Matthew Walker: “Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams” | Talks at Google – YouTube


Sleep inertia, fragmented sleep, melatonin, learning and memory, immune function, longevity…this was an interesting talk on why you should get your 8 hours per night.

His description of melatonin as the starting official in the ‘great sleep race’ was great. Melatonin signals the start of the race, but doesn’t participate in it…so it can help with jet lag, or daylight savings time accustimization, but doesn’t improve sleep quality per se. Blue light from electronic devices prevents the melatonin peak that should signal sleep onset. That’s why programs like f.lux or blue light blocking lenses are effective at reducing humans unique ability to ignore sleepiness (especially in artificially lit environments, or infront of screens).

‘Social jetlag’, or the effect of blue light on your sleep quality can mean you are living hundreds of miles to the west endocrinologically. ‘Sleep bulimia’ is starving yourself on a 6h/night schedule during the week, and ‘binging’ 10 hours on the weekends…

This is revealed in data around school start times, and the extra sleep’s impact on school children’s behaviour and test results.

The variation in immune Natural Killer Cell activity with regard to cancer is just scary.

Very interesting talk.