Personal Development

Dr. Matthew Walker, All Things Sleep Continued — The Hidden Dangers of Melatonin, Tools for Insomnia, Enhancing Learning and Sleep Spindles, The Upsides of Sleep Divorce, How Sleep Impacts Sex (and Vice Versa), Adventures in Lucid Dreaming, The One Clock to Rule Them All, The IP Addresses of Your Memories, and More (#654)

Illustration via 99designs

“At the moment when we analyze the data, and I’m sitting there with a student or I’m analyzing data, and we finally run the statistics, at that moment in time, if I’m lucky, I know something that has never been understood in the entirety of human civilization, and I cannot tell you how much of a thrill and a privilege that is. And so is science hard? It’s brutally hard, but just that alone, the hedonic rush that you get from de novo knowledge, gosh, it’s never left me, and I don’t think it ever will.”

— Dr. Matthew Walker

Matthew Walker, PhD (@sleepdiplomat), is professor of neuroscience at the University of California Berkeley and founder and director of the school’s Center for Human Sleep Science. Dr. Walker is the author of the New York Times and international bestseller Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, which was recently listed by Bill Gates as one of his top five books of the year. His TED Talk, “Sleep is Your Superpower,” has garnered more than 17 million views.

He has received numerous funding awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and is a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2020, Dr. Walker was awarded the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Achievements. Dr. Walker’s research examines the impact of sleep on human health and disease. He has been featured on numerous television and radio outlets including 60 Minutes, Nat Geo TV, NOVA Science, NPR, and the BBC. Dr. Walker is also scientific advisor to Oura, a sleep-tracking ring.

Dr. Walker hosts the 5-star-rated podcast The Matt Walker Podcastwhich is all about sleep, the brain, and the body.

And one last thing. UC Berkeley has given the rare approval for Matt’s newly opened Sleep Center at the University to be named by an individual donor, or a named company, in perpetuity. If you are interested, please reach out to Matt and note that this opportunity is in the 7-figure range.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Eight Sleep’s Pod Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating, Magic Spoon delicious low-carb cereal, and LinkedIn Marketing Solutions marketing platform with 800M+ users.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#654: Dr. Matthew Walker, All Things Sleep Continued — The Hidden Dangers of Melatonin, Tools for Insomnia, Enhancing Learning and Sleep Spindles, The Upsides of Sleep Divorce, How Sleep Impacts Sex (and Vice Versa), Adventures in Lucid Dreaming, The One Clock to Rule Them All, The IP Addresses of Your Memories, and More


This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, the go-to tool for B2B marketers and advertisers who want to drive brand awareness, generate leads, or build long-term relationships that result in real business impact.

With a community of more than 800 million professionals, LinkedIn is gigantic, but it can be hyper-specific. You have access to a diverse group of people all searching for things they need to grow professionally. LinkedIn has the marketing tools to help you target your customers with precision, right down to job title, company name, industry, etc. To redeem your free $100 LinkedIn ad credit and launch your first campaign, go to LinkedIn.com/TFS!


This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

Go to EightSleep.com/Tim and save $250 on the Eight Sleep Pod Cover. Eight Sleep currently ships within the USA, Canada, the UK, select countries in the EU, and Australia.


This episode is brought to you by Magic Spoon cereal! Magic Spoon is a low-carb, high-protein, and zero sugar cereal that tastes just like your favorite sugary cereal. Each serving has 13–14g of protein, 4g of net carbs, and 0g of sugar. It’s also gluten free, grain free, soy free, and keto friendly. And it’s delicious! It comes in your favorite, traditional cereal flavors like Cocoa, Frosted, Peanut Butter, and Blueberry.

Magic Spoon cereal has received a lot of attention since their launch. Time magazine included it in their list of Best Inventions of 2019, and Forbes called it “the future of cereal.” My listeners—that’s you—get $5 off and a 100% happiness guarantee when you visit MagicSpoon.com/Tim and use code TIM. And some great news for Canadian listeners: Magic Spoon now also ships to Canada!


Want to hear the first time Dr. Matthew Walker was on this podcast? Have a listen to our conversation here, in which we discussed the relationship between sleep and Alzheimer’s disease, why our deep sleep declines as we age, ideal exercise for promoting deep sleep, fainting goats, the psychological value of emergency sleep medicine for insomniacs, how sleep affects food intake and weight fluctuation, perilous polypharmacy, and much more.

#650: Dr. Matthew Walker, All Things Sleep — How to Improve Sleep, How Sleep Ties Into Alzheimer’s Disease and Weight Gain, and How Medications (Ambien, Trazodone, etc.), Caffeine, THC/CBD, Psychedelics, Exercise, Smart Drugs, Fasting, and More Affect Sleep

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

SCROLL BELOW FOR LINKS AND SHOW NOTES…

SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE

  • Connect with Dr. Matthew Walker:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

SHOW NOTES

  • [05:43] Sleep and sex.
  • [23:45] Melatonin misgivings.
  • [32:47] The suprachiasmatic nucleus.
  • [36:08] Shrinking balls phenomenon.
  • [41:47] Minimizing the time it takes you to sleep.
  • [49:40] The bizarre basics of dreaming.
  • [55:56] Taking a leap into lucid dreaming.
  • [1:19:57] Optimizing sleep for learning.
  • [1:43:14] Can sleep during an illness boost memory retention?
  • [1:49:08] Massed versus spaced practice.
  • [1:53:00] Using brain stimulation technology to enhance learning.
  • [1:56:50] Optimizing memory replay.
  • [2:02:47] Sleep and time dilation.
  • [2:11:25] Today’s “charlatan” science that may someday be vindicated.
  • [2:17:44] Exercise and memory.
  • [2:25:37] Staying hydrated without having to urinate all night.
  • [2:29:13] Parting thoughts.

MORE DR. MATTHEW WALKER QUOTES FROM THE INTERVIEW

“At the moment when we analyze the data, and I’m sitting there with a student or I’m analyzing data, and we finally run the statistics, at that moment in time, if I’m lucky, I know something that has never been understood in the entirety of human civilization, and I cannot tell you how much of a thrill and a privilege that is. And so is science hard? It’s brutally hard, but just that alone, the hedonic rush that you get from de novo knowledge, gosh, it’s never left me, and I don’t think it ever will.”
— Dr. Matthew Walker

“The goal of education, in my mind, is twofold. The first is to brainwash you into thinking for yourself. The second is for you to gain long-term information.”
— Dr. Matthew Walker

“Life is to be lived. Have a drink, of course. I’m not being puritanical. But if you are, let’s say, a student or you’ve been learning new information for a new job or you’ve been learning a new skill for a new particular sport and you know when you’ve been learning and you know when you probably want to have a night out, restructure those things to implement them in the smartest way possible for optimizing outcomes.”
— Dr. Matthew Walker

PEOPLE MENTIONED

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for “Best of Apple Podcasts” three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.



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