#48 – Matthew Walker, Ph.D., on sleep – Part II of III: Heart disease, cancer, sexual function, and the causes of sleep disruption (and tips to correct it)
Play • 2 hr 5 min

In part 2 of this 3 part series, Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience at UC Berkeley and expert on sleep, describes the preponderance of evidence linking poor sleep to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and sexual function. He also details the impact of cortisol on our nervous system contributing to sleep disturbances and insomnia as well as the efficacy and risks associated with the most common sleeping pills. Matthew also describes the sleep needs of teenagers and urgently lays the case that we should reconsider school start times. We also get into the effect of electronics at night, the efficacy of napping, the general impact of modern society on our sleep habits, and what changes we can make to course correct. 

We discuss:

  • Sleep and cardiovascular disease [6:00];
  • Fuel partitioning and dieting while sleep deprived [16:45];
  • Sleep and the reproductive function: testosterone, sperm count, FSH, menstrual cycles, and fertility [19:45];
  • The biological necessity of sleep, the lack of a “safety net”, sleep debt, and ways to course correct sleep problems [23:45];
  • Fighting cancer and improving immune function with sleep [34:30];
  • The medical profession: A culture that devalues sleep [47:30];
  • The sleep needs of children, the travesty of early school start times, electronics at night, and advice for parents [1:04:45];
  • How exposure to light affects sleep, and how modern society has changed our sleep habits  [1:26:15];
  • Is napping helpful? [1:36:00];
  • The effect of cortisol levels on sleep [1:41:15];
  • Are sleeping pills doing more harm than good? [1:52:15]; and
  • More.

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