But especially me. At the moment when I write this, I am at TED 2019 in Vancouver, which lasts a week marathon discussions and workshops and coffee meetings and experiences and demos and late-night trivia contests and networking, networking, networking During this time, I'm sick like a dog infected with a virus that I'm having. I caught up to my 3 year old son, I am at the time limit for what we feel at bazillion stories, and I am pregnant, which means that I have need coffee but I can not get too much, and I need sleep but I can only lie on the left side and I can not breathe without sitting propped up with a pillow because I can not take any cold medicine safely.
According to neuroscientist Matthew Walker, I'm not doing enough harm for my health and for my life.
"The decimation of sleep in industrialized countries has a catastrophic impact on our health, our well-being and even the safety and education of our children.This is an epidemic of silent sleep loss. It's becoming one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century, "UC Berkeley Sleeper Expert Walker Walker and author of the bestselling" Why We Sleep "Thursday told a delighted audience.
After a morning of dark discussions about climate change and the misdeeds of the viral disinformation online-Puntuated by frequent exclamations of "Well, that was alarming" from David Biello, TED science curator, and stolen looks on Twitter for updates on the Mueller report and the events taking place in the outside world. system. (A comparison might hate Walker, he warns, in the strongest possible terms, about the harms of this particular stimulant.)
I've described all the ways that lack of sleep hurts people: it makes you more silly, more forgetful, unable to learn new things, more vulnerable to dementia, more likely to die from dying. a heart attack, less able to fend off disease with strong immune system, more likely to develop cancer, and our body is literally more hurt. Lack of sleep distorts your genes and increases your risk of death in general, he said. It disrupts the creation of sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone and leads to premature aging. Apparently, men who sleep only five hours a night have significantly smaller testicles than those who sleep more than seven.
"The loss of sleep will infiltrate every corner of your physiology," he said. "Unfortunately, sleep is not an optional luxury.Sleep is a non-negotiable biological necessity.This is your life support system."
Of all the TED discussions I've heard this week, this one seemed to be well directed. In my heart And my hippocampus withered and overworked, the "information inbox" of my brain, as Walker calls it. In my eyes inflated and surrounded. Yes, okay, it's maybe because I'm so tired and that it was so ready to hear it. But I was not alone.
Everyone is obsessed with sleep. And they know that they do not get enough, hence the growing demand for sleeping pills, the emergence of sleep tracking devices (Walker is wearing a ring of Oura to follow his), smart beds, Alexa integrations to fall asleep and mindfulness sleep apps. Arianna Huffington left journalism to found a company dedicated to sleep and well-being.
After Walker's speech, some acolytes went to the conference center and told him that his book, which dealt with the same subject as his speech on TED, had changed their lives. They had discovered caffeine and alcohol without stopping feeling bad. leave the parties early to fall asleep or refuse to check his emails at work. As the next round of TED negotiations began, Walker kept trying to escape to be able to watch, but people would not let him go. They wanted to know what to eat, when to sleep and how to dream.
His answers? Do not drink caffeine or alcohol. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning (even on weekends). Sleep in a cool room. If you're awake in your bed, listen to the countless worries your brain suffers, get up, go to another room and do an activity, then go back to bed when you're ready. "You would not want to sit at the table while you're hungry, so why are you lying in your bed waiting to be tired," he told a TED participant who had asked for advice . Meditate to calm your nervous system and your mind. Do not switch to sleeping pills, which are "blunt instruments that do not produce naturalistic sleep," he said. In the end, I was able to offer an "affordable and portable" brain stimulation device that would use Transcranial direct current stimulation to help people sleep more deeply. (Walker has just started a company called Stim Science, with the support of Khosla Ventures, make such a product, I told it to Wire)
People listened very loudly. They took notes during his speech (which is rare in TED, to my surprise) and while I was talking to the crowd afterwards.
His message appeared as a reprimand for the idea that sleep deprivation and success go hand in hand. Tim Cook would have wakes up at 3:45 to start work. Barack Obama said that he only slept about 5 hours. This is a "night guy"Donald Trump and Elon Musk both have said they sleep only a few hours a night. But Musk also admitted to having The New York Times that his work schedule was detrimental to his mental health and his whole life. Walker argued that it's time to stop thinking that you need sleep, it's a sign of weakness or laziness. In fact, it's the opposite.
Sleep makes us better at everything. "The disruption of deep sleep contributes to cognitive decline," says Walker, in the case of patients with dementia and even in healthy people. "After learning, you need to sleep to support those new memories so you do not forget." But recently, we discovered that we also had to sleep before we learned, almost like a dry sponge for Suck in new information Without sleep, the brain would become "saturated with water".
It sounds right. Yesterday I heard about 18 different TED conferences. But I had barely slept the night before and I barely slept last night. When I was asked this morning what speech had been my favorite of the day before, it took me 30 seconds to remind me of one.
I am determined to remember this one. In fact, I then retired to one of TED's "sleep rooms" and tried a five-minute nap before writing this article in order to memorize the speech. I put on a sleep mask and left the white noise machine and a diffuser of pure essential oils to fall asleep in a moment of calm. In the mysterious calm of this Zen zone manufactured inside a gigantic conference center at the foot of the North Shore Mountains, I almost forgot the news cycle, my cold, the Mueller report .
But then I remembered my deadline, I straightened up, I unplugged the broadcaster, plugged in my computer and typed those words. Hoping that they help you, and I, sleep a little tonight.
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