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Nick Urban's Biohacking Tips: What They Mean for Vagus Nerve Stimulation Device Use for Improving HRV

Nick Urban's Biohacking Tips: What They Mean for Vagus Nerve Stimulation Device Use for Improving HRV

Key Takeaways

  • Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) can significantly increase heart rate variability (HRV), which is a marker of a balanced autonomic nervous system and overall health.
  • Using a VNS device like Pulsetto is a simple and non-invasive way to potentially reduce stress, improve sleep, and enhance mental clarity.
  • For best results, the VNS device must be used consistently and paired with healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Nick Urban, a biohacker and performance coach, founded Outliyr to enhance health and performance through holistic biohacking. He shares insights via articles, supplement advice, and his podcast, "Mind Body Peak Performance."
  • Pulsetto, a vagus nerve stimulator, biohacks your parasympathetic nervous system to reduce stress, beat anxiety, and ensure sound sleep in just 4 minutes.

Nick Urban's Biohacking Secret with Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Imagine a tool that could help you manage stress, sleep better, and feel more energized. That's what VNS promises. By stimulating the vagus nerve, which runs from the brainstem to the abdomen, VNS activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of your nervous system that tells your body to relax and digest, countering the fight-or-flight response.

Nick Urban is a biohacker and performance coach who started Outliyr to help people improve their health and performance using holistic biohacking. Despite having normal blood tests, he wasn't happy with his health, so he explored biohacking. This involves using the latest science and proven methods to boost physical and mental performance. Nick shares his knowledge and tips through articles, supplement advice, and his podcast, "Mind Body Peak Performance," to help others reach their health and performance goals.

Outliyr Optimal Human Secrets, a book on biohacking written by Nick Urban.

Why Vagus Nerve Stimulation is a Game-Changer

HRV measures the variation in time between each heartbeat. It's an indicator of how well your body can adapt to stress and maintain balance. A higher HRV means your body is better at managing stress and recovering from it. That's where VNS comes in—it's been shown to improve HRV, which is why it's becoming a cornerstone practice for those seeking peak mental and physical performance.

The Connection Between VNS and Enhanced Wellness

Vagus nerve stimulation offers numerous health benefits. 

When you stimulate the vagus nerve, you're essentially sending a message to your body to turn on its relaxation response. This can lead to a cascade of health benefits, including:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Better sleep quality
  • Improved digestion
  • Enhanced mental clarity
  • Increased resilience to stressors

And because VNS can be done non-invasively with a device like Pulsetto, it's an accessible form of biohacking for many.

Tips from Nick Urban and How These Tips Help Maximizing VNS Effects

Nick Urban, an expert in biohacking and health, shares tips on improving VNS to boost HRV and overall health. He suggests using specific techniques and lifestyle changes based on the latest science and practical strategies. 


Nick Urban's venture into biohacking began as a quest to overcome brain fog and chronic fatigue.

Tips to Increase HRV

Nick Urban offers a variety of strategies to boost HRV, emphasizing both immediate and long-term improvements. Here are some key methods he recommends:

  • Balanced Nutrition: Clean Diet- Focus on a diet free of inflammatory foods. Include whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats to reduce sympathetic stress and support overall health​.
  • Breathwork Practices: Techniques such as the Wim Hof Method, box breathing, and exercises from "The Oxygen Advantage" by Patrick McKeown can significantly increase HRV in real-time by promoting relaxation and enhancing vagus nerve function​.
  • Quality Sleep: Prioritize sleep hygiene by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a restful environment, and avoiding screens before bedtime. Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining high HRV levels​.
  • Regular Physical Activity: Engage in regular exercise, including high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate activities like walking or yoga. Exercise can boost HRV, but it's important to avoid overtraining, which can temporarily lower HRV.
  • Mind-Body Practices: Incorporate mindfulness techniques such as meditation and yoga to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and promote relaxation, which can help improve HRV​.
  • Hydration: Ensure adequate water intake, supplemented with electrolytes if necessary, to support optimal bodily functions and HRV​.
  • Cold Exposure: Practices like ice baths and cold showers can initially decrease HRV but lead to significant improvements over time through hormetic stress, which enhances the body's resilience.
  • Avoiding Stimulants: Reduce the consumption of stimulants like caffeine and nicotine, as they can chronically activate the sympathetic nervous system and lower HRV. Regular breaks from stimulants can help reset the body's tolerance and improve HRV​.
  • Routine Monitoring: Use HRV biofeedback devices, such as the Hanu HRV system or the Oura ring, to track and optimize HRV. These devices provide valuable insights and help individuals make informed lifestyle adjustments​.

Causes of Low HRV

Understanding these causes is essential for implementing effective strategies to improve HRV:

  • Chronic Stress: Ongoing stress from work, relationships, or other sources can suppress HRV by constantly activating the sympathetic nervous system.
  • Poor Sleep Quality: Lack of sleep or disrupted sleep patterns can significantly reduce HRV, as the body does not get adequate time to recover and restore.
  • Inflammatory Diet: Consuming foods that cause inflammation, such as processed foods, refined sugars, and trans fats, can negatively impact HRV.
  • Lack of Physical Activity: Sedentary lifestyles can lower HRV, as regular physical activity is essential for maintaining autonomic balance.
  • Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can reduce HRV by impacting overall bodily functions and stress responses.

Step-by-Step Guide on Using a VNS Device

If you're considering VNS to enhance your HRV and overall well-being, here's a straightforward guide to get you started:

Choosing the Right VNS Device for You

  • Choose a VNS device supported by solid research and positive user feedback.
  • Look for adjustable settings to customize your experience.
  • Ensure the device is cleared by relevant health authorities.

Pulsetto nerve stimulator is controlled using the Pulsetto app.

Preparing for Your First VNS Session

  • Find a quiet space for uninterrupted relaxation.
  • Read the device instructions thoroughly.
  • Charge the device if necessary.
  • Ensure comfort with device operation.
  • Start with a short session to gauge body reaction.

Navigating the VNS Device Settings

  • Most devices offer varying intensity levels and stimulation patterns.
  • Start with the lowest setting and gradually increase as needed.
  • Aim to find a comfortable and soothing level.
  • Use the device's app to track sessions and changes in feelings.
  • The sensation should be noticeable but not painful. Reduce intensity if uncomfortable.
  • After sessions, reflect on feelings of calm or relaxation.
  • Keeping a journal can help track progress and adjustments.

Monitoring Progress: Tracking Changes in HRV

As you incorporate VNS into your routine, monitoring your HRV is a great way to gauge its effectiveness. By tracking these changes, you can make informed decisions about your health regimen.

There are several ways to measure HRV, from wearable tech like smartwatches to dedicated HRV sensors. These devices typically work by measuring the time interval between heartbeats, giving you a direct insight into your autonomic nervous system's balance.

Understanding HRV and Its Indicators

HRV is a reflection of your body's ability to adapt to stress and is influenced by various factors like fitness level, stress, and even time of day. A higher HRV generally indicates better cardiovascular fitness and stress resilience. Conversely, a lower HRV can be a sign of stress, overtraining, or even health issues.

It's important to note that HRV is highly individual, so it's more useful to track your own trends over time rather than comparing your scores to others.

How to Accurately Measure Your HRV

To get an accurate measure of your HRV, consistency is key. Here are some tips:

  • Measure at the same time each day, preferably first thing in the morning.
  • Ensure you're in a rested state; avoid measuring immediately after exercise or a stressful event.
  • Use the same device for measurements to maintain consistency.
  • Take note of any factors that might affect your HRV, like illness, lack of sleep, or alcohol consumption.

By tracking your HRV regularly, you can start to see patterns emerge. Maybe you'll notice your HRV increases after a good night's sleep or a day with less stress. This valuable feedback can help you make lifestyle adjustments that support your health and well-being.

The Pulsetto nerve stimulator offers a simple way to biohack and improve one’s health.

So there you have it—a primer on using VNS to boost your HRV and, by extension, your health. It's a simple, yet powerful, biohacking tool that can help you become more in tune with your body's needs. With consistent use and careful tracking, you might just find yourself feeling better than ever.

Analyzing HRV Data for Optimal Health Decisions

Understanding your HRV data is crucial in making informed decisions about your health and wellness. By tracking the fluctuations in your heart rate, you can gain insights into your body's stress levels and recovery status. This data can guide you in fine-tuning your lifestyle choices, such as adjusting your exercise intensity, managing stress better, and optimizing your sleep patterns. Keeping an eye on your HRV trends will empower you to make the best choices for your body's unique needs.

Try Pulsetto Today

Nick and other biohackers, such as Bryan Johnson and Ben Greenfield, know the importance of a normal HRV. They have different approaches to maintaining a healthy life. VNS devices are helpful in improving the HRV, along with the tips from Nick Urban and other biohackers. 

If you're curious about how vagus nerve stimulation can benefit your HRV and overall health, consider trying Pulsetto. It offers a user-friendly, cost-effective solution for fast results without side effects, featuring adjustable intensity and no need for long-term use.

With adjustable settings and guided programs, Pulsetto can help you manage stress, improve your sleep, and boost your mental clarity. Give it a try and see how it can complement your health and wellness journey. 

The Pulsetto nerve stimulator is an intuitively designed device aimed at making VNS accessible to all.

Ready to take the next step in your wellness journey? Explore Pulsetto today and unlock the benefits of VNS for your health!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Long Does It Take to See Results from VNS?

Results from VNS can vary from person to person. Some may feel more relaxed immediately after a session, while others might notice improvements in their HRV and overall well-being after consistent use over a few weeks. It's important to remember that biohacking is a personal journey, and patience is key. Tracking your progress and being attentive to your body's responses will help you understand how VNS works for you.

Most importantly, the benefits of VNS can compound over time. As you incorporate it into your daily routine, you may find that your ability to handle stress improves, your sleep quality gets better, and your HRV increases. These changes can create a positive feedback loop, enhancing your resilience and overall health.

Is VNS Safe for Everyone to Use?

While VNS is generally considered safe for most people, it's not suitable for everyone. If you have a pre-existing heart condition, an implanted medical device like a pacemaker, or other health concerns, it's crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before trying VNS. They can help you assess the risks and determine if VNS is a safe option for you.

It's also essential to use VNS devices according to the manufacturer's instructions and to start with the lowest intensity setting to gauge your body's response.

Can VNS Help with Specific Health Conditions?

VNS has been researched for its potential benefits in various health conditions, including depression, anxiety, epilepsy, and chronic pain. While the evidence is promising, it's important to approach VNS as a complementary therapy and not a replacement for conventional treatments. Always discuss with your healthcare provider to understand how VNS might fit into your overall treatment plan for any specific health condition.

Because VNS can affect the nervous system, it may have wide-ranging effects that could be beneficial for a variety of conditions. However, more research is needed to fully understand its potential and to establish guidelines for its use in different health scenarios.

How Does VNS Differ from Other Biohacking Techniques?

VNS stands out among biohacking techniques because it directly stimulates the vagus nerve, which plays a key role in regulating the body's stress response. Unlike lifestyle interventions like diet and exercise, which have indirect effects on the nervous system, VNS offers a targeted approach to enhance parasympathetic activity and improve HRV.

This direct stimulation can provide a unique set of benefits, making VNS a valuable addition to a holistic biohacking strategy. It complements other techniques by providing a specific mechanism to promote relaxation and recovery.

What If I Don't Experience Any Changes in my HRV?

If you don't notice any changes in your HRV after using a VNS device, consider the following:

  • Are you using the device consistently and as directed?
  • Have you given it enough time? Some benefits may take several weeks to become apparent.
  • Are other factors affecting your HRV, such as stress, lack of sleep, or illness?
  • Is your measurement technique consistent and accurate?

If you've addressed these factors and still don't see changes, it may be helpful to consult with a healthcare professional or a biohacking expert. They can provide guidance and help you explore other strategies that might be more effective for your individual needs.

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Pulsetto does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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