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Dr. Matthew Walker

How to Sleep Smarter & The Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Sleep


Because there haven’t been many conversations — in school or outside it — of what actually makes good or bad sleeping habits, we all seem to have our own answers to the question. I’m sure you have your own rituals and cures for a bad night’s sleep, or reasons why “normal” sleeping advice doesn’t work for you. Maybe you’re someone who thinks you only need six hours of sleep to operate at a high level. But the truth is that unless you’re a robot, you need quality sleep just like the rest of us. And if you ignore this over the long term, it can cause a LOT of damage to your body in ways you might not expect.

In Episode 1,154 of SOG, Dr. Matthew Walker helped guide us through the importance of sleep and what bad habits we need to fix. In Part 2 of my conversation with him, he’s going to show us the RIGHT way to fix those problems. During the episode, we discuss how things like alcohol and caffeine affect our sleep, why naps can be good AND bad, the simple tactics we can start doing today to improve our sleep, and SO much more. 

I’m so excited to share this episode with you, and hope you take the principles Dr. Walker lays out and put them to use in your own life. Please help me welcome back, Dr. Matthew Walker, for Part 2 of my discussion with him on The School of Greatness!

“One glass of wine will change the composition of your sleep.” @sleepdiplomat  

Dr. Walker earned his degree in neuroscience from Nottingham University, UK, and his PhD in neurophysiology from the Medical Research Council, London, UK. He later became a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, USA. Currently, he is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Human Sleep Science.

Dr. Walker’s research examines the impact of sleep on human health and disease. He has received numerous funding awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and is a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Walker is the author of the International Bestseller, Why We Sleep. It has a singular goal: to reunite humanity with sleep. The book provides a complete description of, and prescription for, sleep. It answers critical questions about sleep: how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during dreaming? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? How do common sleep pills affect us and can they do long-term damage?

This conversation was truly a game changer for me, and I know it can have the same impact on you. If you’re ready to fix your sleeping habits the right way, and steer clear of the things holding you back from peaceful sleep and optimal health, then this episode is for you. Please join me for Episode 1,155 of The School of Greatness!

“Regularity is king. Go to bed at the same time. Wake up at the same time. No matter if it's a weekday or weekend.” @sleepdiplomat  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • Can we make up our sleep during naps or do you need 7-9 hours minimum at night and then naps are helpful?
  • What is the science around sleep for people who have lived the longest?
  • Is it better to take a warm or cold shower before bed?
  • How does nicotine affect sleep?
  • How late is a nap and how long should they be?
  • Does it help to have animals sleep with you?

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How sleep affects your intimate relationships.
  • Why naps are good for you, but can also be bad for you.
  • How caffeine, smoking, and alcohol affects your sleep.
  • The wrong ways people try to fix their sleeping habits.
  • The simple hacks you can start doing today to improve your sleep.
  • Plus much more…
Matthew Walker
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Dr. Matthew Walker

Transcript of this Episode

Music Credits:


Kaibu by Killercats

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