Matthew Walker, PhD, is one of the leading sleep scientists in the world and currently a professor at UC Berkeley. He is the author of the book “Why We Sleep” published in 2017, and has written hundreds of papers, spoken at many professional meetings, and made several TED Talks and podcasts…all to get the word out that the right sleep is critical to our health and longevity. In fact, when asked what are the three most important ingredients for a long and healthy life, such as diet, exercise, etc., he usually responds “sleep, sleep and sleep”.
Many people “feel” that their sleep is okay…after all, if they are able to get up reasonably well in the morning, finish their day, and accomplish a few tasks after dinner, what could possibly be wrong? However, what we find when we study people’s actual time in deep sleep, time in dream sleep, and overall sleep quantity, is that as a society we are desperately “sleep deprived” and not optimized whatsoever for the best brain or cognitive outcomes over our lifespan.