions as opposed to fear-based ones? [57:52]
  • For people watching this on video, what’s the art behind me? [1:01:47]
  • What advice would I give to someone just getting started in podcasting — not necessarily for making a living, but for creating something worth listening to? [1:02:27]
  • Is college a must? What alternative methods of advanced education could fit into a gap year and be just as valuable? [1:07:16]
  • How am I going to cope with sleepless nights once I become a father? [1:14:00]
  • Do I know Tea Time with Tynan? For that matter, where’s my tea? [1:14:25]
  • What’s my take on global warming? How am I preparing for possible worst case scenarios? [1:14:53]
  • The power of Eight Sleep Pod compels you (to get a restful night of sweet, sweet slumber). [1:15:54]
  • Why am I suddenly hosting these more frequently? What do these sessions bring to me? [1:16:16]
  • Thoughts on psychedelics and their potential effects on people who have experienced psychosis, schizophrenia, et cetera. [1:16:51]
  • Am I still interested in cryptocurrency? (Yes, but make sure to listen to Kevin Rose’s podcasts on the subject [Modern Finance and Proof] because he’s really got his finger on the pulse of that world right now.) [1:20:49]
  • What do I think about Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Incerto series? [1:21:05]
  • Does someone who considers themselves psychologically healthy risk opening Pandora’s box in their subconscious by tampering with psychedelics? [1:22:22]
  • What do I do to pattern interrupt when I notice I’m slipping into a low point? [1:26:10]
  • Do I have plans to engage Congress in federal changes related to psychedelics, or is this a longer-term objective once the science is solid? [1:29:24]
  • What’s my favorite wrestling movie? [1:30:57]
  • What gets most people the most bang for the buck in terms of time management when exceeding 200k annual income? [1:32:44]
  • How has sleep tracking improved my quality of sleep? [1:33:54]
  • Is there anything to which I say “F it” and just proceed willy nilly? Or am I robotically methodical about everything? [1:36:23]
  • When practicing mindfulness and gratitude don’t seem to do the trick, how can you slow down and enjoy life without being so focused on the future? [1:37:44]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:40:21]


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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11 Replies to “Q&A with Tim — Tools for Better Sleep, Musings on Parenting, the Different Roles of Fear, the Delight of Deepening Friendships, the Purpose of College, How to Boost Your Mood, HRV Training, and More (#557)”

  1. Tim – you’ve changed my life for the better and have become apart of my personal and professional development. I am full of gratitude for what I’ve learned over the years by listening to your podcast. I love these kinds of episodes where a lot of various topics are covered. There was a lot of simple easy things that someone could immediately implement. You will always be my fav!!

  2. Great podcast Tim. Thank you so much for the excellent content. Sorry to hear about your Uncle. Another great book for dealing with anxiety is ‘Unwinding Anxiety’ by Dr. Judson Brewer. May you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. You earned them both.

  3. Tim, I would love to hear more about your Covid experience; before, during and after! My husband and I had Covid this month– December 2021. Although Covid itself was fairly easy to get through, I have a lingering cough (10 days post Covid) and Matt ended up with pneumonia. He’s on the right track, recovering, getting better everyday, but… We’d love to hear all of your thoughts and experience. PS if I missed an episode where you have already talked about this, link it up, yo! Only Love, Ashly in Austin TX

    1. We still have much to kearn about Covid.
      God speed your recovery
      Peter Drake
      [Moderator: title and institution removed.]

  4. Hi Tim.

    Love your podcast. I’m a big fan.

    I have a great product for the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis off evidence based research. Happy to send you the studies done and the product to try out.

    Best wishes,

  5. Regarding your comment that you will be interviewing your parents privately, is it possible you could publicly make available your list of questions or at least a framework on how you approach interviewing one’s parents. Interviewing my parents is something I’ve been thinking about and would appreciate your thoughts given how well your interviews are.


  6. This was a particularly rich podcast that I have recommended to my kids, wife, and others. Wanted to refer Tim and readers to a Plantar Fasciitis cure that I have used with amazing results, compliments of Brad Kearns on MarksDailyApple. Involves a two minute wall stretch; here are details: https://www.marksdailyapple.com/plantar-fasciitis-stretches/
    Thank you Tim for introducing me to so many ways to improve my life. I’ve suffered from depression/anxiety for decades, and your techniques to ameliorate this crippling affliction has been life-changing.