Science & Tech
Meet Your Instructor
Lesson time 04:14 min
Neuroscientist and sleep researcher Matthew Walker takes you through the history of sleep and what he'll be teaching in his class.
[MUSIC PLAYING] MATTHEW WALKER: When I started studying sleep 20 years ago, sleep was perhaps one of the last great remaining scientific mysteries. But we are now making some remarkable inroads into that fundamental question of why we sleep. REPORTER: Here, scientist Matthew Walker has devoted more than 20 years to studying sleep. REPORTER: Matthew Walker is director of the Center for human sleep science at the University of California, Berkeley. REPORTER: And he's published more than 100 scientific studies. - No matter what the ailment, it's more than likely that sleep has a tool within the box that will see you well. REPORTER: Matthew Walker's book "Why We Sleep" was a New York Times bestseller and was named a best book of 2017 by Business Insider and NPR, among others. - We now understand that sleep serves a whole constellation of different lifetime benefits for both the brain and for the body. Perhaps one of the reasons that I'm sitting here teaching this class in front of you is because I am so desperately passionate about this thing called sleep and communicating it to the general public. What this class really boils down to is that sleep is the elixir of life. It is the Swiss army knife of health, and it is mother nature's best effort yet at immortality. What are the chances, then, that you may be getting enough sleep? Well, what we know from survey data is that one out of every three people that you pass on the street is not getting the sleep that they need. This class is going to be about discovering what sleep actually is, why we need to sleep, and how we can even try to optimize our lives to improve the quantity and the quality of our sleep. So what are the things that you're going to learn in this class that will have a measurable impact for you on your life? Well, we're going to learn about your specific chronotype. Exactly when should you be trying to optimally time your sleep on the 24 hour clock? We will learn how sleep impacts your memory, how sleep perhaps reduces your risk for the development of Alzheimer's disease, even certain forms of cancer, how sleep can actually slow down aspects of the physiological aging process. And of course, we can't have a class on sleep without speaking about dreams. What are dreams? How are dreams created within the brain? So if you're an individual who thinks, I have not been getting the sleep that I need, am I beyond any salvation? Am I beyond hope? And the answer is no. It is never too late to start sleeping better. I'm Matthew Walker, and this is my MasterClass.
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.