Leading neuroscientist Matthew Walker on why sleep deprivation is increasing our risk of cancer, heart attack and Alzheimer’s – and what you can do about it
- Without sleep, there is low energy and disease. With sleep, there is vitality and health. More than 20 large scale epidemiological studies all report the same clear relationship: the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life.
- A lack of sleep also appears to hijack the body’s effective control of blood sugar, the cells of the sleep-deprived appearing, in experiments, to become less responsive to insulin, and thus to cause a prediabetic state of hyperglycaemia. When your sleep becomes short, moreover, you are susceptible to weight gain.
- Sleep has a powerful effect on the immune system, which is why, when we have flu, our first instinct is to go to bed: our body is trying to sleep itself well. Reduce sleep even for a single night, and your resilience is drastically reduced.
- Getting too little sleep across the adult lifespan will significantly raise your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- And then there is sleep’s effect on mental health. Deep sleep – the part when we begin to dream – is a therapeutic state during which we cast off the emotional charge of our experiences, making them easier to bear. Sleep, or a lack of it, also affects our mood more generally.
Are We Really Busier Than We Used to Be?
In the modern age, we have the same 24 hours a day that every human has enjoyed for thousands of years. But when you look around, you might be forgiven for thinking that time has somehow sped up and that our days have grown shorter. People seem harried and worn out. If you ask them how they’re doing, “Busy, busy, busy!” is often the answer...
Shadow Work and the Rise of Middle-Class Serfdom
Raymond Thi highlighted the brilliant arrangements of memorable scenes in iconic movies. He places bright pink lines to show how each scene is built. Through simple shapes like triangles and circles, as well as division of halves and thirds, he demonstrates that every frame of a film is truly a blank canvas. Cinematographers use the same compositional guidelines as artists, with an added twist—their work is constantly in motion. When you consider that these stills are just one fraction of what’s involved in the entire production, it’s all the more impressive.