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Watch > Episode > Matthew Walker - How To Sleep Better (And Improve Your Life)

Matthew Walker - How To Sleep Better (And Improve Your Life)


Matthew Walker is an award winning Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California Berkeley, and the Sleep Scientist at Google. His book “Why We Sleep” takes a groundbreaking look at how sleep is one of the most important aspects of our life, one that is increasingly neglected in modern society, and how that can have deadly consequences.

In this revealing conversation with London Real host, Brian Rose, Matthew talks candidly about how a lack of sleep affects dieting and exercise, why seeing alcohol as an aid to sleep is a major misconception and why the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life.

Born in Liverpool, England, Matthew Walker pursued an academic journey that led him to become a prominent figure in the field of sleep science. Holding a Ph.D. in neurophysiology from the Medical Research Council in London, Walker’s early research focused on the neural mechanisms of human memory and the role of sleep in memory consolidation.

Walker’s academic journey took him to various prestigious institutions, including Harvard Medical School and the University of California, Berkeley, where he assumed a professorial role. His research expanded to encompass the broader implications of sleep on cognitive function, mental health, and overall well-being.

In 2017, Matthew Walker published his groundbreaking book, “Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams.” The book serves as a comprehensive exploration of the science of sleep, delving into its physiological, psychological, and societal dimensions. “Why We Sleep” not only crystallises complex scientific concepts into accessible language but also presents a compelling case for the critical role that sleep plays in every aspect of our lives.

The book gained widespread acclaim for its ability to bridge the gap between scientific research and public understanding, sparking a broader conversation about the importance of sleep. Walker’s advocacy for sleep health has resonated with a global audience, prompting individuals and institutions to reevaluate their attitudes and behaviours toward sleep.

Matthew Walker’s work has had a profound impact on public health by shedding light on the consequences of sleep deprivation and the benefits of prioritising adequate sleep. His research has linked insufficient sleep to a range of health issues, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and compromised immune function.

Walker’s emphasis on the role of sleep in mental health has also brought attention to the connection between sleep disorders and conditions such as depression, anxiety, and neurodegenerative diseases. By unravelling the intricate relationship between sleep and various health outcomes, Walker has become an advocate for sleep as a pillar of preventive medicine.

In addition to his research and writing, Matthew Walker has actively engaged in educational initiatives and public outreach. His lectures and interviews have disseminated valuable insights into the importance of sleep hygiene and the detrimental effects of a sleep-deprived society.

Walker’s efforts to bridge the gap between academia and the general public have contributed to a growing awareness of sleep as a critical component of overall well-being. Through platforms like podcasts, interviews, and public lectures, he continues to educate audiences about the science of sleep and its transformative potential for health optimisation.

Matthew Walker’s pioneering work in sleep science has reshaped our understanding of the importance of sleep for physical and mental well-being. From his research on memory consolidation to his best-selling book “Why We Sleep,” Walker has become a leading voice advocating for healthier sleep habits on a global scale.

By unravelling the mysteries of sleep, he has ignited a cultural shift toward recognising and prioritising sleep as a cornerstone of a healthy and fulfilling life. As Matthew Walker continues to champion the importance of sleep, his impact resonates not only in the realm of scientific inquiry but also in the lives of individuals seeking to unlock the transformative power of a good night’s sleep.


00:00 | Trailer
03:47 Brian’s thoughts on the episode
06:03 Brian’s introduction
06:56 Why Matthew’s book is more comprehensive than just the top 10 tips for sleep
09:04 How he came to study the importance of sleep and detrimental effects from lack of it
11:58 How a lack of sleep affects dieting and exercise
14:02 Sometimes, to unmask the lack of sleep you are having you have to put the system under load
16:13 Alcohol as an aid to sleep is a major misconception
19:25 Other issues affecting sleep: light; body temperature; regularity;24:24 Schools give lectures about drugs and sex, but nothing on the importance of sleep
27:23 Sleep deprived parenthood
32:58 Wakefulness is low level brain damage, sleep is a life support mechanism
36:39 Sleep is not a passive state; how surprising activity in phases of sleep aids the memory
46:42 Success secrets
47:35 Social jetlag or sleep bulimia is disastrous
50:54 The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life
Sleep is absent as a voice in medicine
1:02:00 Reaction of the medical world to his article in The Lancet
1:03:56 The sleep divorce concept is a huge issue on a taboo subject
1:08:30 Sleeping pills come with deleterious consequences
1:15:10 Matthew could help reduce Theresa May’s promised 30 million pound injection into NHS
1:18:14 Why and what it is like, to come out of the lab into the limelight
1:20:08 Passion for sleep will drive Matthew’s mission to promote its benefits to industrialised nations
1:23:05 Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body health
1:23:41 Brian’s summing up.


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