Why we Sleep Dr Matt Walker

Melatonin rises after dark before bed. It falls when we wake at dawn and lowers from regular light/dark cycles (particularly blue light)

Adenosine - keeps rising until we sleep. Caffeine interferes with it. An evening nap clears some out and makes it hard to sleep later.

Sleep hygiene

  1. reduce caffeine intake
  2. reduce alcohol intake
  3. remove screen technology from bedroom
  4. reduce bedroom temperature (may involve lighter nightwear and bedding)

Establish regular bedtime - even on weekends

Go to bed only when sleepy

Avoid early mid evening naps (Eg on couch)

Never lie in bed awake for a significant time period

If having difficulty sleeping at night avoid daytime napping

Learn to mentally decelerate before bed to reduce night time anxiety provoking thoughts

Remove visible clock faces from bedroom (can create clock watching anxiety)

Finish workouts at least 2 to 3 hours before sleep.

Exercise will generally improve sleep. Sleep will powerfully improve exercise.

Problems with lack of sleep (<8 hours)


Heart disease



Weight gain

Immune system




Poor memory

Poor creativity

Lowered Alertness