#1109 - Matthew Walker
The Joe Rogan Experience

Full episode transcript -


Hey, what's going on? Ladies and gentlemen, this podcast is a fucking doozy. We got a good one today. We had a great one yesterday, but this is another great one. Um, and it's brought to you by the cash up Cash app is a fucking awesome way for you to send and receive money with friends and family. And now you can even buy and sell Bitcoin with the cash up instantly. Have you ever been curious about Bitcoin? Most people who read about in the news really don't know where to begin. Like what? What is this shit? How do we do this? Is it worth it? How much is it?

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Is, um, this one I knew about the importance of sleep. I knew it was huge, but I know way more now, and I'm stunned. I mean, this is Ah, this is I'm gonna shut the fuck up and introduce our guest. Dr Matthew Walker. Joe Rogan Experience trying my Joe Rogan. And we're live. Go on. What? Did you sleep well last night? I did. I didn't


sleep badly. I mean, hotels are a tough thing. We actually know the science that 1/2 of your brain will actually not sleep as deeply than the other when you're sleeping in ah, unusual room like a hotel room. Really?


That's what fucks be up. Because what I'm on the road. You know, I'll do three different hotels in a week because I'll do like a Thursday Friday Saturday, like with gigs. And then by the time Sunday rolls around,


I'm a mass in


rough shape. Is


that what it is? Yeah, and it's a it's a threat detection thing. Ah. Ah. I mean, if you look at other species, they could do this much more impressively than we can. So dolphins or any sort of sea dwelling mammal can actually sleep with half a brain. So 1/2 of that brain goes into deep sleep. The other half is


wide awake. That's how people the D M. V do it. Those people that work at the Department of Motor Vehicles, they work half asleep. You ever meet him? Haven't no. Just teasing. I will D m v listen and going folk. You man, next time you come in to get your license renewed. There's


my next n I h. Grant. I think looking at the d. M. V and sleep,


but yeah, he s a worker's same thing. Same same type of human that I've come across them too. I'm just kidding. Fuckers relaxed. Um, so when you're in a hotel room. What is happening that you're half your brain is not really sleeping.


Yes, so there's different stages of sleep there to principal types. One is non rapid eye movement sleep or non REM sleep. The other is REM Sleep, which is also known as dream sleep and non rapid eye movement. Sleep is further divided into four separate stages, which are unimaginatively called stages. One through four were Creative Bunch is easy to remember. It is true, but I think it's also, although I Q. But it's the deep stages of sleep three and four of that non rapid eye movement. That's where a lot of sort of body replenishment takes place during the cardiovascular system metabolism all of those good things. But that's the deep sleep that 1/2 of your brain will resist going into when you're sleeping in a foreign environment. So it stays in this kind of lighter stage, almost like a threat detection system. Andi, you can imagine why you know, it's an unusual context, evolutionarily, it would make a lot of sense to just have that sort of on guard 1/2


of the brain that makes so much sense and that that that really for me, it fills in the blanks of like why? Even if I get, you know, 78 hour sleep on the road, I'm still kind of just out


of it. Yeah, and that's in fact, probably one of the, I think, the most impressive parts of new research on sleep. It's not just about quantity. It's also about quality. And quality could be as detrimental if you don't get it as a reduction in total quality. I mean both are essential. But I think it speaks exactly to your point. You just don't feel like it's a refreshing sort of deep sleep.


Yeah, it feels totally different. Um, it just feels like I guess I would say it feels like half asleep. Yeah. I mean, it's really kind out. Does feel, um, one of things that I noticed. I did this thing with my friends called Sober October where we, um, didn't smoke any Potter do any? No drinking at all. Nothing for for a month. And when I did it, one of things I found said after about I don't know how many days, but it was noticeable that I would have these incredibly vivid dreams. And then I had read that marijuana does something to suppress heavy rem sleep. Like what? What What is


happening there? Yes. So both of those chemicals, both of which it used as a sleep aid, alcohol and marijuana are actually very good at blocking your dream. Sleep your rapid eye movement. Sleep. And so what happens is that the brain is quite clever in this regard. It builds up a clock counter of how much dream sleep you should have had but have not been getting on. It starts to develop this increasing appetite and hunger for dream sleep, so that finally, when the alcohol actually gets out of your system sober October I love the name. That's all of a sudden where you get what's called a reb sleep rebound effect, where you not only get the normal amount of REM sleep that you would normally have. You get that plus the brain tries to get back some of that dream sleep that it's being losing over the past, maybe 11 11 months. So you


get 20 years. I didn't want to make any assumptions of,


so you get this. Ramsey rebounded effect, and that's where you have these really intense dream sleep situations. It's the same reason that people will say, like I had a bit too much to drink last night. Maybe it was a Friday or Saturday. They sleep in late, they said. Just had these crazy dreams. What happens? There is a kind of an acute version where the alcohol is swirling around in your system and after about six hours you're delivering. Your kidneys have finally excreted all of the alcohol, and your brain has been deprived of dream sleep for that 1st 6 hours. So then it feasts in the last couple of hours. And that's why you have these really bizarre dreams after you've been drinking a


little bit too much. Oh, wow. So what is happening with marijuana, though specifically, Do you know


yes. Oh, marijuana. It does help. People will help. It puts people to sleep quicker, although I think that the question is whether it's really naturalistic sleep or not that they go into certainly with alcohol. It's not. That nightcap idea is, is a Miss Noma Alcohol will actually, well, it's a form of drugs that we call the sedatives and sedation is not sleep. It's very different, but we often mistake one for the other marijuana. It seems to act in a physiologically very different way. It doesn't target the same receptors in the brain, So it's unclear whether this speed with which you fall asleep after having a session with marijuana is actually natural sleep.

Let's assume it is. The problem, however, is that it then will start to disrupt RAM sleep. It will start to block the process. We think, perhaps at the level of the brain stem, which is where these two types of sleep non Roman rem sleep will actually get sort of worked out. That's where marijuana may actually impact dream, sleep and shut it down and block


it. Have there been any studies on chronic marijuana smokers like those dawn to dusk type characters that just are constantly high like and what happens to their brain from not because they must never


hit REM sleep? Yes, so people haven't looked at marijuana. They have looked at alcohol, though exactly that. So what happens is if you look at alcoholics, they will have something often when they come off alcohol, something called delirium tremens, which is where sort of DT there. What happens is that the alcohol has been blocking dream sleep for so long on the pressure for dream sleep is built up so powerfully in the brain. It actually just spills over into wakefulness. And so the brain just says, Look, okay, if I'm not going to get this dream, sleep whilst you're asleep. I'm just going to take it whilst you're awake. And so you start to essentially dream while you're awake. It's this sort of collision of two states of consciousness. So you get delirium.


Wow. I was thought the DTs were detoxing. Someone someone said, Someone's going through the eighties. Okay, so it's delirium. Tremor? Yeah. Delirium tremens. Yeah. So what? Like what is going on with them when this is happening? So if they are going through this delirium during the day while they're conscious what what's physiologically happening?


So it's almost as though the veil of REM sleep gets pulled over the waking brain, as it were. So you have this mixed state of consciousness that you can pick up with brainwave recordings, and he just tells me I mean in some ways, how necessary sleep must be. If that's the lengths that the brain will go to to get that which it's being missing. Yeah. Just shows you why. You know, it took Mother Nature 3.6 million years to put this thing called an eight hour sleep necessity in place on we've come along, and within the space of 100 years, we've locked up almost 20% of that. If you look at the data


Wow. Really them. So many people take pride in that too. I don't need eight hour sleep. I got three. I'm good. Ready to go kick ass and dominate the world? Yeah. Yeah,


That's the sort of, like, sleep machismo


sort of attitude. There is a lot of that, right? Yeah, baby,


I like sleep. Well, I mean, you would be glad to know that. Then, you know, men who sleep 5 to 6 hours a night, we'll have a level of testosterone, which is that of someone 10 years their senior. So elective sleep will age you by a decade in terms of the political aspect of wellness virility, muscle


strength, 10 times a year. That's incredible. Wow. We had a woman on the podcast. Her name is Courtney Do Walter. and cheese, a ultramarathon runner, and she ran. She's a really freak. I mean, like an incredible athlete. She ran this thing called the Moab to 40. It's 238 miles through the Moab Mountains, and she did it 22 miles faster than the second place man. So she wanted by, like,

a whopping. I think it was 10 hours, 10 hours ahead of the second place winner, and she slept one minute, one minute the entire time. She tried to lie to this over three days. I think it took her less than three days. Thing took her like, two days. Um, she slept for one minute during the entire time she tried to lie down. She she said she laid down for a few minutes, but she couldn't fall asleep. And then she wound up actually, just taking one minute and going to sleep. And she said that one man,

it was like one of the most intense rest full minutes after that minute is over, she was woken up. She told her partner running partner to wake her up in a minute, and she's like, How long did you let me sleep and he was like one minute she's like, Wow, I feel great, Let's go But she was saying that she hallucinates and that she starts seeing like rabbits or talking to her, and she sees, sees things that aren't there and like mystical beings and stuff, she said. It's really freaky, but she knows that she's hallucinating because she's done this. She's done a bunch of ultra marathon, so she just keeps going. She's keeps going. She's like saying hi to rabbits. They're talking or and


stuff. Yeah, I mean, you see these reports to I mean, this is a race of cycling, Race of things. Bike across America just got to go from East Coast West Coast in a shorter time as possible, and that's exactly what they do to. It's all about managing how little sleep that you get, and they will explain these wild, hallucinogenic experiences on the bike. If you look at world records for people who have tried to sort of go without sleep on. One of the most famous examples is a radio disc jockey called Peter Trip back in the is back in the sort of sixties fifties sixties, and he tried to break the world record. He went eight days straight on and yeah, yeah, he was broadcasting from time scorer Heywood.

Do it. Show there. And you know the scientists. The psychiatrist said, Look, this is a very bad idea. Based on what we know, Please don't do it. And he said, I'm gonna do it anyway. And then the scientists being the good scientist, they said, Great. Do you mind if we study you? Could it be a great paper to sort of, you know,

to write up? And they tracked him. And by day three, he was having florid delusions and hallucinations. He was seeing spiders in his shoes. He became desperately paranoid, started to think that people were trying to poison him in his food. One point, it was the middle of winter. Some guys came in with some of these bills. New York wintertime came with these big jackets. He thought it was the Secret Service coming to get him, and he ran out into the road. Uh, you know, these are strange,

but so we know that that same profile of just starting to become, you know, psychotic, which is essentially what happens naturally when you dream that you are. I mean, all of us here, you know, as long as we slept last night became flagrantly psychotic when we went into dream sleep because you start to see things which are not there. So you hallucinate. You believe things that couldn't possibly be true. CIA delusional. You get confused about time, place and person. So you're suffering from disorientation. You have wildly fluctuating emotions, something that psychiatrist called being sort of effectively lay bile.

And then how wonderful. We both woke up this morning and we forgot most, if not all, of that dream experience. So is suffering from amnesia.


What is happening when you're having these hallucinogenic experiences? Like, what are the chemicals that are causing? Do we know


we? D'oh! Yeah, well, we've done some of the studies where we put people into brain scanners. We let them fall asleep, and then we see what happens within the brain. Which parts of the brain is switching on which parts of the brain of switching off when you go into REM sleep? Firstly, some parts of your brain become 30% more active than when you're awake. So, you know, we think of sleepers this sort of, you know, static, passive state where everything just kind of drops down in terms of activity. Quite the country.

But what's also interesting is that not all parts of the brain ramp up When you go into REM sleep, visual parts of the brain increase motor parts of the brain increase emotional centers and memory centers. They all increase. But the part of the brain that bucks the trend and goes in the opposite direction is the part of the brain that we call the prefrontal cortex. This sort of CEO of the brain. That's very good, rational, logical thinking that parts of the part of the brain gets shut off. So it's almost a CE, though you know that the prison guards are gone on everyone running to Mark, because there's no controller, you know, in place. And so we know sort of from the patterns of brain activity, why you become sort of so visual. You see things, why you have motor kinesthetic activity, why things feel it's so emotional. But also wife things seem heartily a logical and irrational because your frontal brain thing that makes us most human, you can say goodbye to that for the rest of dreams sleep,


so there's no driver.


So there's no driver.


Yeah. Now why do we forget? Why do we forget those dreams? Because I I wake up, and I am sure that I'm gonna remember these dreams. And sometimes I do. Sometimes I remember, and I don't think I really remember that. I think what it is is very much like You ever hear someone talk about a memory from a long time ago? I used to think that people actually remembered things from a long time ago. But now what I think is they've remember remembering it. I think they remember talking about it. They remember how they described it. And then they sort of remember that and repeat it and in their mind, convinced themselves that that's what happened. Because I have heard people tell stories about the past and there they vary wildly from what is absolutely true, like like factual.

You could check it, you could research it. You know what the facts are, but in their mind, it's very different. And I think that it's entirely possible that what people are doing is remembering the recollection of these memories and how they told them, and then also sort of people elaborate things that make themselves look better or make the situation look more dramatic. But with dreams, that doesn't make any sense. So I was I'm always trying to figure out, like, What is it about a dream where sometimes I can remember the dream and sometimes it's so vivid When I wake up, I'm like, Holy shit, that was crazy. What a dream. And then I forget it 20 minutes later, right? What is that


sick? Fussy? I mean, one theory of dreaming is that it's just simply a reconstruction when you wake up. So you have these fragments of activity on what your cortex does when it wakes up is what your cortex is designed to do when you're awake normally, which is try to package everything can make a good story, make logical fit out of the world. That's one theory. I don't believe that though you your point is a really interesting one. Do I remember my dreams? That doesn't necessarily mean I forget my dreams, and what I mean by that is accessibility versus availability. So have you ever had that experience where you've woken up you thought I was definitely dreaming. I can't quite grab it. You know it just and it's gone on. Then two days later, you're in the shower.

You sort of washing yourself. You see a bottle of shampoo, you see the label, and it just triggers the unlocking off that dream memory. And it sort of comes flooding back. Or someone says something Team, you think, Oh, that was the drink. What that tells me is a brain scientist is that the memory is there. It's preserved, it's available. But what happens when most of the time when we wake up is that we lose the I P address to the memory so it's present, but it's not consciously accessible, available, not accessible.

If that's true, what it means is that this type of information we know can have no unconscious impacts on our behavior. All the times great brain science about this non conscious memory processing, it's possible that we store every one of our dreams. We just don't consciously have accessibility to it. But nevertheless, it's changing how we behave, how we feel each and every day. No evidence for it. It's a theory I'm still wanting to test, But that's possible, too. And it's only that anecdote where I can think. I just don't remember the dream. I've forgotten it. I don't think that may be true. It may still be the I just need to find the keys to exit of excess


that memory. What's stunning to me is how quickly the dream evaporates the memory of the dream in relation to a new actual experience. Like if we went outside and we saw some lady walk up to some guy and kick him in the balls were like, Whoa, we would remember that and that you needed to be able tell your friends like that some lady just randomly walked us some guy and kicked in the balls like we would remember that you would remember it 10 minutes later. Did Member in an hour, you remember? Yes. Next day you'd you'd be telling your friends. Yes, just walked right up to him. I remember it like it was yesterday because it was right. Yeah, but a dream could be 10 minutes ago and you wake up and dude, it was King Kong, and he was he was swinging for my ceiling and somehow or another. He fit in the room, but the room got bigger and you have these crazy dreams. And then 20 minutes later, you forget all of it like what is happening.


They're so one. One current explanation is that the chemistry of the brain when you go into dream sleep is radically different. So one of the chemicals called nor adrenaline in the brain, which downstairs in the body it sister chemical is called adrenaline nor adrenaline actually plummets to the lowest levels. It's actually to stress chemical in the brain, not one off them that gets shut off during dream sleep, which


is even if you're panicking. Like what if you fall


off a building? Well, what's interesting is that that chemical is low wealth. You're having that dream. But when you wake up from those and some people often wake up, that's when you have the spike of Nordgren. So it's still low when you're in dream sleep. But there's another chemical that goes in the opposite direction is called acid tile coleene. It's the chemical that is actually a malted and Alzheimer's disease, and these two chemicals will change essentially the input, output, direction, off information flow into the memory centers of the brain. So


that makes sense because people take that as a new tropic. They dio Yeah, that's actually an Alfa brain. Um, when when you take that, it's this been clinically proven to enhance memory, especially verbal memory and recollection of words and things like that. That's right. So that's happening while you're sleeping


well, searing REM sleep, Yeah, but what may be happening? Our current models, if you sort of build these neural models to sort of mimic dreaming, it may be that during dreaming, it's principally about the outflow of information to generate dreams. And in fact, the chemical profile is oppositional to input, which is about saving. So it's about sort of pumping out information rather than committing information. And so when you come out of a dream sleep, you still get this sort of lingering after sort of taste of chemistry, as it were in the Marine. That means that the dreaming brain is more program to be outputting a narrative and an experience rather than naturally committing it to memory, which is the opposite direction.


If that makes sense, it does make sense. How were you of dimethyl trip to me.


I'm somewhat aware of it. Scientifically. Not


not. Not personally, Eventually. Yeah. Yeah. Um, one of the things about psychedelic experiences with dimethyl trip to mean. First of all, it's endogenous. Your brain produces it, your lungs or liver produce it. But when you have ah d m t experience after it's over, the memory fades very rapidly, and it seems just like a dream in that regard where, while while you're having it, what's bizarre is that you're having it while you're awake. Yeah,

and then after you have it within 10 20 minutes, it is just like a dream that you can't remember it. I remember, like little flashes of experiences that I've had, and there's been a lot of speculation that that's one of the things that you're experiencing while you're in heavy ram sleep, and that could be responsible for the crazy visuals that you have that seems so vivid. I mean, there's been times where I've had dreams where I was 100% convinced that I was awake. Yeah, and then something happened like I do this thing sometimes where ill if I do it consciously a lot, I think I saw in one. Those wacky movies. Like what? The bleep to me. No, I think it's on that when you walk up to a door as you're walking through the door,

you knock on the side of the door and go. Am I awake? Nope. Not awake. Or am I sleep, brother? Yeah. No, I'm not asleep because I'm not going to door. Well, I did that in my hands. Like going right through the wall. Oh, sleeping. Ah, And then I woke up and I was like,

but the feeling that I had while I was in that dream, it was so vivid. I mean, everything seems so real. Like, what could possibly be causing me to construct this artificial reality in my mind that at the moment at least, was indistinguishable from the reality that experience right now. And I'm assuming cause I just knocked on this table that I'm awake. Yeah,


I really hope I'm not just ah, fictive character


in your dreams. Maybe we're sharing a dream


yet very inception. Like impossible. Not based on the saints so far. But I think you know what you're speaking about There already is almost Why would Why would Mother nature create this thing called the Dream Experience. You know what would be the function off essentially every night, going into what sums up to be about two total hours of virtual reality experience and testing. One possibility, which is deeply unsatisfying, is that it's just a byproduct. It's just happy phenomenal that when your brain goes into this thing called REM, sleep on all of the different patterns of brain activity that we described. An offshoot is this thing that we call dreaming in the same way that a lightbulb, the reason that we construct the apparatus that's a light bulb is to produce light. But when you produce light in that way, you also produce heat was never the function of the light bulb. It's just what happens when you produce light. In that way,

maybe dreaming is just sort of the heat of realm. Sleep and REM Sleep serves lots of other functions, but wow, that doesn't feel to me right, though why? Well, firstly, I think it's probably, additionally metabolically demanding to have dreams. In addition to this thing called REM sleep on, whenever Mother Nature burns calories, it's usually for a reason because they're so precious.


That's good point that makes sense to, you know, I read some article about the lack of REM sleep with marijuana users, and it was trying to say, and it may be super skeptical. Even as a pot smoker, it was trying to say that it's not bad for you because what's essentially doing is bypassing the REM sleep and going directly into the deep sleep, and it's helping you in that regard. Does that make sense to you? It doesn't make sense. As a neuroscientist says today, you fucking stoners deeply unpopular you No, no,


no, no, no, Don't smoke part as stay away from alcohol. You know, apart from a general personality, which is dislikable, this doesn't help me if


you're definitely not dislikable. But I don't think you're saying anything wrong. I think I think marijuana, like most things, is best used in moderation. And one thing that I got out of the sober October thing wasn't just that. It's fascinating to see the dreams like just ramp up and get crazy, but also that when you take a few days off and then smoke a little pot, the pot actually has more of an impact in fact, one of ah, my favorite psychedelic authors and lectures, the late, great Terence McKenna. His advice was to not do marijuana for long periods of time and then do as much as you could stand. And he was a, you know, a real psychedelic adventure,

and his thought was to really get the benefit of marijuana. It's not something that should be you used daily and wreck really recreational e. It should be used as a psychedelic sacrament, Not should, because he actually did small pot pretty rarely pretty regularly, rather. But his thought was, If you really want to get the full impact of it, um, you shouldn't be accustomed to it. And when you're accustomed to it, you build up a tolerance to it and doesn't have the same impact like it's that thing. I don't know if you've ever been around pot smokers, but when someone doesn't smoke pot and then they get talked into smoking pot with some pot smokers, it's always a terrible idea. Has got a bunch of people with super high tolerance is and some poor person that doesn't have any tolerance,

and they just they just get taken down a tornado rabbit hole journey into their chest. 60. And he's so paranoid and thinking about everything freaking out, all these sensations that they just never experienced before. But, ah, the the idea that you could bypass Realm sleep and go straight into the deep sleep that doesn't make any sense to


you. No, it doesn't. And what we've learned over the past out of 30 or 40 years is all stages of sleep are important. You know, when you think about sleep as a state, it makes no sense. You know, firstly, your vulnerable to predation. You're not Ryan finding food. You're not finding a mate. You're not reproducing. You're not caring for your young on any one of those grounds. Sleep should be strongly selected against as a collective. I mean, it's it's almost idiotic if sleep does not serve an absolutely vital function.

It is the biggest mistake that the evolutionary process ever made, and that counts for all of the stages of sleep to again. Mother Nature wouldn't waste time putting you into a state that wasn't necessary on What we've discovered is that all of those different stages of sleep that we spoke about all have unique and separate functions. So you can't shortchange any one of them. And you don't need to buy us towards one and try and sort of, you know, placate the other. You know, evolutionist has taken a long time to get the blueprint accurately. Correct for each physiological individual. I wouldn't play around with it. And you're smarter than that process.


I would have read it. I felt like it was a justification for smoking. A lot of pot. Man, you're just kidding. Deeper sleep, man. You don't need that room. Sleep. You're passing it up, man. You just go right into the deep, heavy, necessary sleep. Au contra Contraire. Potheads. Um so what is happening to the body during REM sleep that's so critical that one particular aspect


of sleep so first lead in the body? The your cardiovascular system seems to do something quite strange. It goes through periods of dramatic acceleration on dramatic deceleration to remember during REM sleep. Quite unpredictable too. We also know that during REM sleep, your brain paralyzes your body so that your mind contrary MME safely So wow ee And that makes a lot of you know sense. If you're thinking that you're you know this well champion, mixed martial arts person, and it's in the middle of the night. You're not. It's dark. You can't see. You're not perceiving you're outside world. You're going to get popped out of the gene pool very quickly if you start acting out that experience. So there is a barrier in place that Mother Nature locks you down in incarceration, Muslim customers, Incarceration.


That's crazy that you say that because when I was fighting, when I was young, I would wake up throwing kicks. I would kick in the middle of the night. I would do it all the time, I'd be sleeping, and I just would move and throw a kick in the middle of the night. You know, I remember it waking me up like what the fuck is wrong with me? Then I try to go back to sleep again, but I was obviously dreaming about competing.


Do you actually remember that? So when you woke up, did you remember dreaming at that point? Or did you just have no recollection of anything going on At that point?


I believe I had a recollection. It's been a long time, but I believe I had a recollection like I would be like, in bed with my girlfriend. Wake her up to, you know, just told like I wouldn't throw a full kick, but my body would move like I was going to, you know, like I would turn my hips and my leg would extend. It was my body. Was it Was I attributed to the the idea that it's so extreme, like the activity of fighting is so extreme that my my brain had kind of like hyper charged itself to compete at this very high level, you know, and that this was, like, so unusual that it was it was almost at red alert all the time and maybe even trying to work out patterns while I was sleeping.


They are exactly the evidence that we


have now eso


for things like motor skills or even rats running around a maze where they will learn specific sort of, you know, navigational pathways and even skilled motor movements. What you can do is you can place these electrodes into centers of the brain wheat, wheat, working. My sleep sleep center works on humans. But other people have done these s cities in rats and you implant electrodes and you measure the brain cells firing as the rat is running around the maze on, Let's say that you can sort of play little tones for each brain cell, so they're running around the maze and you can listen to the brain cells learning the signature of that may circles. But but but But But But But what was amazing is that when you let those rats sleep, but you keep listening to the brain, what you hear is as if the brain is actually an infected. Is its replaying the exact same sequence, the memory sequence that it was learning whilst


it was awake? It's replaying,


but at a speed that is 20 times faster. Whoa. So you know, now we start to get into this inception world, and I don't mean to cause the scientific data it read that went out in that territory. But you know that notion off time compression and time dilation that Christopher Nolan played so well within that movie. We can see that at the level of brain cell firing in rats as they're learning these mazes, and it comes back to what you're saying, which is that the better that they refers those skilled memories when you wake them up and test them the next day, that predicts how much better they are in terms of their performance. So it's not just that you learn, you go to sleep and you replay and you hit the save button on these new memories. You actually sculpt out those memories and you improve them on. We've done cities with motor skill. Learning critical for athletic performance and practice does not make perfect. Practice with a night of sleep is what makes perfect because you come back the next day and you're 20 to 30% better in terms of your skilled performance than where you were at the end of your practice session the day before. Wow, Wow. I mean, sleep is the greatest legal performance enhancing drug that most people are probably neglecting in sport.


Wow! And not just for your physical performance, but actually skill


learning that's right, skill learning memory and then also, you know, downstairs in the body all over the recuperative benefits, and you can flip the coin. By the way, if you're getting six hours of sleep or less, your time to physical exhaustion drops pipes up to 30%. So you could spend all of your time training for a 10 round fight. Perfect condition. But then I put you on six hours of sleep the night before. You're now gonna be physically exhausted by round seven rather than


round 10. Wow. But well, and that's a really hard thing for fighters because they have a very difficult time sleeping the night before a big fight. Yeah, it's very, very difficult because usually probably piety. And and I would imagine it's got to be. I mean, it's probably take a huge toll. Him is probably a huge benefit if they could somehow or another bypass all that and just relax and learn how to relax and learn


how to actually sleep. I mean, it's I think, you know, it's one of were constantly trying to hack the physiological system, especially in elite sports these days, because small fractions of a percent of gain can make a huge difference.


That sounds like 30%. That's a monster.


Huge. Yeah, I mean your time to sort of not just physical exhaustion, but, you know, the lactic acid builds up quicker, the less and less that you sleep, your ability of the lungs to actually expire. Carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen decreases. The less


sleep that you and that makes so much sense. While because when I was doing, I was doing fear Factor and was doing stand up comedy. And then I was also doing another television show and I was doing ju jitsu and I never got eight hour sleep. Mostly got four, usually got four, and my cardio always sucked. Yeah, who's really is terrible. And I was like, Why is my cardio sucker workout so much like that was probably what itwas Yeah, it's a huge pot. Now, how many hours


of sleep should you get somewhere between Excuse me somewhere between 7 to 9 hours. Once you get below seven hours of sleep, we can measure objective implements in your brain and your body.


I can show that in the last two days, and I can show it. Show it because I basically did the same work out two days in a row. Um, the day before, I had flown back from Boston. Very tired. Um, hung out with my kids all day, um, went to get some sleep But then I had to do some stuff at, like, two o'clock in the morning and ah, I just never really got good sleep. And then my youngest daughter got up at five. She was crying, and then,

uh eventually my alarm went off at eight. So my my sleep was like, 34 hours. It was all screwy. And the night before was even less because I had flown and I had to get up early for the flight. And I tried to sleep on the plane and I went running and I fell like dogs shed. And then during the day, I felt like dog shit. I just didn't have, Like, as I was running, I just didn't have any extra gear. I was like, uh, I did it. I pushed through it,

but then it was over was like, Oh, well, last night last night, slept 7.5 hours, woke up today lifted weights, ran, ran, felt great, feel great now, like two days and difference. I mean, that's the difference. The difference is, one day I got real sleep. One day I didn't I did the exact same thing, even Maur Today I did I lifted weights today as well, and I feel great so I could see I could see it physiologically in the difference in my performance in 24 hours.


Yeah, and that's noticeable. I mean, we see that too. You know, your your peak muscle strength, your physical vertical jump, Ike and your peak running speed. All of those things, Carly. With sleep, the less that you have the worst. Those outcomes are probably one of the most surprising factors. There was injury risk. When they've looked at athletes across a season on, they've just plotted, you know,

how frequently will they get injured? And then they surveyed them. You know, How much sleep are you getting on? They pocketed them into sort of people who are getting nine hours seven hours 654 And it's a perfect linear relationship. The Leslie that you have hired your injury risk. So people getting nine hours versus five hours it was almost a 60% increase improbability off injury risk during


a season. Do you attribute that to exhaustion, or do you attribute that to a lack of recovery from the previous night's work out? Is it a combination of those things is exhaustion causing you to miss step, perhaps, and like twist an ankle or to turn a knee.


Yeah, it's all of those things. Also, every prominent, even if you look at micro balance. If you look at sort of thes stability muscles versus you know major muscles, those stability muscles also fail when you're not getting sufficient sleep. I think we often underestimate how critical they are in sports performance, particularly in terms of combating and placating injury risk, too. So if you just get someone on a stability ball, you know, sort of just dosed them down with sleep eight hours, five hours, you know, three hours and just noticed how those stability muscles help you balance just the basic active balance that deteriorates dramatically. No one do you getting more


injury risk totally makes sense now. As a neuroscientist, what do you attribute when when when people talk about visual ization and visualization is ah, it's a huge factor in improving ah, technical skills, uh, specifically martial arts, which is Ah, big fan of obviously, um, martial arts. When you visualize people who visualize who sit down and like, go over their body going through the motions and doing things. Those people perform better. They perform better. They they they learn quicker. What do you attribute that to do? You think it's the same thing as what's happening when you're sleeping? Just maybe to a lesser extent,


I think it's to a lesser extend. But people have done those studies where they've looked at sort of whether you actually physically practice, let's say, on a keyboard, just cause It's easier to sort of manage in a laboratory versus just imagining, sort of typing out that sequence and just the act of physical visual ization of sort of imagination. Off that motor skill, it's It's about 50% as effective as physically performing it, too, and it's 50% is effective. What I mean there is in changing the plastic connections within the brain. So even just visual ization, you know, passive play as it were, still can actually cause a re wiring of the brain beneficially


wow, you know, learning techniques, specifically martial arts techniques. Um, my good friend Eddie Bravo, So world famous ju jitsu instructor. He's He's always, um, comparing it to tying your shoe. And he said, Do you know how like when you were a little kid and you're trying to figure out how to tire shoots of extremely difficult thing to dio. Like, how do I do this? And you put that down and you do loops like I'm watching my seven year old daughter go through that right now. But now, as a grown man,

when I tie my shoes, I could just be talking. You know what? Yeah, we're gonna go tomorrow and I'll do it. I don't even know what I did. If you tried to ask me to explain how I tie my shoe, I'd be like, How do I tell e like, I don't even know how I do it because it just I have it in there. It's just the idea with martial arts is you've got to be. All of your techniques have to be automatic. Someone extends the arm, you instantly hook it and go into the arm bar. You know, it's someone you have to have these paths like, so drilled in that you don't even know you're doing them until it's over.


Yeah, so automaticity is one of the things that sleep actually accomplishes. And I was talking about those 20 to 30% benefits in motorcycle performance. So we did some additional stories to actually Sable. What? How it had to sleep. Do that. You know where in your skill performance to sleep give you the benefit. So you're right tying a shoe lace, you know, even driving a car with stick. You know, at first it's just overwhelming. It's so difficult to clutch. It's gas pedal, you know it's gear, and now it's just second nature.

You know, it's shifted from conscious toe automatic from conscious and unconscious. If you look a performance that is conscious and not automatic, it's usually very staccato. It's this, then it's that when it's that it's not fluid. If you heard someone trying to sort of play piano to begin with, it doesn't sound very fluid. You know someone who's maestro, it just flows out of them. So we looked at this with motor skill performance again, sort of like people playing musicianship and you learning. You learn, you get better on let's see that you type a sequence that take 413 to 4 and people learn it. But they have these problem points throughout the sequence. They go for 13 to 4413 to four.

As if it's sticking point to the same thing with any skilled performance in and in athletics. And it's the brain. Chungking things up. A very long motor sequence gets chunked up into small sort of digestible bites. It's a good way to begin learning, but it's not a way to create automaticity At some point. What you have to do is stick jewel of those things together, and it just flows like a sentence, like a sentence. Yeah, like a piano piece like, you know, a sequence of movements if you've got, you know, in martial arts you've got you know, So what we found was that before sleep,

you've got these big problem points. These gaps in your motor skill Learning sleep does not necessarily improve the places where you're already good. Sleep is intelligent. It goes in, finds that problem point that friction point in your motor skill sort of deficit, and it smooths it out. So you come back the next day, and now it's just for 13 to 44 on 3 to 4/4 automaticity, and it's exactly what you're describing. Speak to musicians. They'll say playing. I just couldn't get that piece the night before and then came back the next day and I sat down and I could just play sleeps, doing its work.


I've heard that, too, with problems. And that's why people say sleep on it.


Yeah, yeah, You've never being told to stay awake on a problem,


right? I mean, it's sometimes when you're about to go to bed, it's almost overwhelming. You just can't concentrate on anything else. But this problem, whatever it is, and then you go to sleep and you wake up in the morning like it's all right. Yeah, it's gonna be fun. Yeah, I got it. I know what


to do and sleep so that, you know, there's lots of anecdotal evidence of sleep inspired creativity and now the shifts to one of the benefits of dreaming. In fact, it's during dream sleep. When we take all of the information that we've previously learned on, we start to collide it with all of the new information that we've learned. It's It's a little bit like group therapy for memories, you know, everyone gets a name badge, and you will get to speak to each other. and the brain starts to seek out and test novel connections and new associations. So it's almost like informational alchemy. And you wake up the next morning with a revised Mind wide Web that is now capable of divine ing. You know, incredible solutions to previously Impenetrable problems and lots of anecdotes. You know,

Dimitri Mandalay have came up with the periodic table of elements by way of dream inspired insight. You know, talk about a Herculean task. Take all of the elements in the known universe and figure out a structure as to how they all fit together. Off you go. His waking brain could not do it. Hiss Sleeping brain solved the problem. Whoa! On Einstein. By the way, if this is Einstein was suggested to be a short sleeper on, we don't know if that's true. But even if he waas, he was a habitual Napa during the day. I've got some great pictures of him on his workbench, and he used sleep ruthlessly as a tool for creativity,

and he would sit at his desk and he would have a sort of pad of paper and a pencil, and he had a chair with arm rests and he would pick up to steel ball bearings and take a metal source, burn and turn it upside down, placed underneath the arm of the chair and put the two steeple steel ball bearings in his hand. Then he would rest back and he would start to fall asleep. And so he didn't fall too far into sleep. What would happen is, at some point his muscle tone would relax. They would release the steel ball bearings. They would crash on the source. But wake him up, and then he would write down all of the creative


ideas that isn't the half. Brilliant. So no wonder


you you're never told to sort of stay, awaken a problem. And in every language that I've been quiet about today, French, Swahili, that phrase sleeping on a problem seems to exist. Which must mean that this benefit of dreams sleep transcends cultural boundaries, I should note. I think it's important that the French, the French translation is much closer. T you sleep with a problem? We, the British, you say you sleep on a problem. The French you say you sleep with a problem. I think it says so much about the romantic difference between the British and the French.


You know, the friend is trying to fuck everything, trying to fuck their problems. Ah, lose my British passport saying That's OK. Well, I will, But I won't either. I think it's just a joke that's fascinating. That Einstein figured that out, too, that he literally had, like, ah, whole routine that he would drop this ball would hit it, bang and wake up and start writing like So we'll have to be in the room watching Einstein do that must been fascinating


story. I said. Einstein. It's Edison, Mike, I'm an idiot.


This changes everything. That's problem. That was noticing a thief, though. Did he steal everything from Tesla? I think that's all made. But I mean,


he has a lot to answer for, by the way, in terms of the way that we're sleeping. You know, he electric he was the first person to electrify society. Not necessary, create the label. But he really, you know, gave shifted us from a point. Were now we controlled the night in terms of illumination and like we are a dark deprive society in this modern era, and that's one of the things that is keeping us awake at night. A lack of darkness,


yet not just that, but also our inability to see the stars anymore. The light pollution that we have at night. I think it's, I think it's a giant shift in perspective. Like, uh, have you ever been to a planetarium or, um, observatory like one of those? Ah, at night? Um, there's a Keck Observatory in Hawaii is a place I try to go to every year, and it's it's really stunning because it's very high up. I think the observatory is, It's somewhat it's somewhere more than 9000 feet above sea level.

And then I think you go even further and then they have the telescopes. But you've got a visitor center and you go to the visitor center. They have some tell telescope set up, but it's you actually drive through the clouds. So as you're driving up this mountain, we were bummed out like it's cloudy. We might not be able to see anything, and then you drive through the clouds, and then when you get through the clouds like holy shit and you feel like you're on a spaceship flying through space and This is what our ancestors saw every night when they went to sleep with a clear sky. They saw all the stars. They saw the full Milky Way like this. And the way the Big Island has set up the use diffused lighting all over the island because of the Keck Observatory. So you don't have the same level of light pollution that you have when you're in a normal city like Los Angeles, which is terrible. I mean, l A If you look at the sea like one or two stars because everything's lit up, it's crazy bright that I think that perspective is that's a giant factor in the way human beings look at the relationship with the universe. But I think that also just the light everywhere, constant light everywhere. That's got to be a big factor in why people sleep so little.


We know it is now. I mean, these studies have been done in the first part is the external light, which is, you know, street lighting. You know, even if you've got curtains that can still bleed through. Yeah, but then when you come into the home, you know the invasion of light into the home by way of technology has been a big problem.


People looking at their phones before they got available


first the year that I mean the incandescent light bulb sort of was the start of it. On light bulbs can suppress a hormone that's called melatonin. It's the hormone of darkness, and it tells your brain when it's dark and when it's time to sleep. But then you add into that screen usage on and they've done. Studies were, for example, you know, one hour of iPad reading versus just one hour of reading on a book, you know, in dim light that one hour of iPad reading firstly delayed the release of this critical darkness hormone called melatonin by about three hours. So if you read on your iPad for an hour here in California, your melatonin peak is not going to arrive. I mean, somewhere in Hawaii, time effects. Three hours delayed.

It's 50% less in terms of its peak, and furthermore, you don't get the same amount of REM sleep, and when you wake up the next morning, you don't feel as refreshed or restored by asleep. Those studies have been done to


wow, what should someone do, um, if they have a hard time sleeping, like save your a person who's insomnia, you have a hard time getting getting to bed and you have a hard time staying asleep. When you wake up, you can't go back to bed. Yeah, there are their strategies.


There are. I mean, I think for most people there are five things that you can do just out the gate to get better sleep. Regularity is probably the most important thing I can tell you go to bed at the same time, wake up the same time, no matter whether it's the weekend. Weekday regularity is key. We've spoken about light. For example, when you in the last hour before bed tried to stay away from screens but also just switch off half the lights in the house, you would be surprised at how separate Fick that is. It really starts to sort of make you feel a bit more drowsy. They don't some great studies where they would take people out into the Rockies, no electric light, no electricity whatsoever. And they started to go to bed two hours earlier than the acclaimed Natural. Bedtime wasn't just because they didn't have anything necessarily to dio.

It was that the melatonin was rising, you know, two hours earlier. So keep it dark. The third is probably keep it cool. Your brain actually needs to drop its temperature by about 2 to 3 F to initiate sleep. And that's the reason that you will always find it easier to fall asleep in a room that's too cold than too hot.


I've seen people use cold pads. Yes, he knows you sleep on these cold pounds, but younger those?


Yeah, I mean, they're evidence is pretty good that cooling the body actually works. They've, you know, in the book, I write about a series of studies where they had people in. It's almost like a wet suit, but it has all of these veins running through it. And they could actually perf use warm or cold water into any part of the body hands core of the body feet, and so that you could exquisitely manipulate the temperature of any part of the body. And what they found is that they could effectively cool the body down, and it instantaneously made people fall asleep faster, and it gave them deeper deep, non rem sleep, that sort of restorative sleep for the body so you can even look at studies were people sleep semi naked and that also seems to improve their sleep, and they get a little bit more deep.

Sleep, too, so cold is better. The paradox here, though, is that you need to warm your feet in your hands to kind of charm the blood away from your core out to the surface and radiate that heat.


Really, you should go to sleep with socks and gloves on


or, better still have a hot bath. Evidence he had to that I discussed what people say, You know, I get out of a hot bath. I feel nice and toasty and relaxed, and that's why I fall asleep. It's the opposite. When you get into a bath, you get vase. Oh, dilation all that. You sort of get rosy cheeks, red skin, all of the blood rushes to the surface. You get out of the bath and you have this massive thermal dump of heat. Thatjust evacuates from the body. Your core body temperature plummets, and that's why you sleep back to so you can hack the system very


easily. Wow. So your core body temperature plummets, and that's what makes you sleep easier. Yeah, that sounds so counterintuitive, but it makes sense,


and it makes sense because that's how we were designed. If you look at hunter gatherer tribes whose way of life has not changed for thousands of years and you ask, how do they sleep? One of the things that seems to dictate their sleep is the rise and fall of temperature in temperature. Is it its lowest in the dignity of the night? You know, three or four in the morning, and as that temperature that climate temperature starts to drop, that's when they start to get drowsy, as if temperature is just sort of signaling to the brain. Now it's time to sleep so light as well as temperature to key triggers to help you get better sleep. If you look at those tribes, by the way and when they go to sleep and they wake up, you know they go to sleep probably at two hours after dusk, sort of 8 to 9 in the evening wake up about half an hour, even an hour before dawn. It's the rise in temperature rather than light that triggers their awakening.

But there's a reason, you know, Have you ever thought about what the term midnight actually means? The middle of the night. And that's what it should be for all of us. But in modernity, we've bean dislocated from our natural rhythms. And now midnight has become the time when we think I should check Facebook West time. You know, should you send my last email? Yeah, that wasn't that is not how we were, you know, designed to sleep. And in fact, we may also be designed to sleep by physically, too. If you look at those hunter gatherers, they don't sleep one long bout of eight


hours at night. You have heard this recently that people that you should have two sleeps, the idea of two sleeps.


Yeah, it's actually a little different than the idea of to sleep. So there was a time instead of the Dickensian era where people would sleep for the first half of the night, maybe sort of four hours or so. Then they would wake up. They would socialize, they would e they would really love, and then they would go back and have a second sleep. If you look a natural biological rhythms in the brain and the body, that doesn't really seem to be how we were designed. It certainly seems to be something that we did in society, but I think it's more of a societal trend than it Waas. A biological edict. However, we do seem to have to sleep periods the way that we were designed. Those tribes will often sleep about 6.5 hours, seven hours of sleep a night and then,

especially in the summer. They'll have that siesta like behavior in the afternoon. And all of us have that sort of this. What's called the postprandial dip in alertness just means after lunch. And if I measure your brain wave activity with electrodes, I can see a drop in your physiological alertness somewhere between 2 to 4 PM in the afternoon.


But is that dependent on diet?


It's not people think it is, you know, especially after they've had a heavy lunch. Yeah, you can actually just have people fast instead of well, fasting for long periods of time actually makes you sleep much worse, but you can have people abstained from lunch, and you still get that drop. So it's independent food. It's a genetically hardwired, pre programmed drop that suggests we should be sleeping


by physically. But this is that dependent upon their standard diet. Because if if someone is on ah, carbohydrate, carbohydrate rich diet, a lot of times you do get that spike you and you crash crash. But when people are on low carb in high fat diets, they don't get that. And they tend to be more even with their energy


through the day. Yeah, so, yeah, that sort of more constant release of energy can actually help you sort of almost combat that


low. But that low exists no matter what exactly. So even if you don't think it exists, it's there. It's still present. Interesting. So why did they do that? And then the Dickens error, Why did they? But what is there a root cause of their double sleep


thing? We don't know. It's hard to sort of really


go past. Amazing. Yeah, it's in the craft was


a trend. Yeah, but it was a movement


that they would just wake up and do things and yeah, maybe because they didn't have TV. The would you do with themselves. Yeah. Hey, it sounds like they did some pretty interesting things with you. A nice, but yeah, well, they created a lot of art than to write a lot of writing and fascinating stuff came out of that time. Now, when you're, um when you're measuring, uh, people's health and when you're measuring people's health in regard to how much sleep they have, like, how do you How do you do that? Do you just talk to people? Do you do surveys like How do you get, like a detailed analysis of people's patterns


so you can do it at many different levels? I mean, we can start at the sort of gross high level, which is epidemiological studies across millions of people where you do surveys. You ask them about their sleep, and then you look at health outcomes. The first thing from that data that's clear is unfortunate truth that Shorty or sleep, the shorter your life Whoa! Short sleep predicts all cause mortality,


which is really ironic because people that want to sleep less like, you know, I don't have a whole lot of time, you know, this life is short. It's fucking shorter. If you sleep less


yet the old Max you know you can sleep when you're dead. Yeah, well, it's mortally and wise advice because we know from the data you will be both dead sooner. And the quality of that now shorter life will be significantly worse.


Yeah, that's counterintuitive to people. The idea that you need this. It's not just like you're making best use of time by sleeping less you're not. You would make best use of time by being awake less exactly, but just crazy.


I mean, wakefulness. Firstly, from a brain perspective, is low level brain damage. We know that


wakefulness is yeah, low, like right now where you and I are getting low level brain damage.


Yeah, that's right. And it's sleep that offers a repair. It terry function. And, you know, I'll give you one example, Which is your risk for Alzheimer's disease? Insufficient sleep across the life span now seems to be one of the most significant lifestyle factors determining whether or not you'll develop


Alzheimer's. What studies or if any, have been done on people that work third shift.


So people have looked at shift work in general, they haven't necessarily split it down to that granular point. But what we see is that shift workers have higher rates of obesity, high rates of diabetes, but perhaps most frighteningly, cancer. And in fact, we now know the link between a lack of sleep and cancer. Eyes quite strong. Insufficient sleep is linked to cancer of the bowel cancer of the prostate cancer of the breast. And the association has become so powerful that recently the World Health Organization decided to classify any form of nighttime shift work as a probable carcinogen. Whoa, yes, of jobs that may induce cancer because of a disruption of your sleep wake rhythms.


Are there other correlating factors, like don't people that sleep less or work into the night? Don't they eat more and eat more shitty


food? They do both of those things. Yeah, and we know exactly the pathway. So there are two hormones that control your appetite and your weight. One is called leptin. The other is called ghrelin. They sound like hobbits, but they're


not the real homer. The real chemicals bizarre.


But leptin is the chemical that tells your brain. You're full, you're satiated. You don't want to eat anymore. Grayling does the opposite. It's the hunger hormone. It says you want to eat more. You're not satisfied with your food if I take people and the studies being done, we've done some of these studies, too, and you just put you a group of healthy people on four or five hours of sleep, for, let's say, one week and you look at those two hormones, they go and unfortunately, opposite directions so leaped in that says You're full. Stop eating that gets suppressed by a lack of sleep Growl in the hunger hormone that gets ramped up.

So first, the people who are sleeping just 5 to 6 hours a night will, on average, eat somewhere between 200 to 300 extra calories each day because of the under slept state. Add that up. It's about 70,000 extra calories a year. It's about 10 to £15 of obese mass each year, which, for me is starting to sound familiar. But what we also know is that it's not just that when you're under slept, you eat Maur, you eat more of the wrong things. Eso if the's the great scientific work. If you give people a finger buffet and they can eat whatever they want, and it contains all of the different food groups, and you sleep deprived them.

Will you give him a full eight hours of sleep? Yes, they start to overeat by somewhere around about 450 calories with total sleep deprivation. But what they go after is heavy hitting carbohydrates and simple sugars. Process food, and they stay away from the healthy sort of leafy greens, nuts, proteins, etcetera. So you're not just eating Maur. You're eating more of the wrong things. And that's why a lack of sleep has such a strong obese, a genic profile to it. And you can take a step back to and you say, Well, if you look at the rise of obesity over the past 70 years,

just this upward exponential increase. And if you plot on the same graph the amount of sleep that society is getting, it goes in the opposite direction. A sleep time has declined. Obesity rates have increased. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that the obesity epidemic is simply a sleep problem. It's not. It's a problem off as being sedentary processed foods, larger food, serving sizes. If you take those factors, though by themselves, they cannot explain the increase in obesity. Other things are at play is sleep. One of them now we know it is. It's a critical factor in the obese, a genic epidemic


I know from personal experience. When I'm tired, I always gravitate towards the worst choices. For me. It's late night cheeseburgers. Yeah, you know, Wendy's at two o'clock in the morning or whatever. Um, what happens if you get naps like, say, viewing of five hours of sleep? But you take a two hour nap during the day? Does everything make up?


Yes and no. So what you're talking about there is what we call prophylactic napping, which is sort of strategically tryingto help combat your deficiency of sleep. Naps can actually give you benefits. We've done some of these studies. Were they improve? You know, you're learning your memory, your alertness, your concentration, especially your emotional regulation to sleep is critical for emotional first aid and mental health. However, you can't keep using naps to self medicate, sort of short sleep of, you know, four or five hours each night. We know that the system itself,

your your brain, has no capacity to regain all of the sleep that it's lost. It will try to sleep back some of that debt. But what we've discovered Let's say I take you tonight. I deprive you of sleep. Eight hours lost. Then I give you all of the recovery sleep that you want. On a 2nd 3rd or fourth night you will sleep longer, but you will only get back, maybe just three or four hours off. That lost total eight s o sleep is not like the bank. You can't accumulate a debt and then hope to pay it off of the weekend. And so there is no credit system within the brain for sleep. You can't bank it. Which is odd, by the way. I would love that system,


you know, Then you would know what you're owed.


You would know what you wrote, but I I could also just know when I'm going into a state of, you know, sleep debt. And I could build up some credit on this precedent for this. By the way, there is a system like that in the brain. It's called the fat cell, because there were times during ah evolutionary past where we faced famine and we faced feast. And so the body learned to adapt to that and said, When you have feast, store it up as caloric energy in these things called adipose cells. Fat cells. And then when you go into famine, you can spend that caloric credit. Where is that in the break? Why don't we have that?

The reason is very simple human beings of the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent reason. In other words, Mother Nature has never faced the challenge of coming up with a safety net for lack of sleep. We've never been forced to come up with that solution. That's why we get such demonstrably all disease sickness, an impairment when you undergo a lack of


sleep. So this is a recent occurrence in human beings that were saying,


Yeah, I mean, the only time we see it in nature is when you go into sky conditions of starvation, the only way that you can get a species to sleep less and it's very, very difficult to dio because sleep is just so essential is when you put them under conditions of extreme starvation. There they will forgo some sleep to stay awake so that they forage in a larger sort of circumference area to try and find more food. It's probably the reason that when people go into fasting, their sleep is so terrible because the brain is receiving this ancient trigger that you're going without food. You're in a state of starvation. You need to stay awake and hunt for food. That's why your sleep gets so much worse when you're when you're undergoing fasting.


That's fascinating. I did not know that. So fasting is when you're talking about multiple day fasting and not intermittent fasting.


Um, we don't have the evidence for intimate infesting. So you know, if you're some people are doing some 12 hours 40 now 16 hours that that doesn't seem to be extreme enough to trigger a change in sleep. But if you fast for these long periods, you know, two days, three days, four days, you can really see some quite marked sleep fragmentation sleep. If you ask any of those people, they'll tell you


that's fascinating, because people always cite the health benefits of multiple day fasts. Do you think that's just like a placebo effect?


I mean Certainly we know that there are chemical pathways that when you go into fasting, are activated. That seemed to be beneficial for health outcomes. And there's a big literature on sort of fasting and aging with the M tour pathway, for example. But we also know that as a species, we're we were not designed to have such terrible, fragmented sleep. We spoke about how sleep regulates your appetite. If you're trying not to eat food and sort of control and manage your weight, the last thing that you probably want to do is be shortchanging yourself on sleep because it's only going to make you even more hungry and reach for sort of worst food. So I still think there's room for fasting in the equation. But I think those extreme fests, you know, and the havoc that it plays on sleep, it's still yet to be understood. You've got to be very careful with playing around with anything going beyond sensible,


you know, behavior. So what does it like? What is it safe? You're going too fast for two days. What switches on that forces your body into this haphazard sleep program.


So that's where that hormone ghrelin just kicks into high grade gear. Bang hormone that is just saying it's a starvation hormone at that point is not just a hunger hormone. You've gone over into starvation, and that will promote alertness. It promotes chemicals that tried to keep you away. Chemicals like dopamine to sort of, you know, force you wide


awake, so it's forcing you to go hunt or gather. That's right. Ah, and this is even if your body goes into a state of ketosis


that we don't know. People have not tried to correlate. Sort of, You know, the profile change in ketosis versus alterations in sleep. I actually think it would be fascinating, you know, maybe there's a peak where it's bad, and then you sort of view crest it and things get better, you know? Does the body acclamation to that? I don't know. It's well, we've never seen the body being able to sort of re engage with you no cognitive function with a dose of sleep deprivation that keeps going. So if I omit studies have been done, take people and give them two weeks of seven hours of sleep, five hours of sleep,

three hours of sleep or no sleep, you know, even by sort of seven days or even 14 days off, six hours of sleep, your cognitive performance just nose dives like a dart into the ground. And it doesn't show any signs of leveling off, as if there is no Assam toe, that it could keep going. By the way, people should know that after 20 hours of being awake, you are as important cognitively as you would be if you were legally drunk.


Wow. What about physical movement?


Same thing? Yeah, your alertness and reaction time. But it's worse. And this is where, you know, drowsy driving comes in. For every 30 seconds that we've been speaking, there has been a car accident linked to sleeplessness. Drowsy driving, it seems, kills more people on the roads than either alcohol or drugs combined. Whoa, Why are why are drowsy driving accidents so deathly Now? I'm not endorsing those other things, of course not. But let's just think about why that's the case.

When you're under slept, you start to have what are called micro sleeps. Sometimes your eyelid does not close all the way, just partially closes, but the brain essentially goes to sleep for just a very brief period of time. You can even see individual brain cells. Looks like they go to sleep during these sleeps. At that moment, if you're traveling in a vehicle on the freeway, you've got a one ton missile traveling at 65 miles an hour and no one is in control.


One ton of your lucky Yeah, yeah, except the last time you saw a £2000 Carlos, You have Miata?


Yeah, yeah, yeah or yeah, no McClaren people. But, you know, if you are


even though they're everything


are they really shows my lack of knowledge despite living thing. But you know, I think, And what happens here is that when with drugs and alcohol, it's often the case off a problem of later reaction with with the lack of sleep, it's a problem of no reaction


at all. So you're out


of it, so you're out of it. So rather than breaking too late, there's just no breaking whatsoever.


Have my tip for people, too? If you find yourself Cole or a tired and driving and you have to stay awake, take either ice, uh or, ah, ice cold water and put it in a washcloth and then rub your face with it. Keeps you awake. Looks. Yeah, it works. I mean, if you're forced to drive for whatever reason you have toe, you have 20 minutes to go, and you're really exhausted. Do that, I guess is the best. Take a like a wet cloth, put ice inside of it and just rub your face. It just wakes you right up for whatever reason.


And it's I mean, those the statistics around dries drowsy driving, though you know, frightening.


And it's a weird thing. When you're on the road, you're there's something about those white lines that just want to put you to sleep. There's no other time where I feel more compelled to just conk out while I'm awake.


Yeah, it's probably one of the greatest sedatives known to man, you know, if that monotonous you know, behavior. And the longer you go with that monotony that the worse things get, you know. And if you look at you know teenagers, that's where we see some of the greatest impact of short drowsy driving. You know, it's the leading cause of death in most First World Nations. Suicide a second


wow that is crazy


speaks this, you know, into this model of later school start times they've done these studies. There was a great one that was done, I think. In Tatton County in Wyoming, they shifted their school start times from 7 35 in the morning to 8 55 in the morning, much more biologically reasonable for teenagers. The only thing more impressive than the extra hour of sleep that those teenagers reported getting was the drop in vehicle accidents. There was a 70% reduction in car crashes the following year when they made that 770 holds the advent of A B s technology, for example, antilock brake systems that dropped accident rates by 2025%. Some deemed it to be a revolution. Here is a simple biological factor, sleep that will drop accident rates by 70% you know. So I think if our gold, as educators truly is to educate on, we've spoken about learning and memory and not risk lives in the process. Then we are failing our Children in the most spectacular manner with this incessant model of early school


start times. Why do we do that like not just really school times, but early work times two I was driving to the airport. Validates 6 a.m. six a m bumper to bumper traffic on the four or five. I was like, This is insane. Look, these poor fucks,


what are we doing? And if you're in the car at 6 a.m. There, it means that you probably woke up, you know, five or you know, 30 average school start times, you know, in the US, some of them, you know, 77 25 buses for a school start time of 7 25 will begin leaving at 5 30 in the morning. That means that some kids are having to wake up at 5 15 5 o'clock, maybe even earlier. That's


lunacy. It is lunacy. Now, why did they do that? I mean, it's just a pattern that they've always done, and they don't They never corrected it.


Yeah, it's a patent that actually has has changed over the past 30 or 40 years. I mean, American schools used to go to used to start around nine o'clock, and it started to shift ever and ever earlier. Why? Part of it is because of work times that parents had to get to work it ever earlier start the kid get on, then bust unions and bus schools. They complied to that same time frame as well, and it becomes very difficult. You know, I don't mean to chastise school systems or the bus unions. You know, it's an incredibly difficult logistics problem. But I have to think that you know what is our goal here? If our goal is to keep our kids safe and to get them well educated and get information into the brain and nurture them, you know, create them to be the next generation early school Start times, you know, on not the thing to d'oh!


There's a lot of lazy kids out there. They're going. Yes, well, pre John Dr Preach, I mean the data. You know, they looked at these


academic things too, you know, One of the's Another example comes from Adina in Minnesota and they shifted school start times from I think it was 7 25 to 8 30 in the morning and they looked at S A T scores. And in the year before, they made the time tick change. The top 10% performing students gotten average s a T score of 1288 which is a great score. The following year, when they were going to school. Now at 8 30 rather in 7 25 the average S a T score was 1500. That's a 212 point increase, which is non trivial.


Wow, that's gigantic. Yeah, I just Yeah, I think it's the school time in correlation with work time. It's very difficult to get people


off for that. Yeah, I mean, and that's part of what you know. Modernity has done where we're working longer hours and also were commuting for longer durations of time. So therefore, people having toe wake up earlier, they come home later on The one thing that gets squeezed sort of vice grips is this thing called sleep, you know, on the decimation of sleep throughout industrialized nations, as a consequence, is having a catastrophic impact on our health and our wellness on the safety in the education of our Children. Silence, Sleep loss, epidemic.


Wow. Now, other than, um, making the room cold and warming up your hands and your feet and things on those lines. What about diet? Is it or even time that you eat? Is there a specific time before you go to bed that you should eat? How much time should you give yourself to digest your food?


So the general advice right now is Don't go to bed too full. And don't go to bed too hungry again. If you're going to bed too hungry, you can get that sort of that signal of I'm starting to go into low level sort of starvation and that can keep people awake at night. The evidence in terms of diet, composition and sleep is quite unclear. It's not particularly well researched area right now. What we do know is that diets that are high in sugar on dhe, sort of heavier, starchy carbohydrates and low in fiber those diets tend not to be good for sleep. You tend to have less deep sleep, and your sleep is also more fragmented throughout the night. So that's sort of right now the best advice,


so you should eat several hours before you go to bed, but not five hours. That's right. Yeah, like two hours.


Maybe it's different for different people, and you will know it. You know, if you sort of starting to wake up with a really severe hunger pangs,


what about supplements like melatonin supplements or things all those lines?


Melatonin, um, is efficacious. It's useful when you're traveling between time zones. So at that point, your body clock, your internal clock is out of sync with the actual real time in the new time zone. And let's say I fly from Los Angeles overto London back home. You know, my melatonin spike is going to be eight hours in the past, you know, instead of back in time. It's not going to arrive with me for eight hours so I can take some melatonin. I can fool my brain into thinking, Oh my goodness, it's actually dark when, despite in California,

it's still daylight. Once I've arrived through airport so you can use melatonin strategically for jet lag. Once people, however, are stable in a new time zone, melatonin does not seem to be efficacious for helping sleep. That said, though, if people out there taking melatonin and they think it helps, I would tell him to keep taking it, because the placebo effect is the most reliable effect in all of pharmacology. So if it works for you, no harm, no foul taking


it interesting. So the people that take melatonin nightly, like this is what gets me go to bed. Really, they're just playing a trick on their mind.


Yeah, unless you're an older individual where your 24 hour rhythm it's got your circadian rhythm starts to get blunted in. It's not a strong anymore. That's where night nightly use of melatonin actually has been demonstrated to be efficacious. But if you're young, healthy and you're taking melatonin, it's unlikely that it's actually helping asleep. That's probably


the placebo, so it really should just be just for traveling. Yeah, or weird situations where your sleep is interrupted. That's right, and you need to kick it into gear, bring it back, understand? So it's almost like a hack.


Yeah, definitely. You know, that's one way that you can have Jack like I mean, there's no cure for Jet like, but there's actually lots of ways that you can hack


your leg. Are there any other vitamins or nutrients or particular foods that enhance the sleepy effect? I mean, there's always the thing about trip to fan. Everybody thought the trip to families in Turkey. Yeah, what I read was that was bullshit. And what was really going on was that you just ate a gigantic meal and it's filled with stuffing and mashed potatoes and all those carbohydrates. Caution his crash,


and it's usually it. That's the time that everyone goes back through into sort of the living room. You lie down. Yeah, most people chronically sleep deprived. Finally, you get the opportunity to sort of just real arrests, and no one's doing anything because no plans.


What do you think? The numbers are sleep deprived people in this country.


So we know those numbers, actually almost one out of every two adults in America and not getting the recommended eight hours of sleep, almost one out of every three people that you pass on the sleep on the street, trying to survive on six hours off or less of sleep. Back in 1942 Gallup did a poll on what they found was that the average American adult was sleeping 7.9 hours of sleep a night. Now that number, most recently is down to six hours and 31 minutes for the average adult during the week in America. That's the average, by the way. That means that there's a huge swath of people well below that average.


And what about the people that say that they sleep, They go to bed, They sleep five hours, they wake up. They feel great. Is that bullshit?


Um, we have the number of people who can survive on six hours of sleep or less without showing any impairment rounded to a whole number and expresses a percent of the population. Zero.


Wow. Wow. Zero


on one of the big problems with the lack of sleep, by the way, is that you don't know your sleep deprived when you're sleep deprived. So your subjective sense of how well you're doing with a lack of sleep is a miserable predictor of objectively you're doing so It's like


dry man. Yeah, right.


Especially yet a perfect example. You know, you're at the bar you have six or seven times Aiken drive home and find. And your response is I know that you think you'll find Dr Subject object of the trust me. You're not. It's the same way with sleep deprivation.


Mmm. That's fascinating. So but you're not drunk So even though you're impaired, you don't feel like you're in Paris and you're probably have a couple espressos. Or when the Cave Man coffees, you feel fine, right? You get juiced up, you ready to go and you're trying to accomplish things. You're trying to succeed, right? You're trying to get ahead in this life, and I need to sleep


and it's you that's completely counterintuitive. It's on the data. We know that people are more productive, you know, and we've seen some things that he's in the workplace, where you look firstly under slept, employees will take on fewer work challenges. Overall, they end up taking wth e simple ones, like listening to voice messages rather than actually digging into deep project work. They produce fewer creative solutions to challenge is that you give them. They also slack off when they're working in groups. It's called social loafing, where they just ride the coattails of other people's hard work.




Leslie. But you have the more willing that you just sort of don't pull your weight. Furthermore, it goes all the way up to the top. So the moral less sleep that a business leader has had from one night to the next, the more or less charismatic their employees will rate that business leader despite them knowing nothing about the sleep of that CEO. It's evident in their behavior


well, because they're sure with the, you know, they're they're shorter temper there quicker to get upset about things. They're less charismatic and social with their conversations are just more okay, I got it. I got it. It's gonna


work work for Yeah, you know, Leslie does not equal more productivity, and it's always struck me as strange. Know why do we sort of overvalue employees that undervalues sleep? Andi, if you look at your work force, you know, trust me, everyone's gonna be looking busy, but it's like stationary bikes. Everyone's looking like they're working hard, but there's no forward progress. The scenery never changes. That's what an under slept it work force will be


for you. Now, what about the amount of time that people spend at work? I mean, I know this is not related to to sleep, but I've always felt people work too much. I feel like you probably could get Maur done with less time there.


Yeah, So efficiency is what we're talking about. And that's another one of those things would sleep deprivation. And I think many people when they haven't had a good night of sleep that, you know, they're looking at this report. And I realized I've just read this paragraph the third time, and I still can't quite get it


is you had scrambled? Yeah,


efficiency, you know, productivity.


But I would feel like when people are working eight hours a day, I don't think that you could work at peak capacity for eight hours at least. I don't think the


average person you can't sustain that


s o you're You're kind of bleeding these people. You're getting blood out of a rock in the last couple hours


and it's Yeah, it's not, you know, either a creative way to work and creativity. You know, it has to be the engine of business on ingenuity. But why would you, you know, take twice the amount of time to boil a pot of water on half heat when you could do it in half the time? If you just put it on high Well, that


sleep. You know, it's interesting, though there are certain writers who use sleep deprivation as a strategy for creativity. They literally don't start like the writers for a sitcom owes on NewsRadio. They wouldn't start writing till 23 in the morning. They would just play video games and fuck around. And then late at night they would really start writing and they would write to, like, seven in the morning they would be. They would stumble into the set like barefoot, delirious hair, all fucked up with hilarious scripts. And it's like they had used being silly and overtired as a strategy, almost like they're doing drugs. But they weren't doing any drugs.


I mean, it comes back. Well, wait, we don't know in that scenario has made sweet. But what we have found, at least in our scientific studies, is that that prefrontal cortex region that we spoke about before that sort of rational, logical mud of the brain. That's one of the first things to go when you're sleep deprived. So that area of the brain just gets sort of switched off right? The more that you are sort of lacking in your sleep and emotional deep emotional centers of the brain, which are normally controlled and kept in check by that prefrontal cortex. They just erupt in terms of their activity. So you're all emotional gas pedal into little regulatory control break which, for the most part, very bad.

But, you know, one possibility is that if you want to try and get a little bit, sort of, you know, crazy loosey goosey. You know, maybe that's not bad for that type of sort of comedic writing that you you become a bit more childlike and say that affectionately, because the last part of the brain to mature in development is the prefrontal cortex. So you river back to almost a more childlike state. But I wouldn't I honestly would not condone that, sort of, you know, undergoing sleep just based on the mortality and, you know, risk of Alzheimer's and cancer by itself. You just don't wanna underst leap


even in short doses. Give a couple days a week like here's the If sleep is not a renewable resource. Like What is the effect of say, if you have three nights a week where you sleep eight hours and then the next night, two hours and then the next night, eight hours? How much of a bump or how much of a dip does that two hours give you on your overall health.


It's bad, it's bad. So I'll give you two examples that there's a study where they just took individuals, and they just gave him four hours of sleep for one night on what they saw was a 70% reduction in critical anti counter fighting immune cells called natural killer cells. These are wonderful immune assassins that target malignant cells. So today both you and I have produced cancer cells in our body. What prevents those cancer cells from becoming the disease that we call cancer is impart these natural killer cells. And after one night of four hours of sleep, that is a remarkable state of immune deficiency. And that's one of the reasons why insufficient sleep predicts cancer. I could also speak about your cardiovascular system, though, and all it takes is one hour because there is a global experiment that's performed on 1.6 billion people across 70 countries twice a year, and it's called daylight savings time. Now. In the spring, when we lose an hour of sleep,

we see a subsequent 24% increase in heart attacks. What in the fall. In the autumn, when we gain an hour sleep, there's a 21% decrease in heart attacks. So it's bi directional. That's how fragile and vulnerable your body is, too. Even just the smallest perturbation


of one hour, one hour is insane. Wow, that is You're blowing my fuckinmind. It's frightening. You


could go even further, by the way, you know, Wow, insufficient sleep will even erode the very fabric of biological life itself. Your DNA code. So in one study they took a group of healthy adults, and they limited them to six hours of sleep for one week. And they compared the profile of gene activity relative to when those same people were getting eight hours of sleep and there were two critical results. The first was that a sizable 711 genes were distorted in their activity caused by one week of six hours of sleep, which is highly relevant, by the way, because we know that many people are trying to survive on six hours of sleep during the week. Wow, the second. Sorry. No,

please go. I was going to say the second sort of perhaps more interesting result was that about half of those genes were actually increased in their activity. The other half were actually suppressed. Those genes that were switched off by six hours of sleep for a week with genes related to your immune response, many off them, so you become immune deficient. Those genes that were increased or what we call over expressed were genes that were related to the promotion of tumors, genes that were related to long term chronic inflammation within the body and genes that were associated with stress and, as a consequence, cardiovascular disease.


This is unbelievable. You know what's really disturbing to me? Um, in my youth from age? Probably. I guess I was probably 18 when I started. I delivered newspapers, used to drive around and throw newspapers out of my car, and I did it for years. And, uh, I would have to be up five o'clock every morning. And I never, never went to bed early. Yeah, ever. And I were 365 days a


year. How old were you, By


the way? I think I started when I was 18. That might have been 17. Whenever I started driving. I drove it 16. But I don't think I started right away delivering newspapers, but I was trying to find, Ah, good part time job. I think I was like either in my senior year of high school or after things right after my senior year of high school. So it's probably


18 okay? And the reason I asked, by the way, is because as you go through into those sort of later stages about the license instead of early adulthood, your biological rhythm moves forward in time. So you want to go to bed later on. Wake up later. So even if you went to bed sort of conscientiously at that time at that stage, like 10 o'clock on nine o'clock wouldn't be able to sleep because it's biologically impossible.


Yeah, no, I didn't sleep in on Saturday. Even worse, one day a week Saturday night, I'd have to get up at three or four in the morning because I had to deliver Sunday papers and the Sunday papers were enormous. And so I had a pack of van filled with excited 350 people that would deliver papers, too, so I had to do multiple trips, so I'd start work at I'd start delivering somewhere around 4 35 depending on when the papers got in and I was done. But, like nine, you know, 9 30 Then I try to crash. But I was a wreck. Yeah. I mean,

and it it fucked me up for years. For years, I did that, and I stop and think about that. Now, um, listening to you listening this conversation what kind of fucking damage that I do to myself over those years?


I won't tell you about this stuff without Simon stand I'ma Lloyd protein.


And I feel okay now. It's been it's been several decades.


Did I mention that your subjective sense of how well you're doing with insufficient sleep isn't? No. No.


And, wow, I'm sure you did. And I'm sure that there's a factor there. Um, what's stunning to me is that six hours is so detrimental. I would have thought that had been fine. Six hours is good. You get six hours as good. That's normal. For May. Yeah, like six hours is normal. Literally. The minimum of seven.


Yep. 7 to 9 hours of sleep.


Seven. You need anything under seven


is bullshit. Yep. For the for the average there is. There is a small fraction of 1% of the population that has a special gene that allows them to survive on about five hours of sleep. And most people, when I tell him this, they say, I have that I'm one of those being the chances of you being you know, you're much more likely, for example, to be struck by lightning in your lifetime, the odds of which I think about one in 12,500 than you are to have this incredibly rare gene. That means you can survive on something around five hours of


sleep. Really Now. What is


the gene? Well, it's a gene that seems to promote sort of again wakefulness chemistry within the brain that allows you to sort of maintain wakefulness in a most sustained way on DSO. We're only trying to understand right now what the actual biochemical mechanisms are of in terms of the consequence of that gene, that gene mutation. But certainly it seems to exist that there are some of those quote unquote short sleepers. By the way, you know, we hear of thes business leaders on even actually, heads of state are not going to name any names, but I'll give you right now, but I'll give you two examples of the past. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan both were vociferous in their statement in their declaration of how little sleep that they would get. Both, Um, said four or five hours a night. And I think in part,

it was too pink, this heroic, ironclad status. And many people would say to me, You know Margaret Thatcher, your lifetime Well, sadly and tragically Factor and Reagan both ended up getting Alzheimer's disease. You know, on we now know, because of its during deep sleep at night, that there is a sewage system in the brain that kicks into high gear, and it cleanses the brain of all of the metabolic toxins that have being built up throughout the day. This low level brain damage, one of those toxic sticky proteins that builds up whilst we're awake, is called beater amyloid beater. Amyloid is one of the leading causes off underlying the mechanism of Alzheimer's disease,

so the less sleep that you're having across the life span, the Maur off that toxic amyloid is building up night after night, year after year and I don't think it's coincidental that both of them ended up progressing into a tragically into a state of Alzheimer's disease. So it's good night sleep clean in that way, in terms of of deep sleep. That's what


that is stunning. Um, are there anything? Is there anything you can do in terms of how you eat or supplements you can take that could potentially at least somewhat mitigate the effects of having no sleep.


We haven't found any good countermeasures. Have you tried diet pills? So people have tried things like Effort Drin. They mean amphetamines. You know, caffeine has been used strategically by the military for years, and caffeine can help you get over the basic reduction in your alertness. So basic response times you can. You can dose with caffeine and still maintain some degree of a fast response under conditions of sleep deprivation.


What about Provigil or new vigil?


You studied? Yes, amid FNL eyes, sort of the underlying chemical there and debated who actually came up with it may have been the French military who actually ended up being the generators of that that seems to work through a pathway at least right now, as we understand it for a chemical called dopamine and dopamine is principally known as pleasure drug. It's the chemical that a lot of drugs of abuse will target to sort of ramp up. But it also is a basic alertness drug that when you get an increase in dopamine, you tend to actually get an increase in your alertness and your wakefulness.


Don't you get an increase in happiness


as well? You can, too, although Madoff inal tends to come with the alertness component of that equation and less so with the euphoria. That's why it has a lower prevalence off sort of addiction and abuse.


But I know a lot of people. I wouldn't say they abuse it, but they say they have to use it like all the doctor says. Doctor says, I got to use it and I'm always suspicious because they seem pretty normal other than the fact that they they're exhausted. If they don't take this, what's essentially stimulant? I've taken a few times. I've taken it when, uh, I have to drive like long periods of time ago. I'm driving from San Diego to California or to Los Angeles, and maybe I have a gig, my gigs done at, like 11. 30. I know.

I'm gonna be on the road late at night. I might take one and ah, it's fine. But it gives his weird feeling It's a weird state. And I know ah, lot of tech people. Ah, lot of Silicon Valley is on this stuff and they pop it like candy. So much so that Tim Ferriss when he was writing his book The Four Hour Body, he didn't want to include it. Anyone include this particular drug? Because he felt like people were just gonna eat


it all the time. Yeah. I mean, it's rife throughout student populations of the truck as well as Adderall. Yeah, yeah, an adult. You know, one of the interesting things is that if you look at the the profile of what sleep deprivation is cognitively, you know, reduced alertness, impulsivity, lack of ability to concentrate difficulties with learning and memory difficulties with behavioral problems. If I were to describe those features to a pediatrician and say, What disorder is this? Probably say it's It's a DHD, Yes,

but what we now know is that there is some portion of Children out there who are diagnosed with a DHD who either one or just under slept or to actually have sleep disordered breathing because of perhaps tonsils problems where they're not getting sufficient sleep. And when you treat their sleep disorder, when you do a sort of you remove the Tunsil's, they start sleeping normally and the A D. H. D disappears. So there is an issue here. I think, within that sort of the explosion of a DHD, not all people are, you know, sort of privy to this sort of sleep problems simply masquerading. It's a DHD. Some people are one of the other problems, too, though,

is that a DHD Kids tend not to sleep very well, and what we end up giving them is a drug that is a stimulant which will combat sleep and fight back against sleep. So I think we need to have a bit more of a strategic approaches to when we think about at least the dose of the that medication in terms of when sleep should be ex sort of expected during the day because, you know, taking it in the middle of the day in the evening. If it's stimulant, it's wake promoting drug Let's be very careful. Sleep is part of it is


that's terrifying because I don't know if the people that are prescribing these things have the sort of deep education and sleep in the necessity of it that you do,


they don't and you know it's not. That funny isn't either. You know, In fact, I've started to try and lobby doctors to stop prescribing sleep. And don't make the mistake that that's me suggesting, you know, prescribing sleeping pills. That's a separate straight sleeping pills are associated with significantly higher risk of death and cancer, and I'm happy to speak about that, too. Was the one chapter in the book that I think the legal team of my publishers took took a very long, long look at, but I think doctors to come back to your point. They, on average, only have about two hours of sleep education and the medical curriculum. So 1 32 hours, two hours, 1/3 of the


podcast has been two hours. Yeah, that's fucking crazy. Isn't that frightening? That's terrifying. And I bet you probably have laid things out better in this podcast. Then you would get in those two hours of education.


I don't know


about that, but I think I'll give you that credit if they could. If


they could increase that, you know, I'm That's a desperately appealing for this year. It's 1/3 of the patient's life, but they only get two hours of education in. But the other problem is the medical industry itself. By the way, you know they're residents. That data, you know, junior residents working a 30 hour shift, our 460% more likely to make diagnostic errors in the intensive care unit relative to when they're working. 16 hours. If you have elective surgery, you should ask your surgeon how much sleep they've had in the past 24 hours. If they've had six hours of sleep or less, you have a 170% increased risk off a major surgical error,

such as sort of organ damage or hemorrhaging relative to that same surgeon if they had bean well rested. And then The irony here, by the way, is that when a resident finishes a 30 hour shift gets back into their car to drive home, there is a 168% increased risk that they will get into a car accident because of the under slips, the being ending up back in the same emergency room where they just came from. But now is a patient from a car crash. You know, it's we need to radically rethink the importance of sleep in education, in business, in the workplace and in medicine, too.


Why do they do that? To residents?


It's a fascinating story s Oh, there's a chapter here in the book. On this, too, is a guy called William Holstered, and he set up the first resident surgical program in the United States at Johns Hopkins University, and he was known for being able to stay awake for these heroic lengths of time. Days on end is incredible, like superhuman strength. Turns out that in later years after he died, there was a dirty secret that he was actually a cocaine


addict. That son of a bitch.


And here's what happened. It wasn't his fault. Early in his career, he was examining the anesthetic capacities of cocaine. So, you know, if well, I'm not gonna see you know, you may have heard from perhaps colleagues that when you snort cocaine, you get a numb face. The reason is because it's it blocks nerves.


Okay, said from colleagues, My colleagues of old big I've actually never done cocaine have I've know quite a few people who have,


and they will, you know they'll have this sort of numbness is the reason is because cocaine is also a nerve blocking a year, like Lion King like a king.


We talked about this yesterday, ironically, on the podcast about doctors becoming drug addicts. The initial doctors have started doing light a cane host. It was one of the became an accidental cocaine addict on. Then


he was up for days on end. He structured a program where he expected his residence to Matt Jim to go toe to toe with him. Oh,


my God. Our fleet remains. Yeah, it sounds like what a cokehead would do. Come on, man. Stay away. Unbelievable. And I think the story


was that he actually knew that it was a problem. He went to rehabilitation, checked in under a different surname on Dhe, one part of the regiment for him coming off cocaine was to prescribe morphine. And at the end of the rehabilitation program, he came out with both a cocaine addiction and heroin


addiction. Oh, my God. So


now this rumors, you know that he would get his shirts laundered in Paris, you know, in France, on D you know, they would come back. And it wasn't just the white starch, you know, shirts that that were in the box that we were other white substances to. But that's, you know, you ask a great question worded that come from Where's that history? The legacy seems to date back to William Holstered, who was an accidental cocaine addict on there. We have been maintained that inhumane practice in


medicine, which is, like, so critical to be awake and aware and to be sharp. You're cutting people. Open your operating


on people and think back to what we said. You know about being awake, You know, you would never accept treatment from a doctor who started. You know, looking at your child. Who sick with an appendicitis at 3 a.m. In the morning. Who then? Sweet some whiskey and says, Yeah, I'm gonna do the operation. You would go ballistic. Well, why do we accept treatment after 20 hours of being awake? You're as impertinence. You would be if you were legally drunk. So unfortunately,

we placed young residents in this position off, you know, acting and operating and decision making. Under conditions of insufficient sleep warning, five medical residents will make a serious medical error due to insufficient sleep. One in 20 medical residents will kill a patient because of a fatigue related error. One in 20. Crazy. Right now, you know, there are well over 20,000 medical residents,


so if you have 100 of them five, we're gonna kill people. Accidental deaths, things about that number. That's insane.


If we were to solve the sleep loss epidemic in medicine, you know, we could start saving lives on. I don't know what it is. Is it just a You know, old boys network? Well, we went through it. Yes. Oh, you've got to go through it, you know, And there's the data now is so prolific. You know, I write all about that and try to make a builder and evidence based, you know, emotional ist cold case for sleep in medicine, asleep. Prescription for medicine, as it


were. Well, most people don't realize the requirements of residents have


no on dhe. They are. They are literally beyond human capacity, thinking that, you know hubris and some degree of hours on the job is going to be ableto allow you to sort of, you know, cut short. What took three on 1/2 1,000,000 years to sort of, you know, get in place, which isn't eight hour nights of sleep that's just thick headed, you know, it's, I think, the medical profession. It may be at the stage where it's my mind is made up. Don't confuse me with the facts.


Wow, that that this is blown me away. I just don't understand how the very people that are working on the health of patients and fixing them and repairing injuries and taking care of diseases, those of the people that are ignoring one of the primary factors of disease and errors and cognitive function. It's it's impairment. It's a travesty. I have a friend who is an ophthalmologist, tells a story about during his residency. He was, uh, is back in the eighties and you had a pager. He was on the toilet with a tray of food on his lap because he didn't have time to eat and go to the bathroom. So is eating food, and he fell asleep and then his pager went off. He's like, Fuck my life! How many warnings?


How many warning bells do you need to tell you that you're in a dilatory estate if you're with your trousers around your ankles with food or your face on? Yet you're in the deepest stages of non


Rem sleep, and he's a guy I was working on people's eyes. It's crazy,


Yeah, I mean, it's, you know, sleep is equally absent for the patient in the hospital, you know, setting. We know that somewhere between 50 to 70% of all I see you alarms are either unnecessary or ignore a ble, you know, on the one place where you desperately need the Swiss army knife of health, that is a good


night of sleep. Is


the one place where you get a least, which is on a hospital ward. We could we could exit people out of hospital beds earlier. The data is already there for the neonatal intensive care unit. They used to leave bright lights on 24 7 and that would prevent sort of the signaling for sleep and wake and sleep and waking. That cycle is critical if you regularize sleep. Sorry if you regularize light in the neonatal intensive care unit. Those infants ended up having high levels of oxygen saturation because they were sleeping better. Their weight gain was dramatically increased and they ended up exiting the neonatal intensive care unit five weeks earlier. Whoa. Simple things, you know, why don't we do something like this in medicine? When you come in on to a hospital ward, you get this on an international flight, travel for free earplugs, facemask,

even just that by itself could help people to start get better, sleep next on the hospital admission form. Tell me when you normally go to sleep and when you normally wake up and to the best of our ability, Weir's doctors will try toe sort of, you know, manage your health care around your natural sleep tendencies. If we could do that, you know, sleep is is the elixir of life. It is the most widely available democratic and powerful healthcare system I could ever possibly imagine. Why aren't we leveraging that in taking it? That's one of the greatest hacks that medicine could actually, you know, inflect


that was stunning. How is this being received like by doctors? A reluctant to listen to you? I mean, what what is happening with all this data and you're passionate cry for extra sleep or more sleep


with a proper sleep, I should say it's starting to happen. I mean, when the book came out, which was sort of the heart back Kimber out in back in October and and some people started to give pushback sort of in the medicine realm. You know, there was some concerns about continuity of cur that if you keep switching residents out every 16 hours that you wouldn't have continuous patient care. And that was a problem. Well, there are other medical training systems. For example, France, Sweden, New Zealand. They do this all the time. They do not allow their residents to undergo anything longer than either of 14 or 16 hour shift. They train their residents in the same amount of time or less.

And if you look at the rankings off their medical health systems around the world, they rank far higher than the United States, so you can't tell me that longer work hours for residents, for example, are necessary to train good doctors. The evidence just isn't supportive. So I've had some push back there. But for the most part, I think people are receptive once they know the information. And I think I'm the I've bean someone who's bean to blame here. I've known this evidence for you know, I've been doing sleep research now for 20 or so years. We are with sleep where we were with smoking 50 years ago. We had all of the evidence about the deathly carcinogenic cardiovascular disease issues. But the public had not bean a word. No one had adequately communicated the science off,

you know, smoking to the public the same, I think, is true for sleep right now. That's part of the motivation for why I wrote the book, why I've been doing or trying to do a lot of publicity. I'm a very shy person, and I don't like being in the spotlight, But I feel as though there is a mission that whose voice is not being actually gifted yet, and I wanted to try and help him be a sort of a sleep diplomat. I mean, that's why I chose the handle on social media trying to be. There is an ambassador for sleep. And now, once people start to understand, the science is we've spoken about for two hours.

Then people start to actually realize it's not the third pillar of good health alongside diet and exercise. It's the foundation on which those two other things set. You know, for example, if you're dieting, but you're not getting sufficient sleep, 70% of all the weight that you lose will come from lean body mass muscle and not fat. Your body becomes stingy in giving up its fat when it's under slept. So once you get this information out there, things are starting to change. I've started to have some discussions with the World Health Organization. They seem to be very interested now in getting getting to grips with sleep. I'd love to speak to First World governments, though When was the last time you saw any first World nations have a government supported public health campaign around sleep? I don't know any we've had them for, you know,

drink driving for risky behaviors. You know, for drugs, for alcohol, for healthy eating, sleep should be a part of that equation. You know, I want to lobby governments to start to instigate this, and it will save them millions of dollars. The Rand Corporation did an independent survey two years ago on the demonstrably cost of a lack of sleep to global economies. What they found was that a lack of sleep costs most nations about 2% of their GDP gross domestic product. Here in America, that number was $411 billion caused by insufficient sleep solved the sleepless epidemic. You could almost double the budget for education and you could almost half the deficit for health care.


Wow, What studies, if any, have been done on people who live in the Northern Hemisphere for the experience these long days like Alaska on Siberia, place


like that, it's ready. Tough for the regulation of the circadian rhythm. Yeah, and what they Ah, lot of people. They're not all but a lot of people will suffer from what's cooled Seasonal affective disorder, which is the Winter blues. Yeah, and it's an unfortunate acronym s a D Doctor comes along, you say, Look, I'm not feeling good. It's the wintertime. Well, you're sad. No,

I No, no, no. I'm sorry. It's a medical school essay. The season called Seasonal Affective Disorder on that data is, is quite powerful, too, and you end up having to use melatonin strategically to help you fall asleep to sort of signal darkness in the summertime, when it's really like, well, almost all day. And then in the winter time, you reverse engineer the trick. And in the morning you sit and you have your breakfast or you're working at your terminal and you have one of these big light boxes that sits next to you. Strong looks power light to try and fool your brain into thinking that you're getting a lot of daylight when it's you know it's not gonna be like for the next four hours, so they have to undergo


treatment. Do they have to do vitamin D supplementation as


well? Some of that, too. Yeah, because of lack of exposure for


the skin UV light. Listen, man, you I think you just opened up a lot of people's minds. You certainly did mine. You mean this? This podcast blew me away. I thought I knew a little bit about sleep. I knew nothing. Thank you so much. You're very welcome. Tell people how they could read your book. Where can they get it? What's your website?


Yes, So I'm all over social media and Web pages sleeping diplomat dot com. And the book is called. Why we sleep on It is out now on Amazon and all major booksellers on dhe. That's probably the best way that they can learn all about sleeping. Frightening


the living daylights out. Thank you so much, Matt. Really, really appreciate it. Very lost. Sleep well, Thank you. You too. Thanks. That was good, right? I didn't lie. I don't lie. That was a fucking good goddamn podcast. Thanks to our sponsors. Thank you to the cash app.

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Zipper cred are zipper quota dot com forward slash Rogan tried for free folks. That's how confident they are. They're gonna keep coming back. Try zip, recruiter for free at zipper cruder dot com ford slash Rogan. All right, Who? That's it. We did it. God damn, That was an important podcast. I really, really enjoyed that. I mean, that guy fucking blew me away. Important stuff. All right, that's it for today. We'll see. Assume bye bye.

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