Wellness, Home & Lifestyle, Science & Tech

How to Sleep Better

Matthew Walker

Lesson time 15:56 min

Matthew compiles a list of essential tips on how to set yourself up for sleep success.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Keep It Regular • Wind Down • Keep It Cool • Adjust the Light • Things to Avoid •Your Sacred Space • Walk It Out • Track Your Sleep • If Sleep Problems Persist...


[MUSIC PLAYING] - We've spoken about this essential need for somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep a night. What are some tactical, practical tips that I can help you with so that you can start getting that better quantity and quality of sleep tonight? I think the best single piece of advice that I can give to try to improve your sleep starting tonight is regularity. Go to bed at the same time, and wake up at the same time. No matter whether it's the weekday or the weekend or even if you've had a bad night of sleep, regularity is king. And it will anchor your sleep and improve the quantity and the quality of that sleep. And the reason is that inside of the brain, there is a master 24-hour clock. And it expects regularity and thrives best and responds best under conditions of regularity. And it includes the control of our sleep-wake rhythms. And when we give our brain these signals of regularity, including waking up at the same time and going to bed at the same time, that can improve the chances for enhanced sleep quantity and also sleep quality. [MUSIC PLAYING] So many of us when we get into bed and we turn out the light, we expect sleep to be a little bit like a light switch that we should be immediately able to fall asleep. In fact, as a physiological process, sleep is much more similar to landing a plane. You gradually need time to descend down onto the firm bedrock of good sleep at night. And so here, the suggestion is develop some kind of a wind down routine. Develop some kind of gradual sleep ritual. Some people like to take a bath or a shower. Other people like to do light stretching and just sort of light body movement. Other people like to try meditation. And in fact, meditation has been proven to be hugely powerful for your ability to fall asleep more easily, including in people suffering from insomnia. Or even just starting to read a book, try to institute that same sleep routine time and time again. And gradually, it will give your body the chance to go through that physiological sort of power-down routine as it were. Another possible wind-down routine tip is in the last sort of hour or the two hours before bed, just set aside maybe five minutes. And sit there with a pad of paper or a tablet. And just write down all of the concerns that you have, the things that you think, oh, I've got to do this, or I should have done that, or I need to do more of this tomorrow. And it's like catharsis. It's almost like vomiting out your anxiety onto the page. And it sounds a little bit hokey. But it turns out scientific studies have been done on this wind-down tool. It's called a worry journal. And if you institute it, it seems to improve the likelihood of you being able to fall asleep easy, and, if you wake up at night, being able to fall back asleep. [MUSIC PLAYING] Keep it cool. And what I mean by this is set your bedroom temperature to the appropriate level. And it's colder than you would think. W...

About the Instructor

As a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley and the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science, Matthew Walker is an expert on sleep. In this class, he will illuminate the science behind sleep and teach you how to increase the quality and quantity of your sleep. Learn how to prevent sleep debt, navigate the effects of alcohol and caffeine, and improve your health. Your best sleep starts tonight.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Matthew Walker

Neuroscience professor Matthew Walker teaches you the science of sleep and how to optimize it to better your overall health.

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