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The Matt Walker Podcast

Author: Dr. Matt Walker

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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. 

76 Episodes
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Matt introduces his series examining the complex relationship between sleep and cannabis, exploring both the historical context and contemporary scientific perspectives. The narrative begins with Dr. W.B. O'Shaughnessy's canine experiments in 1849, tracing the evolution to the foundational work on cannabis for sleep conducted by Drs. Clendinning and Bradbury. Despite anecdotal reports suggesting cannabis enhances sleep, the scenario is complicated by factors such as regulatory constraints, variable product quality, and the potential long-term health implications of cannabis usage.In discussing the impact of cannabis on sleep, Matt elucidates the interactions among THC, CBD, and the endocannabinoid system. Initial benefits may include improved sleep onset and efficiency, but chronic use is often associated with negative outcomes such as increased nocturnal awakenings and reduced sleep quality in the latter half of the night. Additionally, Matt explores the challenges associated with discontinuing cannabis use, including the risk of THC dependency for sleep induction, highlighting the necessity for evidence-based approaches and individualized decision-making in using cannabis as a sleep aid.Matt's analysis extends to the global context of cannabis consumption, advocating for well-informed choices amidst its growing popularity and the dynamic landscape of scientific research.Please be aware that Matt is not a medical professional, and the content of this podcast should not be regarded as medical advice or as prescriptive in any manner.This episode is sponsored by the Tim Ferriss Show, celebrating its ten-year anniversary with over 1 billion downloads since 2023. The show is renowned for Tim's profound interviews with a diverse range of guests—from Hollywood legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Foxx to lesser-known figures who have captivated Tim's attention—each episode is designed to offer deep insights and stimulate thoughtful discussions.  Tune in to Tim.blog or look for the Tim Ferriss Show today, available wherever you find your podcasts.The good people at InsideTracker are also 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.Another sponsor of the show is AG1, a comprehensive nutritional drink trusted by thousands worldwide, including Matt! For nearly four years and counting, he has relied on AG1 to fuel his post-workout routine with its powerhouse blend of over 75 essential minerals, vitamins, probiotics, and prebiotics, meticulously crafted to support your daily nutritional needs. AG1 is registered and approved by the Therapeuti
This week, Matt dives deep into the complexities of REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD), a condition where individuals physically act out their dreams due to the absence of normal muscle paralysis during REM sleep. He meticulously breaks down the mechanisms of normal REM sleep, where the brainstem induces muscle atonia to prevent dream enactment, contrasting it with the failure of this system in RBD cases. Further expanding on the topic, Matt explores the etiology, diagnosis, treatment options, and prognosis of REM Sleep Behavior Disorder. He outlines the primary, drug-induced, and secondary types of RBD, with a focus on the idiopathic category, linking its occurrence to neurodegeneration and the accumulation of alpha-synuclein protein in the brainstem. Treatment strategies include lifestyle adjustments and pharmacological interventions like melatonin and clonazepam, aiming to reduce injury risks. 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.Are sleep troubles keeping you up at night? Matt used to be a skeptic about meditation, but 7 years ago, he tried it using a fantastic meditation app called ‘Calm’, and it transformed his sleep! Now, he meditates for 10 minutes before bedtime every night! He’s also partnered with Calm who have been generous enough to offer his podcast listeners an exclusive 40% discount on their premium subscription! All you have to do is go to calm.com/mattwalker and take advantage of this incredible deal! Head on over now and improve your sleep today!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.Another sponsor this week 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 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. If you want to give LMNT a try, just head on over to drinklmnt.com/mattwalker and get your eight free samples with your first purchase. 
Ask Me Anything Part 5

Ask Me Anything Part 5

2024-04-0101:00:061

Eti is back for another AMA episode with Matt to answer questions that have been submitted over the last little while. Today’s installment dives into a number of topics including the intricate relationship between sleep and pregnancy, exploring how sleep disturbances impact pregnant women and the postnatal period. Additionally, the hormone prolactin, essential for milk production, is highlighted for its sleep-promoting benefits during the postnatal phase, illustrating nature's intricate balance between nurturing new life and ensuring the mother's rest. Their discussion also touches on whether pregnancy sleep disturbances are all part of preparing mom for baby’s arrival which, of course, can further disrupt schedules, citing the very few biological exceptions where sleep is actually sacrificed for survival. Our experts also undertake  a light-hearted exploration of "eye gunk" (rheum), demystifying its composition and reassurance that its presence is a normal part of sleep hygiene rather than an indicator of sleep quality. They finish up by responding to a question regarding the connection between sex, masturbation, and sleep, which you absolutely do not want to miss.Tune in today, and don’t forget to send in any sleep questions you may have - Matt and Eti might just answer them in a future episode!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.One of the podcast’s new sponsors is Levels, the groundbreaking continuous glucose monitor that keeps track of your blood sugar levels day and night. Whether you're curious about your body's response to different foods or seeking to enhance your sleep quality, Levels has the answers. Matt’s been using it for almost 2 years now, and has actually made changes to his diet in response to the powerful individual information Levels provides. If you’re interested, visit levels.link/Mattwalker now to grab an exclusive podcast offer of two free months of this impactful service, and take charge of your health journey today!Another exciting new sponsor is MUD\WTR, the ultimate coffee alternative that delivers a natural morning pick-me-up without caffeine jitters. Their unique blend of cacao and mushrooms offers a delightful and gentle lift to kickstart your day, as Matt can attest! Plus, now when you head over to mudwtr.com/MattWalker, as a podcast listener, you'll receive a free frother and coconut creamer samples! Experience the delicious world of MUD\WTR, valued sponsors of our podcast, and elevate your mornings with this fantastic offer!As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please rea
In today's podcast episode, Matt welcomes back Dr. Michael Gradisar to delve into the evolving understanding of screens and sleep. Initially holding the belief in the detrimental effect of screen light on sleep, Matt finds this notion challenged by Dr. Gradisar's research, which emphasizes a more nuanced perspective. Their discussion highlights the shift from simplistic concerns about screen use to acknowledging the multifaceted influences on sleep, including content and individual differences. Dr. Gradisar's experiments, such as exposure to violent video games and bedtime displacement monitoring, emphasize the complexity of the relationship between technology use and sleep, stressing the need for personalized approaches to addressing sleep issues. His dialogue with Matt underscores the importance of scientific inquiry in challenging and refining commonly held beliefs about technology and sleep, advocating for a nuanced understanding that considers individual behaviors and differences. Furthermore, both speakers encourage researchers to engage with industry and the public, translating findings into practical advice for improving sleep hygiene and promoting healthier sleep practices.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. For a very limited time, InsideTracker is giving you 50% off their bundles. Plus, they’re offering 30% off everything else in their store. 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.As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.Links:Wink Sleep: https://winksleep.online/Michael Gradisar LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-gradisar-ba2184b6/?originalSubdomain=au
#69 - Sleep & Menopause

#69 - Sleep & Menopause

2024-03-1123:251

Matt explores menopause and sleep disturbances today, noting the impact of hormonal changes, including a drop in estrogen and progesterone, and the role of hot flashes in disturbed sleep. He enumerates different types of sleep impairments related to menopause such as insomnia, sleep-disordered breathing, restless leg syndrome, and various sleep stage disruptions. Treatment options are discussed, with an emphasis on hormone replacement therapy, though controversy surrounding this approach is acknowledged. He outlines alternative treatments, including medication and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. The episode underscores the effect of menopause on sleep and the importance of education and support for these issues.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.Are sleep troubles keeping you up at night? Matt used to be a skeptic about meditation, but 7 years ago, he tried it using a fantastic meditation app called ‘Calm’, and it transformed his sleep! Now, he meditates for 10 minutes before bedtime every night! He’s also partnered with Calm who have been generous enough to offer his podcast listeners an exclusive 40% discount on their premium subscription! All you have to do is go to calm.com/mattwalker and take advantage of this incredible deal! Head on over now and improve your sleep today!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.Another sponsor this week 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 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. If you want to give LMNT a try, just head on over to drinklmnt.com/mattwalker and get your eight free samples with your first purchase. As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
Ask Me Anything Part 4

Ask Me Anything Part 4

2024-03-0435:193

It’s another AMA episode and Dr. Eti Ben Simon returns to not only share some of her own sleep routines, but also to help listeners gain a rare insight into Matt's personal sleep habits as they respond to a listener’s query. Renowned for not sharing much, if anything, regarding what he considers his “boring” self, Matt is coaxed into offering a candid exploration of his bedtime routines, shedding light on both his successes and challenges in achieving optimal rest. From his dedication to regular sleep schedules to his strategies for managing stress-induced insomnia, Matt’s uncharacteristic willingness to share personal anecdotes, coupled with Eti’s invaluable contributions, humanize the often complex realm of sleep science for listeners here today.Through their engaging dialogue, our hosts emphasize the importance of individualized approaches to sleep hygiene, highlighting the significance of understanding and optimizing one's unique sleep patterns. By delving into each other’s personal experiences with occasional insomnia and proactive efforts to prioritize sleep, our hosts reveal valuable insights into practical strategies for enhancing sleep quality and overall well-being. This exchange not only enriches listeners' understanding of sleep science but also underscores the transformative potential of personalized sleep practices in fostering health and vitality.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.One of the podcast’s new sponsors is Levels, the groundbreaking continuous glucose monitor that keeps track of your blood sugar levels day and night. Whether you're curious about your body's response to different foods or seeking to enhance your sleep quality, Levels has the answers. Matt’s been using it for almost 2 years now, and has actually made changes to his diet in response to the powerful individual information Levels provides. If you’re interested, visit levels.link/Mattwalker now to grab an exclusive podcast offer of two free months of this impactful service, and take charge of your health journey today!Another exciting new sponsor is MUD\WTR, the ultimate coffee alternative that delivers a natural morning pick-me-up without caffeine jitters. Their unique blend of cacao and mushrooms offers a delightful and gentle lift to kickstart your day, as Matt can attest! Plus, now when you head over to mudwtr.com/MattWalker, as a podcast listener, you'll receive a free frother and coconut creamer samples! Experience the delicious world of MUD\WTR, va
Matt Walker welcomes his dear friend, the epic sleep researcher and clinician, Dr. Michael Gradisar, to the podcast to join him in exploring the profound influence of light on sleep quality. Dr. Gradisar's groundbreaking research and clinical proficiency in pediatric sleep disorders and circadian rhythm disruptions have reshaped the field, guiding both scientific comprehension and practical interventions. His conversation with Matt here today delves into the intricate interplay among light exposure, circadian rhythms, and sleep, highlighting the therapeutic promise of light therapy, particularly in addressing insomnia.Throughout their dialogue, our two experts challenge prevailing misconceptions about screen time and its purported negative impact on sleep. Advocating for a nuanced understanding of how light influences sleep patterns, they dispel the notion of screen light as a malevolent disruptor. Instead, they underscore the multifaceted nature of light's effects and stress the importance of tailored interventions that align with individual circadian rhythms. Navigating the intersection of scientific research and real-world application, Matt and Michael encourage listeners to reconsider common myths and embrace evidence-based strategies for optimizing sleep hygiene.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. For a very limited time, InsideTracker is giving you 50% off their bundles. Plus, they’re offering 30% off everything else in their store. 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.As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.Links:Wink Sleep: https://winksleep.online/Michael Gradisar LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-gradisar-ba2184b6/?originalSubdomain=au
This week, Matt explores the intricate connection between sleep and weight, shedding light on the alarming reality of how inadequate sleep contributes to weight gain. He emphasizes the staggering correlation between the rise in obesity rates and the decline in sleep duration over the past six decades, backed by meta-analyses showcasing the significant associations between insufficient sleep and heightened obesity risk. Our host delves into experimental studies revealing how sleep deprivation disrupts the balance of appetite-regulating hormones like leptin and ghrelin, leading to increased hunger and calorie intake, particularly from snacks. Notably, the episode highlights Dr. Gerda Pot's groundbreaking research at King's College, which underscores the link between sleep deprivation and heightened calorie consumption, offering valuable insights into the impact of sleep on dietary habits.Amidst the concerning findings, the episode offers a glimmer of hope by discussing Dr. Esra Tasali's innovative study from the University of Chicago. Dr. Tasali's research presents a compelling narrative, demonstrating that extending sleep by just 1.2 hours each night can lead to a remarkable reduction in energy intake, ultimately facilitating weight loss without necessitating changes in exercise or diet. This study serves as a beacon of optimism, illustrating the transformative potential of prioritizing quality sleep in the battle against obesity. By elucidating the profound impact of sleep on appetite regulation and weight management, today’s episode podcast provides invaluable insights into the vital role of sleep in maintaining overall health and well-being.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.Are sleep troubles keeping you up at night? Matt used to be a skeptic about meditation, but 7 years ago, he tried it using a fantastic meditation app called ‘Calm’, and it transformed his sleep! Now, he meditates for 10 minutes before bedtime every night! He’s also partnered with Calm who have been generous enough to offer his podcast listeners an exclusive 40% discount on their premium subscription! All you have to do is go to calm.com/mattwalker and take advantage of this incredible deal! Head on over now and improve your sleep today!The good people at InsideTracker are another sponsor of this week's episode. For a very limited time, InsideTracker is giving you 50% off their bundles. Plus, they’re offering 30% off everything else in their store. 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.Another sponsor this week is the biochemical electrolyte drink company  LMNT</&l
Ask Me Anything Part 3

Ask Me Anything Part 3

2024-02-0501:07:011

Dr. Eti Ben Simone is back with Matt Walker to delve into a range of intriguing topics surrounding sleep, circadian rhythms, and the impact of shift work on our health, all within the engaging context of today’s installment of their increasingly popular Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions. Their conversation begins by exploring the intriguing link between the APOEε4 genotype and sleep disturbances, particularly concerning Alzheimer's disease. It's noteworthy that individuals carrying the APOEε4 variant, especially those with two copies, face a heightened risk of developing Alzheimer's. Surprisingly, research shows that these individuals tend to experience more deep non-REM sleep, typically associated with better memory. This paradoxical discovery hints at the possibility that sleep may serve as a compensatory mechanism to counteract the memory decline associated with APOEε4.The discussion then shifts to the consequences of shift work on our health, a topic of great interest among the podcast's audience. Shift work disrupts our circadian rhythm, the internal clock governing various facets of our health, including our sleep patterns. Quick transitions between different shifts, akin to frequent experiences of jet lag, can prove particularly detrimental. Such rapid shift rotations contribute to increased rates of insomnia and diminished sleep quality, with some night shift workers reporting sleep disturbances nearing 40%. The disruption of the circadian rhythm impacts not only our sleep but also a multitude of physiological functions. This underscores the paramount importance of maintaining a consistent sleep schedule for our overall well-being.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.One of the podcast’s new sponsors is Levels, the groundbreaking continuous glucose monitor that keeps track of your blood sugar levels day and night. Whether you're curious about your body's response to different foods or seeking to enhance your sleep quality, Levels has the answers. Matt’s been using it for almost 2 years now, and has actually made changes to his diet in response to the powerful individual information Levels provides. If you’re interested, visit levels.link/Mattwalker now to grab an exclusive podcast offer of two free months of this impactful service, and take charge of your health journey today!Another exciting new sponsor is MUD\WTR, the ultimate coffee alternative that delivers a natural morning pick-me-up without caffeine jitters. Their unique blend of cacao and mushrooms offers a delightful and gentle lift to kickstart your day, as Matt can attest! Plus, now when you head over to mudwtr.com/MattWalker, as a podcast listener, you'll receive a free frother and coconut creamer samples! Experience the delicious world of MUD\WTR, valued sponsors of our podcast, and elevate your mornings with this fantastic offer!As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
Matt’s back this week to delve into the intriguing phenomenon known as Exploding Head Syndrome (EHS). A genuine and significant sleep disorder, EHS is part of the broader category of parasomnias, which includes various sleep-related disorders like night terrors and sleepwalking. The core experience of EHS involves patients perceiving sudden, loud, and shocking noises, akin to explosions or gunshots, as they are either falling asleep or waking up from sleep. These hallucinations are distressing, evoking fear and anxiety, even though they do not cause physical pain. Despite its dramatic name and symptoms, EHS is often misunderstood and wrongly perceived as dangerous or life-threatening, but it poses no physical harm to hearing or brain health.The diagnosis of EHS relies on patient-reported experiences, as there is no definitive test for it. Medical professionals rule out other potential causes through objective evaluations like EEG recordings or MRI scans, ultimately reaching a diagnosis through exclusion. The emotional impact of EHS can be long-lasting, leading to a strong aversion to sleep, known as somnophobia. Matt shares some of the theories behind the underlying mechanisms, such as neurological abnormalities in the brainstem and the role of stress and anxiety. He notes that treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to manage stress and anxiety, and various medications, although none have been formally approved for EHS. Join our host for this fascinating exploration into this very real syndrome that is guaranteed to blow your mind.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.As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
In this second installment of their fascinating conversation together, Matt Walker and Michael Grandner continue their discussion regarding the crucial role of sleep in the lives of athletes. Together they delve into the unique challenges athletes face, such as irregular schedules, early mornings, late-night competitions, and travel across time zones, all of which can disrupt their sleep patterns. Dr. Grandner emphasizes the need for athletes to "bank sleep" by ensuring they get sufficient rest before challenging periods and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. He also recommends strategies like exposure to natural light and physical activity during the day to help athletes adapt to different time zones and create a sleep-conducive environment in hotel rooms. Additionally, our duo acknowledge that some elite athletes may require slightly longer sleep durations due to increased recovery needs and their age group, which includes late adolescents and young adults. While they don't prescribe a fixed duration like 10-11 hours for all athletes, they stress the importance of prioritizing sleep as a fundamental component of an athlete's training and performance regimen. They also touch upon the impact of caffeine and creatine on sleep and highlight the efforts of organizations like the NCAA and the International Olympic Committee in addressing sleep issues and providing guidelines to support athletes' well-being.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. Are sleep troubles keeping you up at night? Matt used to be a skeptic about meditation, but 7 years ago, he tried it using a fantastic meditation app called ‘Calm’, and it transformed his sleep! Now, he meditates for 10 minutes before bedtime every night! He’s also partnered with Calm who have been generous enough to offer his podcast listeners an exclusive 40% discount on their premium subscription! All you have to do is go to calm.com/mattwalker and take advantage of this incredible deal! Head on over now and improve your sleep today!The good people at InsideTracker are another sponsor of this week's episode. For a very limited time, InsideTracker is giving you 50% off their bundles. Plus, they’re offering 30% off everything else in their store. 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.Another sponsor this week 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.
In this week’s episode, Dr. Michael Grandner joins Matt to explore the critical role of sleep in athletic performance. Together, they emphasize that sleep is not just about physical rest but also plays a significant role in mental performance, decision-making, and motivation.Dr. Grandner discusses how sleep is essential for various aspects of athletic success, including physical performance, mental performance, recovery, and mental health. He highlights that sleep isn't just a passive activity; it actively contributes to integrating daytime experiences, optimizing decision-making, and enhancing coordination.The podcast also addresses the misconception that sacrificing sleep is a badge of commitment in sports. Both speakers stress the importance of sleep as a foundational element, comparable to food, that touches every aspect of an athlete's performance. They discuss studies demonstrating how sleep deprivation not only impacts physical abilities but also impairs decision-making and motivation. The conversation underscores the universality of sleep's influence on our ability to make better choices, whether we're athletes or not. 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.As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.For more from Dr. Michael Grandner, follow him on Twitter @michaelgrandnerFor information about the Sleep and Health Research Program, visit the lab website.For media and information requests, meeting requests, and consultation, contact Dr. Grandner.Links:American Academy of Sleep MedicineNCAA Mental Health Best Practices
#63 - Yawning Explained

#63 - Yawning Explained

2023-12-1822:593

In this podcast, Matt explores the fascinating topic of yawning. He begins by pointing out that although we all yawn and assume it's a sign of sleepiness, science hasn't provided a definitive answer regarding its purpose. Matt delves into the etymology of the word "yawn" and describes the five distinct steps involved in the yawning reflex, shedding light on its physiological process.Matt then introduces three leading scientific theories explaining why we yawn. The first theory suggests that yawning helps cool the brain and enhances alertness by drawing in cooler air. The second theory proposes that contagious yawning synchronizes group behavior, as observed in wild animal studies. The third theory centers on regulating oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body, although it faces scrutiny due to research findings. Ultimately, Matt leans towards the cooling theory as the primary function of yawning.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. Are sleep troubles keeping you up at night? Matt used to be a skeptic about meditation, but 7 years ago, he tried it using a fantastic meditation app called ‘Calm’, and it transformed his sleep! Now, he meditates for 10 minutes before bedtime every night! He’s also partnered with Calm who have been generous enough to offer his podcast listeners an exclusive 40% discount on their premium subscription! All you have to do is go to calm.com/mattwalker and take advantage of this incredible deal! Head on over now and improve your sleep today!The good people at InsideTracker are one of the sponsors of this week's episode. For a very limited time, InsideTracker is giving you 50% off their bundles. Plus, they’re offering 30% off everything else in their store.  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.Another sponsor this week 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 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. If you want to give LMNT a try, just head on over to
#62 - The Snooze Button

#62 - The Snooze Button

2023-12-0427:222

Matt's back, and this time he's tackling the perennial debate: Is the snooze button a friend or foe when it comes to your sleep and overall health? He shines a spotlight on an intriguing study led by Dr. Tina Sundelin and her team - one that challenges our conventional wisdom about snooze buttons. Surprisingly, their research reveals that snooze button usage is quite common, especially among night owls and younger folks. What's even more unexpected is that snoozing may not have the detrimental impact on mood, cognitive performance, or cortisol levels that we once thought. However, there's a catch: snooze users end up with about 20% less sleep in the last half-hour of their sleep cycle.While Matt acknowledges these thought-provoking findings, he remains cautious and stresses the importance of cherishing natural, uninterrupted sleep patterns. He suggests that more extensive, long-term research may be needed to fully understand the potential consequences of snooze button habits on our well-being. Along the way, Matt sprinkles in fascinating tidbits about the history of alarm clocks and shares some unconventional alarm clock designs that add humor and curiosity to the conversation. Whether you're a die-hard snooze button fan or someone on a quest to enhance your morning routine, this episode serves up valuable insights into the science of sleep and waking up. 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.As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
#61 - Ask Me Anything Pt.2

#61 - Ask Me Anything Pt.2

2023-11-2001:10:331

Dr. Eti Ben Simon joins Matt once again this week to continue their AMA session where they bring their vast amount of knowledge and expertise to bear in responding to a variety of listener questions. They begin by delving into the intricate relationship between sleep, hormones, and the female reproductive cycle, providing invaluable insights into women's health. Together, they examine the challenges faced during the perimenopausal and menopausal periods, characterized by erratic hormonal fluctuations and sleep disturbances. Noting that hormone replacement therapy (HRT), particularly bioidentical HRT, has emerged as a potential solution, they also review the controversy surrounding HRT, underscoring the importance of informed choices regarding women's health. The complex relationship between sleep and chronic pain is also explored, unveiling the fact that chronic pain, which affects a substantial portion of the population, can profoundly impact sleep quality. The episode also touches upon the intriguing topic of subjective versus objective sleep perception, where individuals' self-assessments of their sleep often differ from objective measurements. This discrepancy has implications not only for those with chronic pain but also for anyone seeking to understand the true quality and impact of their sleep. Our hosts go on to detail the intriguing relationship between psychedelics, ketamine, and sleep, examining developments that may very well open doors to potential therapeutic applications and a better understanding of the mind's mysteries.Expert responses to the questions on everyone’s mind - this is an episode you simply can’t afford to miss.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. Fora very limited time, InsideTracker is giving you 50% off their bundles. Plus, they’re offering 30% off everything else in their store. 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.Another sponsor this week 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 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. If you want to give LMNT a try, just head on over to drinklmnt.com/mattwalker and get your eight free samples with your first purchase. As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
#60 - Ask Me Anything Pt.1

#60 - Ask Me Anything Pt.1

2023-11-0601:02:113

In today’s thoroughly engaging episode, Matt joins forces with Dr. Eti Ben Simon from his Center for Human Sleep Science to embark upon an enlightening "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) session, addressing a wide array of questions related to sleep. Together, they explore such topics as sleep differences between males and females, the impact of sleep trackers on our rest, and the intriguing dynamics of sleep patterns based on biological sex. The journey continues as Matt responds to queries regarding the terrain of sleep across the human lifespan, from restless newborns to the complexities of aging. This comprehensive overview sheds light on the evolving landscape of sleep, emphasizing the importance of knowledge in optimizing sleep quality throughout one's life. With expert guidance and fascinating discussions, this episode promises to leave listeners with a newfound appreciation for the science of sleep and its profound impact on our well-being.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,  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.Are sleep troubles keeping you up at night? Matt used to be a skeptic about meditation, but 7 years ago, he tried it using a fantastic meditation app called ‘Calm’, and it transformed his sleep! Now, he meditates for 10 minutes before bedtime every night! He’s also partnered with Calm who have been generous enough to offer his podcast listeners an exclusive 40% discount on their premium subscription! All you have to do is go to calm.com/mattwalker and take advantage of this incredible deal! Head on over now and improve your sleep today!As always, if you have feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
In today’s memorable episode, Matt examines the intriguing connection between sleep and motor memory. Beginning with an explanation of the two main types of human memory - fact-based memory and procedural memory, which includes motor/skill memories - he notes that, contrary to popular belief, motor/skill memories aren't stored in our muscles but primarily within the brain. Matt also describes his journey into researching motor memories which started at Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, England, where he observed stroke patients recovering lost muscle control and speech during rehabilitation.Matt recounts a pivotal moment in his life when he encountered a pianist who would struggle with a piece of music in the evening but be able to play it flawlessly the next morning after a night's sleep. This revelation ignited Matt’s 16-year journey, resulting in his groundbreaking research showing that practicing a skill followed by a full night's sleep is the secret to memory enhancement. Today, our host shares details of this research and goes on to explain sleep spindles - bursts of activity during stage two non-REM sleep that play a crucial role in enhancing memory, particularly during the last 2-3 hours of the night. Ultimately, Matt's extensive findings, as shared here today, emphasize that if you want to excel in motor/skill memory, "if you don't snooze, you lose." So, listen in today and learn all about the power of prioritizing sleep for optimal performance.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.Another sponsor this week 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 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. If you want to give LMNT a try, just head on over to drinklmnt.com/mattwalker and get your eight free samples with your first purchase. As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
#58 - Caffeine Nap

#58 - Caffeine Nap

2023-10-0937:284

In this episode, Matt delves into the intriguing realm of the "caffeine nap." He explores the idea of combining a short nap with caffeine to enhance mental performance and wakefulness. The episode kicks off with a dilemma – in the afternoon, when faced with fatigue, should you opt for coffee or a nap? Matt reveals that the answer isn't a simple choice between the two but a potent mix of both.Matt elucidates the science behind the caffeine nap, emphasizing the ideal timing for each element. He touches upon studies comparing the impacts of caffeine, naps, and caffeine naps on cognitive functions and memory recall. It's revealed that a caffeine nap—consuming caffeine right before a brief nap—can offer significant benefits in reducing sleep inertia and boosting cognitive performance. Additionally, Matt delves into how supplementary factors, such as washing with cold water and exposure to natural light, can augment the effects of the caffeine nap.However, Matt underscores the importance of employing this method judiciously, particularly concerning the potential disruption of nighttime sleep from caffeine intake later in the day. He advocates for the tactical use of caffeine naps during times when an urgent boost is required. The episode wraps up by spotlighting various ways to maximize the effectiveness of a caffeine nap and sheds light on its potential advantages for athlete recuperation and prowess.It's crucial to mention that Matt is not a licensed medical professional. Consequently, none of the content in this podcast should be perceived as medical guidance or advice in any capacity.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.As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
#57 - Polyphasic Sleep

#57 - Polyphasic Sleep

2023-09-2530:171

In this engaging podcast episode, Matt delves into the world of polyphasic sleep – the practice of dividing sleep into multiple short naps throughout the day. The episode starts by exploring the historical origins of polyphasic sleep, from the concept of phases within a 24-hour sleep cycle to the motivations behind adopting unconventional sleep patterns for increased productivity.Matt explains various polyphasic sleep schedules, such as the Uberman, Everyman, and Triphasic schedules, which involve segmented sleep periods interspersed with short naps. While proponents claim benefits like enhanced sleep quality, improved brain function, and better health, Walker breaks down the scientific evidence to reveal a different reality. Multiple studies suggest that polyphasic sleep doesn't offer the promised benefits. Instead, it often leads to disrupted sleep stages, impaired cognitive function, mood decline, and adverse effects on health, including blood sugar and cardiovascular issues.In conclusion, Matt emphasizes the importance of prioritizing traditional, consolidated sleep patterns and warns against the potential pitfalls of attempting to hack the sleep cycle. While individual experiences may vary, the weight of scientific evidence suggests that polyphasic sleep might be more of a sleep-hacking myth than a genuine solution for better health and productivity.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.Another sponsor this week 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 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. If you want to give LMNT a try, just head on over to drinklmnt.com/mattwalker and get your eight free samples with your first purchase. Further reading if desiredScientific  of polyphasic sleep: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352721821000309As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
Matt and special guest, Dr. Michael Grandner, continue their dialogue regarding the multifaceted world of sleep, insomnia, and their intersections with various life aspects. Together, they unveil the gender-based variations in susceptibility to insomnia, attributing higher rates among women to their willingness to express challenges. Their conversation navigates through sleep difficulties during life transitions like menopause, exploring the impact of physical discomfort and emotional changes. The podcast then takes a cultural dive, examining how race and ethnicity shape sleep patterns, revealing concerning trends in sleep disparities over time. The episode also underscores cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia as the go-to approach, surpassing medication due to its efficacy and lower risks. The role of melatonin is demystified, clarifying its function as a time-signaling molecule that influences sleep timing. Myths surrounding melatonin's effects and dosages are debunked using relatable comparisons. With their engaging discussions and relatable insights here today, Matt and Dr. Grandner offer listeners invaluable guidance on sleep health, cultural influences, and effective strategies to address 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.As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.For more from Dr. Michael Grandner, follow him on Twitter @michaelgrandnerFor information about the Sleep and Health Research Program, visit the lab website.For media and information requests, meeting requests, and consultation, contact Dr. Grandner.Links:Society for Behavioral Sleep MedicineUPENN CBT-I DirectoryAmerican Academy of Sleep Medicine
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Comments (12)

Sylvia Chukwukezie

much love ❤️

May 12th
Reply

Andra Jensen

So great. The John Delony show sent me here.

Mar 29th
Reply

Mehran Azimi

Got excited with every episode being released

Jan 4th
Reply

Mahnaz Amiri

I'm so glad to reach you through this ap and I'm sure it'll be useful for me to become aware of how to live with pleasure as an adult 😀

Dec 8th
Reply

marziyeh khalesi

I really enjoyed all of the episodes. thank you for tellin these fascinating informations with your calming voice😃

May 5th
Reply

Ryan Wanner

Loved his book and the pod casts are a great refresher. I'd love it if they were longer. The commercials are a bit too long considering the length of the podcast. I hope they're paying him mad cash for all the air time they are getting heh.

Apr 27th
Reply

Mohammad Banifatemi

Tnxxx🙏🙏🙏

Mar 15th
Reply

ID13783619

Listened to the audio version of his book, which is really good. These episodes are way too short. And commercials are like 20% of the content 👎

Feb 4th
Reply

Hosna Ch

Hi!thank you for informations.I've been suffering from insomnia since 10 years ago and it ended up getting addict to Zolpidem and its ridiculous drug tolerance.I wish one night,just one fucking night I could sleep and have dreams.

Dec 4th
Reply

Ben P. Ashton

thanks Matt. really enjoying learning more about sleep.

Oct 14th
Reply

samira same

Thank you very much. I love the information I learn from the scientists.

Sep 11th
Reply

Amir Samson

I wanted to thank you for just starting this podcast. and I will be following your work. Awesome!

Aug 19th
Reply
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