Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Category: Medicine
Author: Matthew Walker PhD
This Year Hacker News 3
This Month Reddit 14


by Ziggy_Zaggy   2022-10-29
Late to the party but going to post anyways...

So, recent R&D into sleep tech has come along ways in the past 20 years. Basically research has shown that during nap/sleep cycles our brain moves around memories (from short-term to long-term and prioitization) and connections between memories. Also, this process optimizes information in the brain to make the access faster and more efficient thus providing opportunity for neuralogical advanced thought sessions given the datasets after a nap/sleep session.

Some basic take aways include +20% memory capacity per 8-hour sleep cycle and longer un-interrupted access to memory collections. It's also been shown that it's possible to tag the day's memories and then prioritize them during the next nap/sleep session. Significant results have shown that groups that take 30-minutes nap have stronger memory capacity versus groups with no naps.

The face of the R&D seems to be Matt Walker - PhD Brit with intense accent - you've been warned!

TL:DR - The brains basically recharges AND rewires during nap/sleep sessions.

Here's the links:

podcast: The Matt Walker Podcast

book: https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/1501...

by mbesto   2022-03-18
> They're fine if they go to bed early.

They're not. This ignores diverging chronotypes. I suggest you read up on the science around sleep before commenting on whether "they're fine".


by veidr   2022-01-20
I think the science around blue-light-blocking glasses is being seriously questioned (and in my own experience, detailed in my other comment, most of the models on the market don't have any discernible effect).

But I believe the science does indicate that circadian rhythm regulation by the human body is strongly influenced by external light, and specifically blue light.

This doesn't mean that "blue light blocker" glasses work, though. And most of them don't even actually block blue light, they just diminish it somewhat.

I read the book Why We Sleep, by UC Berkeley professor and sleep researcher Matthew Walker, and that is one of the topics covered in the book. (In addition to sleep being fascinating topic generally that book has a number of practical suggestions for better sleep which have helped me, such as setting your bedroom temperature colder and using blackout curtains), so I recommend it if those things are of interest.

[1]: https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/1501...

by BonBonExpert123   2019-11-17

I have a similar arc and would like to emphasize a few things that I find important. Please take these suggestions with a hefty grain of salt because my journey is ongoing, I've slipped many a times, and each person is unique in their own right so what is categorically important for me may not be the same for you.

  1. Please, please, quit chewing tobacco. I did it for 5 years myself while a college athlete. It's gross and worse the damage it can cause to your gums is irreversible. The stuff isn't worth it and one of my biggest regrets is the damage I caused (evident in every smile...)
  2. Ditch pornography. The single worst thing to ever happen to me was stumbling upon that filth.
  3. Make it a priority to get a restful night of sleep. Like routinely. Don't skimp on it because really anything less than 7-8 hours and you greatly increase the risk of lapsing back into bad habits.


That link is a great book changed my whole outlook on the importance of proper rest.

Just to tie this back to fasting somewhat, seeing as it is a fasting sub lol, I, like many others and yourself as well I'm sure, have found fasting to be an incredible way of providing emotional and mental clarity.

Overall, I think what you're doing is awesome! I'm 26, so not too far from you age wise, but I feel like (and i don't mean to come off as elitist or anything) mindsets like this are definitely in the minority in today's society or at least in our age cohort.

Oh and lastly be careful with your reintroduction of food on the longer fasts. This is anecdotal, but I've found that when indulging in my 5 day fast refeeds, I generally will crash, and subsequently find myself prone to start entertaining the idea of going out and buying a tin or firing up my computer and searching some illicit site.

Be vigilant with yourself but don't beat yourself too much if you slip. I've found it's a fine line to walk. Anyways, apologies for the rant. Best of luck in adhering to the plan you've set forth and hopefully it will reap great things for you in the same way that I hope mine does for me as well.

by liamdavid   2019-11-17

Sleep. Fix your fucking sleep. It is your foundation for improving everything else.

Audit your routines and schedules. Are you using your phone/TV right up until the moment you close your eyes? Are you going to sleep at a consistent time? What does your caffeine intake look like, especially in the latter half of your day?

If you don’t fix this, your lifts are the least of your worries. Your sleep, or lack thereof, will largely dictate most areas of your life, from your health, to your relationships, your motivation, as well as your mental, physical, and sexual performance, and through secondary effects, your academic/career/financial life as well.

Fix. Your. Fucking. Sleep.

Start here (20 minutes). Then here (2 hours).

Then read this.

by liamdavid   2019-11-17

Your caloric intake is meaningless without context. What’s your height, and weight? Better yet, calculate your TDEE. That’ll tell you if you’re eating enough.

As far as sleep goes, you need to improve that.

Start here (20 minutes)

...then here (2 hours)

...then read this.

by adamthecarmichael   2019-08-24

Haha got up at 6:20 but that only left me 10 minutes before work so I just wrote out a quick poem.

After reading this book: https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/1501144316

I know sleep is the main thing to get. I made the mistake of going to bed too late.

by monsterml   2019-08-24

I would recommend the book Why We Sleep. It really changed my thoughts on sleep. I now consider sleep the most important thing you can do for your health followed by eating well and exercising. I was getting up at 5 am to run but life made it hard to be asleep by 9 pm so I ended up finding ways to fit my runs in elsewhere. 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night is incredibly important.

by ElegantAnt   2019-08-24

There is no substitute for 8 hours of sleep per night. If you need evidence, here's evidence: Why We Sleep

Yo do not need a sleep substitute, you need a non-negotiable daily 8 hour sleep opportunity and your husband needs to get on baord with that. I would have a sit down with him where you explain this is a health issue and brainstorm ways to make this workable. Maybe having a teenager come as a mother's helper in the mornings would help. Maybe he needs more opportunities for time for himself. Maybe you need to work on finding a day job eventually. Anyway, focus on those opportunities, not ways to cheat yourself out of even more sleep.

ETA: Just wondering if the 3yo and 1yo are sleeping well. Maybe your husband is grouching because he is sleep deprived too? Getting him some daytime help so he can take a nap may really help even if you have to stretch the budget for several months.

by A7h4k4215   2019-07-21

This book does a really good job of explaining the impact of less than 7 hours of sleep a night (TLDR it will kill you early)

Here's a metastudy with many (many) footnotes on sleep duration and mortality.

Just for longevity, this makes sleep at least as important as exercise for mortality.

(Source: I work in the sleep industry)

by GreenStrong   2019-07-21

Paralysis prevents sleepwalking. It is fairly uncommon for sleepwalkers to actually hurt themselves in a modern home, but the evolutionary roots of dreaming stretch back to the earliest land animals. If you're an outdoor critter, stumbling around at night will make you an easy meal for a predator.

Why We Sleep is a great book on the medical- evolutionary aspects of sleep, it appears to be essential for memory consolidation in complex animals, but even single celled organisms go through a cycle of stasis where they do biochemical repair.

As a Jungian, I consider sleep to be an immersion in the Unconscious, and a time to merge with the transpersonal force of creation. From the outside it looks like memory consolidation, from the inside it looks like travel through an alternate dimension- and both are true in some sense.

by glisevic13   2019-07-21

Tehniku sa papirićima imaš detaljnije objašnjenu ovde. App za komp i za mobilni ovde (mada ja više preporučujem fizičke kartice). Način obnavljanja za najefikasnije pamćenje imaš ovde. Koristi ih za najbitnije podatke i definicije.


Gingko je marketinška prevara. Nemaš nikakvo realno dejstvo od njega osim placeba. Najbitnije, njegov efekat bi trebalo da bude poboljšanje pamćenja (u šta čisto sumnjam) ali ne čini ništa da poboljša motivaciju i pospanost. Nastavi da ga uzimaš, nemam ništa protiv, i ja ga popijem ponekad ali ne očekuj efekat koji će presudno uticati na tvoje učenje.


Ako uzmeš modafinil, preporučujem ne više od dva puta nedeljom, jednu tabletu ujutro (efekat je oko 14 sati, tako da ti može ometati spavanje ako ne uzmeš ujutro). Uglavnom danima kada te mrzi da bilo šta uradiš i spava ti se. Ostalim danima kada si relativno motivisan ti ne treba. Način sigurnog i efikasnog uzimanja imaš ovde. Naručiti ga možeš preko -modafinilsrbija@protonmail.com. Cena je 170 dinara po tableti. Prodaje se u pakovanju od po 10. Najbolje ti je da uzmeš Modalert brend za početak. Ovo je sajt ljudi koji nabavljanju. Domaći korisnici i njigova iskustva ovde.


Dodatni saveti:


Osam sati spavanja - OBAVEZNO! Veći deo pamćenja se odvija u toku spavanja. Gradivo koje jednom pročitaš se u procesu spavanja se obnavlja preko 20x. Jači efekat ti ima dobro spavanje nego bilo koja nootropic droga za pamćenje. Imaš ovu super knjigu o tome. Napravi redovan raspored kada ležeš i kada se budiš. Znatno diže energiju i koncentraciju.


Ako si pri kraju, realna procena koji takođe moraš napraviti je da li ti telefon/ komp/ društvene mreže kvare koncentraciju i odvlače ti pažnju. Meni je to bio problem, ali ne mora da znači da je i tebi, tako da ignoriši ovaj deo ako nije. Najbolje je da tih par meseci učiš u čitaonici, ili ako baš hoćeš kući imaš aplikacije za privremeno blokiranje kompjutera, slične imaš i na telefonu. Tako nećeš imati ništa drugo da radiš osim da učiš.


Pomodoro tehnika je takođe odlična ako ti je teško da počneš sa učenjem. To je u suštini učenje 25 minuta pa 5 minuta pauze. Možeš i da povećaš ako imaš bolju koncentraciju, meni je ova tehnika najefikasnija u 55/15 odnosu, ali sve je to stvar slobodne procene i toga koliko te drži mesto. App za mobilni.


Nadam se da će ti nešto od toga biti od pomoći.

by spuriousfour   2019-07-21

Yes, this is trouble. I recommend this book for you to decide for yourself: https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/1501144316

by banach   2019-07-21

Off topic but you should considering swapping some of that exercise for more sleep. Source: https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/1501144316

by ObviouslyCurious   2019-07-21


by RunNumbersRun   2019-07-21

NTA, Tell her to set her own alarm. You should read Why we sleep

by IAmSteven   2019-07-21

Another thing to keep in ming when deciding optimal wake time is that not everyone has the same circadian rhythm. As outlined in Why We Sleep 30% of people are natural early risers, 30% are natural nght owls with the remaining 40% being inbetween but tending towards later rather than earlier rising.

If your internal sleep clock is telling you to still be asleep at 5am and you are forcing yourself awake to work, then you are setting yourself up to feel underslept all day everyday.

Find your natual sleep rhythm and work with it to stay awake and focused when you need to.

by isadora_d   2019-07-21

I recommend reading Why We Sleep. It's a really eye-opening read about why we should prioritize sleep, what's normal and what's not, and sleep hygiene.

by juandazapata   2019-07-12
Sleeping has a huge impact in procrastination. The lack of sleep translates into an hyperactive amygdala (which has a big influence in processing emotions and impulses) and an under-active frontal cortex (which influences our rational thinking, etc) [1]

According to my experience, a good night of sleep is the best cure for procrastination, sadly, our current society don't optimize for sleeping well.


1: https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/1501...

by markdog12   2019-07-12
Highly recommend Spark! If you like the topic of Sleep, check out Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker: https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/1501...