Guest Series
April 24, 2024

Guest Series | Dr. Matt Walker: Using Sleep to Improve Learning, Creativity & Memory

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This is episode 4 of a 6-part special series on sleep with Dr. Matthew Walker, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of the best-selling book "Why We Sleep." In this episode, we discuss the relationship between sleep, learning and creativity.

We explain why and how sleep before and after a learning bout can improve memory and performance for both cognitive tasks and physical skills. We also discuss how to use time learning and sleep, how to use naps, non-sleep deep rest states, and caffeine to optimize learning, and the mechanisms for sleep and memory consolidation.

We also explain the critical role that sleep plays in creativity and one's ability to discover novel solutions to challenges and problems.

This episode is filled with actionable information on using sleep to enhance skill learning and improve memory and creativity.

The next episode in this guest series explains how sleep benefits emotional regulation and mental health.


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About this Guest

Dr. Matthew Walker

Matthew Walker, Ph.D., is a professor of neuroscience and psychology and founder of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkley, and the author of the book, “Why We Sleep.”

  • 00:00:00 Sleep & Learning
  • 00:00:59 Sponsors: Helix Sleep, Whoop & Waking Up
  • 00:05:48 Learning, Memory & Sleep
  • 00:09:32 Memory & Sleep, “All-Nighters”, Hippocampus
  • 00:13:46 Naps & Learning Capacity
  • 00:16:59 Early School Start Times, Performance & Accidents
  • 00:26:38 Medical Residency & Sleep Deprivation
  • 00:29:35 Sponsor: AG1
  • 00:30:49 Tool: Sleep Before Learning; Cramming Effect
  • 00:35:09 Tools: Caffeine; Timing Peak Learning; “Second Wind”
  • 00:44:25 Memory Consolidation in Sleep
  • 00:55:07 Sleepwalking & Talking; REM-Sleep Behavioral Disorder
  • 01:00:16 REM Sleep Paralysis, Alcohol, Stress
  • 01:07:41 Sponsor: InsideTracker
  • 01:08:46 Skills, Motor Learning & Sleep
  • 01:17:03 Tool: Timing Sleep & Learning, Skill Enhancement
  • 01:20:00 Naps; Specificity & Memory Consolidation, Sleep Spindles
  • 01:27:21 Sleep, Motor Learning & Athletes; Automaticity
  • 01:34:10 Can Learning Improve Sleep?
  • 01:39:13 Tool: Exercise to Improve Sleep; Performance, Injury & Motivation
  • 01:44:38 Pillars of Health; Dieting & Sleep Deprivation
  • 01:49:35 Performance & Poor Sleep, Belief Effects, “Orthosomnia”
  • 01:57:03 “Overnight Alchemy”, Sleep & Novel Memory Linking
  • 02:05:58 Sleep & Creativity
  • 02:11:09 Tools: Waking & Technology; Naps; “Sleep on a Problem”
  • 02:20:51 Creative Insight & Sleep
  • 02:26:18 Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter

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