The Matt Walker Podcast

Dr. Matt Walker

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.

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Our Editor's Take

The Matt Walker Podcast is on a mission to explain the science of sleep in a way that everyone can understand. From host Dr. Matthew Walker comes a podcast that explores a scientific discussion on sleep. Walker is passionate about sleep. He's a professor of neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley. And he's also the director of its sleep research center. Between all that, he releases a new episode of the podcast twice a month.

Walker makes it clear this podcast is his own, not a product of the university. That means listeners will hear only his opinions, research, and perspectives. His main goal with the podcast is to share his passion for the science of sleep. He wants listeners to learn how to get better sleep and understand sleep. Walker is direct with listeners—he might not be able to improve someone's sleep efficiency or help them get a good night of sleep. But he can help them better understand sleep.

Listeners will hear 15-20 minute monologues from Walker per episode. But often, if a particular subject calls for it, he'll release multi-episode series. His series on sleep and alcohol spans two episodes; his insomnia series lasts seven. Other topics fit into single episodes, making for quick but informative listens.

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Health & FitnessHealth & Fitness
ScienceScience
MedicineMedicine
Social SciencesSocial Sciences

Episodes

#76 - Precognitive Dreaming
Yesterday
#76 - Precognitive Dreaming
In this week’s intriguing episode, Matt delves into the topic of precognitive dreams, exploring the idea that some people can predict future events through their dreams. He explains that while this concept might seem appealing, it is actually a result of statistical chance. With around 8 billion people in the world each having multiple dreams per night, the sheer number of dreams increases the likelihood of coincidental matches between dreams and real-life events. Matt also discusses a groundbreaking study published in the highly respected journal, Nature, which reveals a logical and scientific aspect of future prediction in dreams. The study found that during REM sleep, neurons in the hippocampus not only replay past memories but also simulate and predict future events. This prediction process occurs through sharp wave ripple events, suggesting that our brains use sleep to enhance cognitive function and prepare for future scenarios. This understanding of how sleep aids in memory and future planning highlights the remarkable and scientifically fascinating capabilities of the brain during sleep. Join Matt here today and discover the profound, scientifically grounded ways our brains use sleep to prepare us for the future.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.Craving top-notch journalism that dives deep into science, health, and much, much more? Today’s episode is sponsored by The Washington Post—your go-to for stellar reporting and utmost integrity. Here’s a scoop just for our listeners: snag the Washington Post for just $0.50/week for an entire year! Dash over to Matt's Special WaPo Offer to grab this sweet deal, and make The Washington Post your news haven for less than the price of a coffee each week.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 great 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 Therapeutic Goods Administration, boasting GMP badges for quality assurance. As a special offer for our listeners, when you try AG1, you'll receive a complimentary one-year supply of both Vitamin D and K2, and with your first subscription, you'll also receive five free AG1 travel packs! Visit AG1 to explore AG1's range of offerings and claim your exclusive offer.As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
AMA Part 7 - Deep Sleep, Alcohol & Anxiety
Jun 10 2024
AMA Part 7 - Deep Sleep, Alcohol & Anxiety
In this 7th installment of their AMA series, Matt Walker and Dr. Eti Ben Simon dive into strategies for improving deep non-REM sleep. They highlight the benefits of vigorous exercise, citing a study by Kaspar Vogt that shows how exercise enhances the quality and stability of deep sleep. Additionally, they discuss how temperature manipulations, like using high heat capacity mattresses, can also improve sleep quality. Interesting insights include findings that intense exercise can improve deep sleep across various age groups, with significant benefits noted in older adults and children.The episode also touches on the impact of alcohol, noting that it can be extremely disruptive to sleep. They also go on to explain how stress and anxiety can affect deep sleep by activating the fight-or-flight system and increasing cortisol levels. Our duo discusses various techniques for managing anxiety, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness meditation, exercise, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation, all of which can significantly reduce anxiety levels and improve sleep quality. Their conversation finishes up by addressing the potential benefits of saunas and hot springs in enhancing sleep, and underscoring the importance of a consistent bedtime routine.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!I have to tell you, launching my sleep-related merchandise sales was incredibly smooth, thanks to our new sponsor Shopify and their integrated sales and inventory system. And now, just for you,  Shopify is generously offering an exclusive trial at shopify.com/mattwalker. Whether it's online or in-person sales, Shopify simplifies it all. So, be sure to stop in at shopify.com/mattwalker to start your exclusive journey now! Craving top-notch journalism that dives deep into science, health, and much, much more? Today’s episode is sponsored by The Washington Post—your go-to for stellar reporting and utmost integrity. Here’s a scoop just for our listeners: snag the Washington Post for just $0.50/week for an entire year! Dash over to Matt's Special WaPo Offer to grab this sweet deal, and make The Washington Post your news haven for less than the price of a coffee each week.As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
#75 - The Business of Sleep With Dr. Chris Barnes
Jun 3 2024
#75 - The Business of Sleep With Dr. Chris Barnes
Dr. Chris Barnes, renowned Michael G. Foster Endowed Professor of Management at the Foster School of Business, University of Washington, returns to the podcast today to continue his discussion with Matt regarding sleep's impact on business productivity. This time around, Dr. Barnes shares research indicating that sleep-deprived leaders exhibit abusive supervision, reducing employee engagement and productivity. Exploring sleep's broader implications on corporate culture and economic performance, he introduces the WNS (Work, Non-Work, Sleep) framework, and advocates for flexible schedules and on-site daycare to support employee well-being. He also goes on to highlight a Rand Corporation study that reveals sleep deprivation costs the U.S. economy $411 billion annually. 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!  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! 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. Links:Dr. Barnes on X:  @chris24barnes
# 74 - Sleep & THC
May 20 2024
# 74 - Sleep & THC
Matt continues his exploration into the intricate link between cannabis and sleep, focusing on THC in this second installment, beginning with a reminder to listeners of the historical insights from doctors like O'Shaughnessy and Clendinning in the 1800s regarding cannabis's sleep-inducing effects. He shifts to how THC affects sleep today, noting that while it initially reduces sleep onset time and early night awakenings, chronic use worsens sleep quality, leading to frequent disruptions, especially in the second half of the night due to lower "sleep pressure."Matt then dives into THC's impact on REM sleep, crucial for memory and emotional regulation. He details how THC reduces REM sleep quantity and quality, affecting cognitive and emotional stability the next day. He also touches on broader health risks associated with reduced REM sleep, including increased mortality risks, as well as the sleep issues associated with quitting THC. Acknowledging full well that he has “no business telling anyone what to do with their life or how to live their life,” Matt's discussion here today simply provides the scientific data behind the pros and cons involved in the THC-sleep space, laying a solid foundation upon which listeners  can make their own choices.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.Craving top-notch journalism that dives deep into science, health, and much, much more? Today’s episode is sponsored by The Washington Post—your go-to for stellar reporting and utmost integrity. Here’s a scoop just for our listeners: snag the Washington Post for just $0.50/week for an entire year! Dash over to Matt's Special WaPo Offer to grab this sweet deal, and make The Washington Post your news haven for less than the price of a coffee each week.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. Another great sponsor of the show is AG1, a comprehensive nutritional drink trusted by thousands worldwide, including Matt! AG1 is registered and approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, boasting GMP badges for quality assurance. As a special offer for our listeners, when you try AG1, you'll receive a complimentary one-year supply of both Vitamin D and K2, and with your first subscription, you'll also receive five free AG1 travel packs! As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.
Ask Me Anything Part 6 - Lunar Cycles & Weighted Blankets
May 13 2024
Ask Me Anything Part 6 - Lunar Cycles & Weighted Blankets
Matt and Eti team up again today for another entertaining and informative AMA episode. This time around, they dive into the intriguing world of lunar cycles and their potential influence on sleep patterns and dreams. From ancient beliefs to modern scientific findings, our duo unpacks the subtle yet fascinating impact of the moon. They then go on to explore the calming effects of weighted blankets on children and adults alike, revealing how deep touch pressure therapy enhances sleep quality and emotional regulation.Exploring how lunar phases and weighted blankets impact sleep, Matt and Eti delve into studies showing subtle changes in sleep patterns around the full moon and debunk others questioning any association between lunar phases and sleep disruption. Their conversation then shifts to the benefits of weighted blankets, emphasizing their effectiveness for insomnia, ADHD, and anxiety. By weaving together the science behind lunar cycles and deep touch pressure therapy, this episode offers a comprehensive understanding of these captivating sleep phenomena.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.
#73 - Sleep & Work with Dr. Chris Barnes
May 6 2024
#73 - Sleep & Work with Dr. Chris Barnes
Dr. Chris Barnes from the University of Washington's Foster School of Business joins Matt to discuss the often overlooked importance of sleep in boosting workplace productivity and ethical decision-making. Together, they delve into how sleep deprivation affects job performance, the impact sufficient sleep has on business environments and organizational success, and the hidden costs of sleep loss.Dr. Barnes presents compelling evidence on how businesses can use sleep as a strategic asset to create a healthier, more productive work culture. He and Matt address challenges that disrupt sleep patterns and the strategies companies can implement to counter these issues. Emphasizing the significant benefits of prioritizing sleep, their discussion challenges the notion that less sleep means more productivity, offering practical steps for enhancing employee well-being and 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.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. 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. 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. Links:Dr. Barnes on X:  @chris24barnesDr. Barnes’ UW page: https://foster.uw.edu/faculty-research/directory/christopher-barnes/Dr. Barnes’ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-barnes-7079373/?trk=prof-samename-name“Why healthy sleep is good for business”:  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31450119/
# 72 - Sleep & Cannabis
Apr 22 2024
# 72 - Sleep & Cannabis
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
#71 - Acting Out Dreams - REM disorder
Apr 8 2024
#71 - Acting Out Dreams - REM disorder
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 - Pregnancy & Rheum
Apr 1 2024
Ask Me Anything Part 5 - Pregnancy & Rheum
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
#70 - Sleep & Screens with Dr. Michael Gradisar
Mar 25 2024
#70 - Sleep & Screens with Dr. Michael Gradisar
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
Mar 11 2024
#69 - Sleep & Menopause
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 - Our Sleep Habits Explored
Mar 4 2024
Ask Me Anything Part 4 - Our Sleep Habits Explored
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
#68 - Sleep & Light With Dr. Michael Gradisar
Feb 26 2024
#68 - Sleep & Light With Dr. Michael Gradisar
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
#67 - Sleep to Lose Weight
Feb 12 2024
#67 - Sleep to Lose Weight
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
Ask Me Anything Part 3 - Alzheimer's, Shift Work, Sleep Optimization
Feb 5 2024
Ask Me Anything Part 3 - Alzheimer's, Shift Work, Sleep Optimization
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.
#66 - Exploding Head Syndrome
Jan 29 2024
#66 - Exploding Head Syndrome
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.
#65 - Sleep & Athletes with Dr. Michael Grandner pt.2
Jan 15 2024
#65 - Sleep & Athletes with Dr. Michael Grandner pt.2
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.
#64 - Sleep & Athletes with Dr. Michael Grandner pt.1
Jan 1 2024
#64 - Sleep & Athletes with Dr. Michael Grandner pt.1
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
Dec 18 2023
#63 - Yawning Explained
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
Dec 4 2023
#62 - The Snooze Button
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.