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The Matt Walker Podcast

Health-and-fitness • Science

The Matt Walker Podcast is all about sleep, the brain, and the body. Matt is a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of the book, Why We Sleep and has given a few TED talks. Matt is an awkward British nerd who adores science and the communication ofRead more

Popular episodes

#13: Temperature - Part 1

Jan 17 • 09:40

In today's episode, Matt reveals how 1) your own temperature and, even more precisely, 2) the temperature of different parts of you, as well as 3) the temperature of your bedroom, can change how well or how poorly you sleep at night....

#12: Melatonin

Jan 3 • 09:52

In today's episode, Matt takes us on a deep dive into melatonin. He covers four main topics: 1) what is melatonin? 2) how does melatonin work? 3) what does melatonin do, and *not* do, for sleep? 4) how can we think about melatonin supplementation?...

#11: Sleep & Caffeine – Part 2

Dec 20 • 10:21

In this week’s episode, Matt continues his discussion of sleep and caffeine. Here, we learn about the paradox of coffee, one in which coffee provides health benefits, despite its negative impact on sleep.

Before addressing that, however, Matt speaks about one last sleep consequence of caffeine: regardless of your sensitivity to caffeine, it can still disrupt the quantity a...

#10: Sleep & Caffeine – Part 1

Dec 6 • 11:24

In today's episode, Matt unpacks the world of coffee, and caffeine in the first of a two-part series on caffeine. Matt describes the numerous health benefits associated with coffee, the fact that Matt has even changed his tune a little and advocates a morning cup for some. Matt may not have anything to do with caffeine itself, with more details on that in part 2. In part 1...

#09: Sleep & Alcohol - Part 2

Nov 22 • 08:27

On last week’s episode, we learned about the three main ways alcohol can harm our sleep: 1) alcohol results in sedation rather than naturalistic sleep, 2) alcohol causes sleep fragmentation, and 3) alcohol impairs REM sleep. 

Today, Matt dives into each of these negative impacts, explaining exactly how and why alcohol disrupts our sleep in these specific ways.

First, alcohol...

#08: Sleep & Alcohol - Part 1

Nov 8 • 11:26

Although some people may believe that a drink or two in the evening will help them sleep better, today’s episode shows us that alcohol harms our sleep in several different ways. In the first of two episodes on sleep and alcohol, Matt talks about alcohol as a chemical, and the main ways it negatively affects our sleep.


#07: Naps

Oct 25 • 10:48

As the great Roman poet, Ovid, once said, “There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than all the alcohol ever distilled.” But are naps always a good thing? Are we even designed to nap? And if you do nap, when should you do it, and for how long? ...

#06: Chronotype: Part 3

Oct 11 • 07:20

In the final episode of our three-part series about chronotypes, Matt examines the question of  whether your chronotype is truly fixed, or if you can change an evening type to a morning type (though you will hear that Matt’s preference is for society to change, not the individual). ...

#05 Chronotype: Part 2

Sep 27 • 10:27

In the second episode of our three-part series on chronotypes,  Matt speaks about what happens when you do not sleep in harmony with your natural chronotype. Unlike morning larks, night owls simply cannot fall asleep easily early at night, which leads to the first and most obvious consequence of not sleeping in line with your chronotype—you don’t sleep as much....

#04 Chronotype: Part 1

Sep 13 • 12:16

Episode 04: Chronotype: Part 1...

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