If you’re anything like us, you love a good TED talk. In 2019, Dr Matthew Walker stepped on stage to discuss the consequences of sleep deprivation for a person. He highlighted the impacts it can have on health and lifestyle. We thought you might find his highlighted points interesting, so we’ve compiled some important takeaways here.
Dr Matthew Walker is a professor of neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley. He graduated with a degree in neuroscience in Nottingham, then achieved a PhD in neurophysiology from the Medical Research Council in London. He then went to Harvard Medical School, where he was a professor in psychiatry.
Dr Walker is a founding member and director of the Centre for Human Sleep Science. His research to date includes examining the impact of sleep on a person’s health. He’s earned a number of awards, including from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
Dr Walker says sleep is a non-negotiable biological necessity. That means if you don’t have it, you’ll die. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get eight hours of sleep, and says anything below six can be detrimental to our health and wellbeing. Considered a sleep evangelist, Dr Walker told Terry Gross on ‘Fresh Air’ that “every disease in developing nations that is killing us has both casual and significant links to lack of sleep”.
The benefits of good sleep include increased concentration, lower blood pressure, higher immunity, and added fertility, along with positive mood regulation, and much more. Lack of sleep causes many issues to our health, including increasing our risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart attacks. Sleep deprivation is so damaging, the World Health Organisation declared night time shift work as a probable carcinogen.
“For many adults, sleep has been stigmatised as a label of laziness, but why is this? We would never consider looking at sleeping babies and consider them lazy, in fact, we say they probably need that nap.” – Dr Walker.
Dr Walker thinks sleep is so important that we should listen to our body when it tells us it’s time to get some shut-eye.
Lack of sleep can impact the way we go about our lives. So why do we forfeit it when we’re busy, when it means we can’t do the other things we need to do properly? We need a mindshift. Sleep should be a priority, not a ‘nice to have’.
Your central nervous system is a motorway for information in your body. Sleep keeps the traffic running and functioning. Lack of sleep causes congestions. To function properly, you must keep that motorway moving with a good night of sleep.
Dr Walker highlights five key things that could be impacting your sleep. They’re all things you can change to improve your sleep quality.
Good sleep starts with your mattress. Ely mattresses help regulate body temperature, and are hypoallergenic.Mattresses come with a ten year warranty, and you can take advantage of the thirty night sleep trial. For more information, read about our thirteen layers.