By: Paula Cocozza | Dopamine fasting: why Silicon Valley is trying to avoid all forms of stimulation | Neuroscience | The Guardian
It’s the latest trend in the world’s tech capital. But is it really possible to cut yourself off from everything in life that excites you – and can it be any good for you?
They have done biohacking, clean sleeping and the keto diet, but now Silicon Valley types have coined a new health trend – dopamine fasting. It is thought that depriving yourself of the neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger that motivates us to do things, can help to reboot or rebalance the brain. Fasting might entail abstinence from technology, artificial light, food, drink, conversation, eye contact – essentially anything that an individual finds stimulating. But is there any sense to the fad?
“Retreating from life probably makes life more interesting when you come back to it,” says David Nutt, director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit in the division of brain sciences at Imperial College London. “Monks have been doing it for thousands of years. Whether that has anything to do with dopamine is unclear.”