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Matthew Walker quotes Showing 1-30 of 132

“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“Inadequate sleep—even moderate reductions for just one week—disrupts blood sugar levels so profoundly that you would be classified as pre-diabetic.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“Humans are not sleeping the way nature intended. The number of sleep bouts, the duration of sleep, and when sleep occurs has all been comprehensively distorted by modernity.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
tags: sleep
“After thirty years of intensive research, we can now answer many of the questions posed earlier. The recycle rate of a human being is around sixteen hours. After sixteen hours of being awake, the brain begins to fail. Humans need more than seven hours of sleep each night to maintain cognitive performance. After ten days of just seven hours of sleep, the brain is as dysfunctional as it would be after going without sleep for twenty-four hours. Three full nights of recovery sleep (i.e., more nights than a weekend) are insufficient to restore performance back to normal levels after a week of short sleeping. Finally, the human mind cannot accurately sense how sleep-deprived it is when sleep-deprived.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“Practice does not make perfect. It is practice, followed by a night of sleep, that leads to perfection.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
“Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day -- Mother Nature's best effort yet at contra-death.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. The leading causes of disease and death in developed nations—diseases that are crippling health-care systems, such as heart disease, obesity, dementia, diabetes, and cancer—all have recognized causal links to a lack of sleep.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“It is disquieting to learn that vehicular accidents caused by drowsy driving exceed those caused by alcohol and drugs combined.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“After all, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“In the Northern Hemisphere, the switch to daylight savings time in March results in most people losing an hour of sleep opportunity. Should you tabulate millions of daily hospital records, as researchers have done, you discover that this seemingly trivial sleep reduction comes with a frightening spike in heart attacks the following day. Impressively, it works both ways. In the autumn within the Northern Hemisphere, when the clocks move forward and we gain an hour of sleep opportunity time, rates of heart attacks plummet the day after. A similar rise-and-fall relationship can be seen with the number of traffic accidents, proving that the brain, by way of attention lapses and microsleeps, is just as sensitive as the heart to very small perturbations of sleep. Most people think nothing of losing an hour of sleep for a single night, believing it to be trivial and inconsequential. It is anything but.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“...our lack of sleep is a slow form of self-euthanasia...”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“Caffeine has an average half-life of five to seven hours. Let’s say that you have a cup of coffee after your evening dinner, around 7:30 p.m. This means that by 1:30 a.m., 50 percent of that caffeine may still be active and circulating throughout your brain tissue. In other words, by 1:30 a.m., you’re only halfway to completing the job of cleansing your brain of the caffeine you drank after dinner.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
“From this cascade comes a prediction: getting too little sleep across the adult life span will significantly raise your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Precisely this relationship has now been reported in numerous epidemiological studies, including those individuals suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea.VIII Parenthetically, and unscientifically, I have always found it curious that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan—two heads of state that were very vocal, if not proud, about sleeping only four to five hours a night—both went on to develop the ruthless disease. The current US president, Donald Trump—also a vociferous proclaimer of sleeping just a few hours each night—may want to take note.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“new report has discovered that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death among Americans after heart attacks and cancer. Sleeplessness undoubtedly plays a role in those lives lost.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“if you don’t sleep the very first night after learning, you lose the chance to consolidate those memories, even if you get lots of “catch-up” sleep thereafter. In terms of memory, then, sleep is not like the bank. You cannot accumulate a debt and hope to pay it off at a later point in time. Sleep for memory consolidation is an all-or-nothing event.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“we estimate that more than 50 percent of all children with an ADHD diagnosis actually have a sleep disorder, yet a small fraction know of their sleep condition and its ramifications. A major public health awareness campaign by governments—perhaps without influence from pharmaceutical lobbying groups—is needed on this issue.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“During deep NREM sleep specifically, the brain communicates a calming signal to the fight-or-flight sympathetic branch of the body’s nervous system, and does so for long durations of the night. As a result, deep sleep prevents an escalation of this physiological stress that is synonymous with increased blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“More specifically, the coolheaded ability to regulate our emotions each day—a key to what we call emotional IQ—depends on getting sufficient REM sleep night after night. (If your mind immediately jumped to particular colleagues, friends, and public figures who lack these traits, you may well wonder about how much sleep, especially late-morning REM-rich sleep, they are getting.)”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“Why did we ever force doctors to learn their profession in this exhausting, sleepless way? The answer originates with the esteemed physician William Stewart Halsted, MD, who was also a helpless drug addict.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“Without sufficient sleep, amyloid plaques build up in the brain, especially in deep-sleep-generating regions, attacking and degrading them. The loss of deep NREM sleep caused by this assault therefore lessens the ability to remove amyloid from the brain at night, resulting in greater amyloid deposition. More amyloid, less deep sleep, less deep sleep, more amyloid, and so on and so forth.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life span ”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“By the time that same individual has reached sixteen years of age, their circadian rhythm has undergone a dramatic shift forward in its cycling phase.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
“Under-slept employees are not, therefore, going to drive your business forward with productive innovation. Like a group of people riding stationary exercise bikes, everyone looks like they are pedaling, but the scenery never changes. The irony that employees miss is that when you are not getting enough sleep, you work less productively and thus need to work longer to accomplish a goal. This means you often must work longer and later into the evening, arrive home later, go to bed later, and need to wake up earlier, creating a negative feedback loop. Why try to boil a pot of water on medium heat when you could do so in half the time on high? People often tell me that they do not have enough time to sleep because they have so much work to do. Without wanting to be combative in any way whatsoever, I respond by informing them that perhaps the reason they still have so much to do at the end of the day is precisely because they do not get enough sleep at night.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
“They discovered that naps as short as twenty-six minutes in length still offered a 34 percent improvement in task performance and more than a 50 percent increase in overall alertness.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“Adults forty-five years or older who sleep fewer than six hours a night are 200 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke during their lifetime, as compared with those sleeping seven to eight hours a night.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
“The physical and mental impairments caused by one night of bad sleep dwarf those caused by an equivalent absence of food or exercise.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
“Comparing the patterns of brain activity between the two conditions within the same individual, we discovered that supervisory regions in the prefrontal cortex required for thoughtful judgments and controlled decisions had been silenced in their activity by a lack of sleep.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“Ten days of six hours of sleep a night was all it took to become as impaired in performance as going without sleep for twenty-four hours straight.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
“When sleep is abundant, minds flourish. When it is deficient, they don't.”
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

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