#33: Andrew Hill – The Secrets of Neurofeedback and Peak Mental Performance

health & fitness performance podcast Jul 16, 2019

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 Ever felt the feeling of lack of focus? Do you suffer from migraines? Or do you are someone you know get the label ADHD? Well, then this episode is for you. Because there is a solution that does not include a lot of nasty drugs. It seems like one of the best-kept secrets the more I have a look into it. It is Neurofeedback and top Performers such as Tony Robbins, Ben Greenfield, Dave Asprey, etc have utilized it. I there got an expert on the field for an interview. And he actually did an image of my brain. Luckily it didn’t look that bad 🙂 

 Andrew Hill is an expert on neurofeedback, he has trained Ben Greenfield’s brain. Andrew is the founder and director of Peak Brain Institute. He’s been a lecturer at the University of California UCLA for almost 13 years. And then, of course, he has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience. 

So I’m really excited to have Andrew here with me today.


“Neurofeedback essentially is operant or instrumental conditioning that is involuntary and produces implicit learning.” 

– Dr. Andrew Hill


During our discussion, you’ll discover: 

What Does He Do? (02:19)

  • “Everything I do is about that giving people control and understanding of how their brain ages, how it changes, how it gets, you know, performance bottlenecks, how you can take control of resources, how you can use different forms of neuroimaging or assessment to figure out how your brain might be performing in ways that aren’t obvious to you.” as Andrew shares.


What is Neurofeedback? (03:18)

  • Andrew stated that essentially neurofeedback is operant or instrumental conditioning that is involuntary and produces implicit learning. 


Where Does Neurofeedback Work? (07:26)

  • He said that Neurofeedback is a big help in ADHD, epilepsy, trauma, sleep issues, executive function, and even migraine.
  • The majority of the field are first therapists and then learn this technique as a way of another toolset with their therapeutic practice. This process was discovered because it actually reduces seizures and a lot of the things we do have nothing to do with the therapeutic aspects of the mind or the therapeutic relationship you may have and healing.
  • “In 2012 the American Academy of pediatricians knocked neurofeedback up to level one best support for efficacy against ADHD. The only other thing in that category being stuff like stimulant medication.” Andrew adds.


What To Know About The Neurofeedback Sessions (12:43)

  • The process is mostly involuntary because the brain tends to produce whatever activity internally it will get the most output in the world in some ways, so for only applauding with spaceships flying and beeps and music, some things the brain is doing, it starts to feel a little bit more of those things, but you don’t really have a strong sense of that in the half-hour training session. 
  • What happens is over the next day or so, your brain does a little more of what produced the input to get the visual and auditory output.
  • After five sessions or so, you start feeling more and more self-controlled. Sleep onset starts to get better. Impulsivity starts to drop away. If you’re a user of stimulants or cannabis, your tolerance gets abolished for those things. You have to sort of ramp down your use. 


Potential Side Effect from Neurofeedback (26:53)

  • “Think about this like the gym a little bit. If you go to the gym and set the machine up wrong, too much weight or the wrong machine, the next day you’re very sore and you feel a little weird and if you ignore it and you go back and exercise again, you actually end up causing problems.” Andrew points out.
  • “You feel weird, your sleep gets thrown off, you feel a bit anxious, you feel wiped out. If you ignore the negative trend and you keep reinforcing it after five or 10 sessions, side effects start to really stick in. I’ve gotten clients and other practitioners who train somebody in the wrong direction for a long time and made a permanent  ‘negative change’.” Andrew further stresses a point.


Ways To Optimize The Brain Aside From Neurofeedback (30:18)

  • “I view that you need to get your foundational resources sorted out quickly first and then you can start working on optimizing. And there are some easy things to do. Like the first things to do are the things you’re already doing. You’re already sleeping, you’re already breathing and moving and eating.”, Andrew suggests.
  • “And then if you aren’t meditating, add that. And then if you aren’t doing neurofeedback or saunas or something else, add that. And then if you aren’t testing your blood amino, then, add that.”, he adds.
  • “Do those things in a way that can get you the most benefit and the least detrimental to your health.”, Andrew reminds.


What To Know About Circadian Rhythm (32:20)

  • The last meal of the day is the strongest one for circadian timing. Because if you go to sleep, you either have insulin in your system or don’t. If you don’t have insulin in your system because you haven’t eaten, then you have a massive pulse of growth hormone, that gets released about an hour and a half into sleep. And if you’ve eaten before bed, that has not happened because your body thinks it’s still essentially a different time of day. 
  • Andrew points out, “The rule of thumb is, the most important rule for circadian timing, go to bed hungry, wake up full and refreshed. If you go to bed full, you wake up hungry and tired.”
  • The second rule is to wake up at the same time of day every day.
  • The third rule is, don’t eat yet, exercise instead. 



  1. You have to rely more on the feeding, more on keeping your sleep habits tight more activity because those things will override a wonky light cue.
  2. Do not eat too much crap.
  3. Maintain your sleep and circadian habits. They are as important as everything else. 





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