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The Matt Walker Podcast is all about sleep, the brain, and the body. Matt is a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of the book, Why We Sleep and has given a few TED talks. Matt is an awkward British nerd who adores science and the communication of science to the public.

The Matt Walker Podcast Dr. Matt Walker

    • Gesundheit und Fitness
    • 4,7 • 39 Bewertungen

The Matt Walker Podcast is all about sleep, the brain, and the body. Matt is a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of the book, Why We Sleep and has given a few TED talks. Matt is an awkward British nerd who adores science and the communication of science to the public.

    # 35: Sleep and Memory - Part 1

    # 35: Sleep and Memory - Part 1

    It is a fundamental truth that sleep is far more than the absence of wakefulness. It is an incredibly active state, demonstrated by the fact that numerous functions of the brain and body are restored by and depend on sufficient sleep. One of the most impressive and best-understood of these is sleep’s beneficial role in boosting learning and memory abilities. Sleep is necessary both before and after learning and it intelligently associates and interconnects new memories together, offering the ability for creativity and ingenuity.
    The first of these benefits starts while we’re awake, as the brain acquires novel information, and different types of memories are imprinted in different parts of it. Fact-based memories depend on an area of the brain called the hippocampus, which is almost like a USB stick. Some years ago, Matt and his team conducted a study on the hippocampus and found a 40% deficit in the ability of the brain to make new memories without sleep. In addition, scientists working with rats have found that depriving the brain of sleep stops the cells within the hippocampus’ memory structure from forming strong connections. Notably, it doesn’t take an entire night of sleep deprivation to produce these types of impediments—selective deprivation of deep, non-REM sleep in humans can produce the same effects.
    Research has shown that during the deepest stage of deep, non-REM sleep, powerful brainwaves combine to act like a transfer mechanism. Wanting to know even more about how learning capacity and ability change across a waking day and how sleep modifies or restores that, Matt and his team designed a new study on daytime naps. They found that staying awake throughout the day resulted in a progressive decline in learning capacity, while those who took a ninety-minute nap showed no such decline. In fact, their capacity to memorize facts increased after that nap, showing a 20% learning advantage. This illustrates further that, without sufficient sleep, the brain is like a waterlogged sponge, our memory circuits saturated with memories so that we can no longer absorb new information and make new memories effectively.
    Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor, and none of the content in this podcast should be considered medical advice in any way, shape, or form, nor prescriptive in any way.
    Today’s podcast is supported by MasterClass - the online streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world's best about a variety of topics such as cooking, business, art, entertainment, writing, sports, science, health, and, of course, technology. When you sign up, you get access to all of the classes taught by such masters as Martin Scorsese, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ron Howard, and Bill Clinton to name just a few of Matt’s favorites. You may even find a masterclass from a familiar sleep scientist! And for this Holiday season, if you give one annual membership you'll get a second one, free! 
    Another sponsor of today's podcast is the biochemical electrolyte drink company LMNT, and they are very kindly offering eight free sample packs when you purchase any one of their orders at drinklmnt.com/mattwalker. LMNT is an electrolyte sports drink that I can fully get behind - it's created from the basis of science, and it has no sugar, no coloring, and no artificial ingredients – all qualities that are so important to maintaining your blood biochemical balance.
    So, make your way over to LMNT and MasterClass to take advantage of these incredible deals. And, as always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.

    • 17 Min.
    # 34: Sleep and Sex – Part 2

    # 34: Sleep and Sex – Part 2

    It’s been said that sleep is the new sex, and rightly so—a good night of sleep is going to do many things for the vibrancy, intimacy, and vitality of your relationship. We know that when couples are not getting sufficient sleep, they have more conflicts the next day and won’t resolve them nearly as well. This is partly because underslept couples suffer a loss of empathy for each other.
    However, insufficient sleep also has an effect on sex itself. Specifically, your reproductive hormones suffer, which are critical for the health of your sexual relationship. For example, young men who sleep just four to five hours a night will have a level of testosterone equivalent to someone ten years their senior.
    The same is true for women. Women who are not getting adequate sleep are 30% more likely to have abnormal menstrual cycles and suffer reductions in hormones critical to sexual wellness and fertility, including estrogen, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone. 
    Reductions in estrogen and testosterone can also decrease the sexual arousal a woman experiences. In contrast, one hour of extra sleep is associated with a 14% increase in the likelihood of a woman wanting to be sexually intimate with her partner.
    So sleep will certainly enhance sex, but it turns out that sex will also enhance your sleep. Sex before bed will improve the subsequent quality of sleep that you get that night, as long as that sex results in orgasm.
    And thankfully, it’s not necessary to have a partner to get these benefits. Orgasm achieved through self-stimulation helps an individual fall asleep faster, and improves the reported quality of sleep they subsequently obtain. 
    These findings are potentially important because they tell us that both sex and orgasm seem to be reliable sleep aids. So perhaps we don’t need to look to the latest and greatest sleep gadgets. Instead, we may be able to explore sex and orgasm as potential pathways to better sleep. In summary, sleep and sex are powerful and playful bedfellows.
    Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor, and none of the content in this podcast should be considered medical advice in any way, shape, or form, nor prescriptive.
    The good people at InsideTracker are one of the sponsors of this week's episode, and they are generously offering a special 25% off any one of their programs for anyone who uses the above link during the time window of this episode. InsideTracker is a personalized biometric platform that analyzes your blood and your DNA to better understand what's happening inside of you and offers suggestions regarding things that you can do to better try and adjust some of those numbers, optimize them, and, as a result, optimize you.
    Also sponsoring this week are those fine people at Athletic Greens, and they are generously offering 3 benefits for anyone who uses the above link for their first order: 1) a discount on your order; 2) a one-year free supply of vitamin D; 3) five free travel packs. Athletic Greens is a nutrition drink that combines a full complement of antioxidants, minerals, and biotics, together with essential vitamins. Matt’s been using it for several years now because he’s serious about his health, and because he did his research on the science and ingredients in Athletic Greens and thinks its scientific data can be taken as ground truth.
    So, make your way over to InsideTracker and Athletic Greens to take advantage of these incredible deals. And, as always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.

    • 9 Min.
    #33: Sleep and Sex – Part 1

    #33: Sleep and Sex – Part 1

    A few years ago, a survey by the Sleep Council in England found that 1 in 4 people in a couple would get up during the night and go to another room to get a good night’s sleep. Following that, a report by the National Sleep Foundation in America demonstrated that almost the same number (25%) of couples admitted to sleeping in separate bedrooms. In fact, a more recent anonymous survey found that 30%-40% of couples sleep in different beds. 
    Part of the societal stigma (and anxiety for individuals couples) surrounding a “sleep divorce” is the incorrect assumption that if you’re not sleeping together, then you’re not *sleeping* together. Because of the negative connotations, the world’s leading export on the topic, Dr. Wendy Troxel, has suggested renaming it a “new sleep alliance.” Whatever we call it, though, it seems clear that more people are admitting to sleeping separately. Of course, sleep divorce isn’t for everyone. Some couples feel safety and security when co-sleeping. 
    The science is rather clear. On average, couples do not typically sleep as well with a partner next to them as when they are alone. When one person moves in their sleep, there’s a 50% chance that their partner will wake up or suffer worse sleep as a consequence. Moreover, the sleep-stage quantity and quality of that sleep is objectively worse across numerous metrics when sharing a bed relative to sleeping alone. 
    However, there’s an interesting twist in this tale of co-sleeping: despite sleep being objectively worse, couples will often say they still feel more satisfied overall with their slumber experience when they are sleeping in the same bed. 
    All of which begs the question of what are we to do here? Matt offers four actionable suggestions: 1) be honest with yourself about your sleep needs; 2) have a gentle, honest conversation with your partner about your sleep needs as a couple; 3) suggest testing out your agreed new sleep arrangement for a period of time; and 4) try to retain much of what you would get by sleeping together while you’re sleeping apart. By this, Matt means the bookends of sleep: the saying good night and good morning. It’s a small price to pay for both partners getting great sleep at night, which will also improve your relationship.
    Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor, and none of the content in this podcast should be considered medical advice in any way, shape, or form, nor prescriptive in any way.
    Today's podcast is sponsored the biochemical electrolyte drink company LMNT, and they are very kindly offering eight free sample packs when you purchase any one of their orders. LMNT is an electrolyte sports drink that I can fully get behind - it's created from the basis of science, and it has no sugar, no coloring, and no artificial ingredients – all qualities that are so important to maintaining your blood biochemical balance
    Another sponsor today is MasterClass - the online streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world's best about a variety of topics such as cooking, business, art, entertainment, writing, sports, science, health, and, of course, technology. When you sign up, you get access to all of the classes taught by such masters as Martin Scorsese, Venus Williams, and Neil deGrasse Tyson to name just a few of Matt’s favorites. You may even find a masterclass from a familiar sleep scientist! 
    So, make your way over to LMNT andMasterClass to take advantage of these incredible deals. And, as always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.

    • 13 Min.
    # 32: Insomnia - Part 7

    # 32: Insomnia - Part 7

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI) can be split into at least five core components: 1) sleep restriction therapy, 2) sleep hygiene, 3) stimulus control, 4) cognitive restructuring, and 5) relaxation therapies. 
    Sleep restriction therapy has been shown to be one of the most effective components of CBTI. It  isn’t about restricting your sleep so much as limiting the amount of time you are allowed to spend in bed, and it aims to drive up the brain’s appetite for sleep, and promote long bouts of unbroken sleep. 
    Sleep restriction works by targeting the natural buildup of adenosine in your brain. Limiting time in bed through sleep restriction means you are awake longer, and the longer you are awake, the greater the build-up of adenosine. After several nights, sleep restriction helps you build up a wonderfully healthy amount of sleepiness that allows you to fall asleep more easily, and stay asleep soundly across the night. Because sleep restriction helps with building sleep pressure, it increases your sleep efficiency, meaning that you sleep almost all the time you’re in bed even though you’re in bed for less time overall. Once your sleep has stabilized, your clinician will start to add back more time that you’re allowed in bed.
    The second component of CBTI is sleep hygiene, covered in the previous episode all about sleep optimization The third component involves teaching relaxation methods, such as stretching, breathing, and meditation. 
    The fourth component is cognitive restructuring, which involves your clinician helping to disrupt and scientifically disprove your misbeliefs and anxieties around sleep.  The fifth component is called stimulus control, which means not laying in your bed fretting and catastrophizing. Stimulus control seeks to help you gradually extinguish the bad associations you may have with your bed/bedroom.
    Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor, and none of the content in this podcast should be considered medical advice in any way, shape, or form, nor prescriptive in any way.
    Those fine people at Athletic Greens are one of the sponsors of this week’s episode. and they are generously offering three benefits for anyone who uses the above link for their first order: 1) a discount on your order; 2) a one-year free supply of vitamin D; 3) five free travel packs. Athletic Greens is a nutrition drink that combines a full complement of antioxidants, minerals and biotics, together with essential vitamins. Matt’s been using it for several years now because he’s serious about his health and because he did his research on the science and ingredients in Athletic Greens and thinks its science and scientific data that can be taken as ground truth. 
    Another sponsor this week is the good people at InsideTracker, and they are generously offering a special 25% off any one of their programs for anyone who uses the above link.  InsideTracker is a personalized biometric platform that analyzes your blood and your DNA to better understand what's happening inside of you and also offers suggestions regarding things that you can do to better try and adjust some of those numbers, optimize them, and, as a result, optimize you.
    So, make your way over toAthletic Greens and InsideTracker to take advantage of these incredible deals. And, as always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.

    • 26 Min.
    # 31: Insomnia - Part 6

    # 31: Insomnia - Part 6

    Very understandably, many insomnia patients try to self-medicate their condition with varied “sleep aids”. The tragedy us that most of them not only fail to help but actually make insomnia worse.  
    Most common among these is alcohol, which hurts your sleep in at least three different ways: 1) it sedates your brain, rather than generating naturalistic sleep 2) it increases the frequency of nighttime awakenings and makes it harder to fall back to sleep, and 3) it inhibits REM sleep.
    THC also inhibits REM sleep, and users can develop a dependency on and tolerance to it, requiring more to get the same sleep effect. Worse still, THC is associated with a severe withdrawal insomnia, which only leads to relapse use. 
    Another ineffective tool is melatonin. Melatonin does not help people with insomnia sleep, as we discussed in the episode all about Melatonin. 
    The other option is classic prescription sleeping pills. However, based on their safety concerns and their minimal effectiveness long-term, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American College of Physicians (ACP) now state that classic sleeping should no longer be the first-line treatment for insomnia. Instead, the first line treatment for insomnia should be the non-drug approach called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi), and the one that Matt typically advocates for.
    At a high level, CBTi involves working with a trained clinician for several weeks to change your habits, behaviors, mental beliefs, and stress around sleep. Many people with insomnia lose all confidence in their sleep and have terrible anxieties around not sleeping—in other words, their sleep controls them, and CBTI is designed to reverse that. 
    Many clinical studies have shown that CBTi is just as effective as sleeping pills in the short term yet has no negative side effects. Unlike sleeping pills, its benefits can last for many years after stopping work with your therapist. 
    Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor, and none of the content in this podcast should be considered medical advice in any way, shape, or form, nor prescriptive in any way.
    Today’s podcast is supported by MasterClass - the online streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world's best about a variety of topics such as cooking, business, art, entertainment, and, of course, technology. When you sign up, you get access to all of the classes taught by such masters as Martin Scorsese, Venus Williams, Gordon Ramsay,  and Bill Clinton to name just a few of Matt’s favorites. You may even find a masterclass from a familiar sleep scientist! So if you're curious and have a thirst for learning,  head on over to masterclass.com/mattwalker and you will get a discount when you sign up.
    Another sponsor of today's podcast is the biochemical electrolyte drink company LMNT, and they are very kindly offering eight free sample packs when you purchase any one of their orders at drinklmnt.com/mattwalker. LMNT is an electrolyte sports drink that I can fully get behind - it's created from the basis of science, and it has no sugar, no coloring, and no artificial ingredients – all qualities that are so important to maintaining your blood biochemical balance. 
    So, make your way over to LMNT and MasterClass to take advantage of these incredible deals. And, as always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.

    • 21 Min.
    # 30: Insomnia - Part 5

    # 30: Insomnia - Part 5

    Some of the first neurological-related discoveries about insomnia were made by placing healthy sleepers or patients with insomnia inside brain scanners, and measuring changes in the activity in different parts of the brain as they tried to fall asleep. In the good sleepers, three main regions of the brain started to shut down at sleep: 1) emotion-related regions, 2) basic alertness-generating regions, and 3) the sensory awareness gate of the brain.
    There were also changes in the functional connectivity of large-scale networks in the brain. In patients with insomnia, the functional connectivity between these networks changes differently. Specifically, two large-scale networks show abnormalities in patients with insomnia: the default mode network, associated with ruminating and thinking about the past and future; and the salience network, associated with detecting threats and instigating changes in mood and emotional reactivity. These two areas become overly communicative and too tightly bound up together in their ongoing chatter of connectivity in patients with insomnia. Once again, this can lead to excessive worry, rumination, and emotion and a feeling of being under threat.
    Matt has previously mentioned how patients with insomnia can have an excessive release of stress-related chemicals. Those chemicals can also flood the brain, causing excessive activation in all the stress-related regions described above. Critically, though, it’s a reciprocal relationship—if you have hyperactivation in those parts of the brain, you can also trigger the body to release those stress-related chemicals. This becomes a self-fulfilling, negative-spiral prophecy where, as each response increases, further stress-related brain and body activation occurs. 
    These measurable changes in the brain and body teach us that insomnia is associated with a specific, and quite complex, set of changes within the brain and the body. No wonder the blunt instruments of old-school sleeping pills are yet to be the ideal way to treat insomnia.
    Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor, and none of the content in this podcast should be considered medical advice in any way, shape, or form, nor prescriptive in any way.
    The good people at InsideTracker are one of the sponsors of this week's episode, and they are generously offering a special 25% off any one of their programs for anyone who uses the above link during the time window of this episode. InsideTracker is a personalized biometric platform that analyzes your blood and your DNA to better understand what's happening inside of you and offers suggestions regarding things that you can do to better try and adjust some of those numbers, optimize them, and, as a result, optimize you.
    Also sponsoring this week are those fine people at Athletic Greens , and they are generously offering 3 benefits for anyone who uses the above link for their first order: 1) a discount on your order; 2) a one-year free supply of vitamin D; 3) five free travel packs. Athletic Greens is a nutrition drink that combines a full complement of antioxidants, minerals and biotics, together with essential vitamins. Matt’s been using it for several years now because he’s serious about his health, and because he did his research on the science and ingredients in Athletic Greens and thinks its scientific data can be taken as ground truth.
    So, make your way over to InsideTracker and Athletic Greens to take advantage of these incredible deals. And, as always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.

    • 19 Min.

Kundenrezensionen

4,7 von 5
39 Bewertungen

39 Bewertungen

_chrijo ,

Charming author and interesting knowledge about sleep

I like Matt‘s calm voice and charming British accent. The episodes are short but full of useful information about sleep. Thanks.

Martin Escher ,

Competent host and poor delivery

Delivery if this was about fairy tales for very small kids. Episodes too short. Way to little content, episodes too short. Overindulgent in a British styled charme.
A pity as the author is highly competent.

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