#47 – Matthew Walker, Ph.D., on sleep – Part I of III: Dangers of poor sleep, Alzheimer's risk, mental health, memory consolidation, and more.
Play • 1 hr 43 min

In part 1 of this 3 part series, Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience at UC Berkeley and expert on sleep, describes the different stages and cycles of sleep, including what he calls the 4 pillars of sleep, and how they contribute to memory consolidation and numerous important pathways to mental health. We also get into the dangers of chronic sleep deprivation, such as the development of dementia, and the more acute dangers of sleep deprivation like fatal car crashes which are most often caused by drowsy driving. We also discuss the different and important roles of REM vs. non-REM sleep, and the impact that bad sleep habits can have specifically on those sleep stages. 


We discuss:

  • Matthew’s background and interest in sleep [6:03];
  • Sleep and Alzheimer’s disease, and the 4 pillars of sleep [12:18];
  • Stages of sleep, sleep cycles, and brain waves [41:18];
  • Memory and sleep, and the risk of insufficient REM sleep [55:48];
  • Evolutionary reasons to sleep [1:02:03];
  • The early riser vs. the night owl, and tips for overcoming jet lag [1:10:18];
  • Is there one type or stage of sleep that is most important? [1:17:33];
  • The dangers of drowsy driving [1:28:48];
  • The timeliness of Matthew’s book, and how the conversation of sleep has changed over the past several years [1:35:18]; and
  • More.

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