Summary of Sleep Is Your Superpower

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Founding Father Benjamin Franklin once exclaimed that “there will be sleeping enough in the grave.” According to neuroscientist Matt Walker, those who struggle with insomnia and sleep deprivation are headed toward an early grave. A lack of sleep has adverse effects on every aspect of the body and mind. Walker highlights the dangers of sleepless nights in an age where people readily forgo sleep to meet deadlines, study or work night shifts. His presentation is essential viewing for anyone who wants to improve bad sleep habits.

About the Speaker

Neuroscientist Matt Walker, PhD, researches the impact of sleep on human health. He wrote Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams.

 

Summary

A good night’s sleep is essential for brain function and learning.

Before learning something new, a good night’s sleep preps the brain for absorbing information. And the night after a lesson, a solid sleep locks new information into long-term memory. Studies show that the brain’s ability to make new memories falls 40% without sleep, refuting the notion that pulling an all-nighter before exams is an effective strategy for memorizing information. 

Sleep deprivation shuts down the hippocampus, the area of the human brain that takes in new information. During the deepest part of sleep, the brain produces large brainwaves with sleep spindles that bristle with electrical energy. During this process, the brain transfers memories to permanent storage. As people age, their memories deteriorate and their sleep is often impaired, especially during deep sleep. Scientists...


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