Dr. Matthew Walker, All Things Sleep — How to Improve Sleep, How Sleep Ties Into Alzheimer’s Disease and Weight Gain, and How Medications (Ambien, Trazodone, etc.), Caffeine, THC/CBD, Psychedelics, Exercise, Smart Drugs, Fast
Interview with Dr. Matthew Walker on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast

“Most of us assume that sleep evolved. But why should we make that assumption? Why isn’t it that sleep was the default state when life emerged, and it was wakefulness that evolved?”

Matthew Walker Ph.D. (@sleepdiplomat) is professor of neuroscience at the University of California Berkeley and founder and director of the school’s Center for Human Sleep Science. Walker is the author of The New York Times and international bestseller Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams which was recently listed by Bill Gates as one of his top five books of the year. His TED Talk, “Sleep is Your Superpower,” has garnered more than 17 million views. 

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. In 2020, Walker was awarded the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Achievements. Walker’s research examines the impact of sleep on human health and disease. He has been featured on numerous television and radio outlets including CBS’ “60 Minutes,” National Geographic Channel, NOVA Science, NPR, and the BBC. He is also the host of the 5-star-rated podcast The Matt Walker Podcast, which is all about sleep, the brain, and the body.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Eight Sleep’s Pod Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating, Athletic Greens all-in-one supplement, and LMNT electrolyte supplement.

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Want to hear another podcast episode with someone who won’t rest until you get a good night’s sleep? Listen to my conversation with neuroscientist and Stanford University professor Dr. Andrew Huberman in which we discussed timing circadian biology to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, the ideal time for morning light exposure, what he recommends over melatonin as a sleep aid, the non-sleep deep rest of yoga nidra, using physiological sighs to reduce stress, the future of beneficial brain change, cage diving with great white sharks, and much more.

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


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“If sleep is a missing piece in the explanatory puzzle of aging and Alzheimer’s disease, then maybe we can do something about it. Sleep is a modifiable factor.”

— Dr. Matthew Walker

“In biology it’s very rare that you get a free lunch. And when you fight biology, you normally lose.”

— Dr. Matthew Walker

“Night after night, if you’re not cleansing the brain, it becomes like compounding interest on a loan, that it continues to escalate time and time again, night after night. “

— Dr. Matthew Walker

“Most of us assume that sleep evolved. But why should we make that assumption? Why isn’t it that sleep was the default state when life emerged, and it was wakefulness that evolved?”

— Dr. Matthew Walker

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on the Internet. None of the content in this podcast constitutes medical advice. Please consult your doctor before considering anything we discuss in this episode.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.




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