(soft music) – The University of California Berkeley is such a busy place. We work hard, and we play hard. But sometimes, in that work-and-play, we forget that it is
really essential to sleep. Such a basic thing, but so much happening to our brains and our
bodies while we sleep. I’m Rudy Mendoza-Denton,
host of your show today. With me is Dree Kavoussi,
cohost and ASUC Senator, and our guests today are Silvia Bunge, Professor
of Psychology and Director of the Building Blocks
of Cognition Laboratory. Alison Harvey, also of the
Department of Psychology, and Director of the Golden Bear Sleep and Mood Research Clinic, as well as Matthew Walker, also a professor in
psychology and Director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory. Welcome and thank you for being here. – Thanks for having us. – Thank you. – As I mentioned, we’re gonna talk about brain development and sleep, and the curious relationship
between the two. Let’s get started right away and talk about brain development. – Absolutely, Silvia, thank
you for being here today. A lot of students don’t
realize that their brains are still developing in college. Can you elaborate upon that? – Sure, absolutely. When you come to college, you’re already at the height of your intellectual powers. There’s no question about that. You’re ready to assimilate
a lot of new information. But if you look at the
brain from the outside, you’re not gonna see a difference between a college student and, say, a 30-year-old or a 40-year-old, it’s
gonna look exactly the same. But if you were to probe much more deeply, you’d see that the brain
is still continuing to be fine-tuned during the college years. A couple of the things
that are changing are some changes in the
connections between cells, between neurons in the brain, and also the white matter pathways, so the connections, the
super-highways that connect different brain regions
are being strengthened. One key region that’s
changing is the prefrontal cortex, which is the very
front of the brain here. It’s a seed of reasoning, decision making, setting goals, planning,
and that’s the main area that’s continuing to change
during the college years. This area is coordinating activity with other parts of the brain to make sure that you can achieve your goals. So there’s a lot changing
during the college years. You’re probably becoming independent for the first time in your life. You’re taking lots of new courses. You’re deciding whom you
wanna be friends with. All of these things are
gonna be changing your brain. So there’s this normal
developmental process that’s happening to
everyone but, in addition, our brains are being tuned to our precise experiences. Say, you’re a theater
major, I’m in physics, this is gonna be changing our brains. – Silvia, you mentioned that the brain is still developing and
the prefrontal cortex is under development and yet, we’re at the height of
our intellectual progress. How can those two be
true at the same time? – Essentially, we’re
ready, we’re wide open to new information, but
it’s true that through our coursework, we’re
honing our reasoning skills and we’re also getting
experience for the first time making lots of decisions
about how we wanna engage ourselves during the day, which classes we wanna take. So we have more opportunities that ever, to practise our decision-making
and planning skills. And all of this is gonna
be shaping the brain. – Where did you get that brain? – [Silvia] This is a funny story, Rudy. Essentially, I had an MRI scan, magnetic resonance
imaging, and this is a 3D reconstruction of that,
made with a 3D printer. It’s about the size of my brain, or actually, hopefully,
this is a little bit small. But what’s really exciting
is that we now have this printer at UC Berkeley, and students who wanna
sign up for an MRI scan, they both get paid to do that, they get the experience of
hanging out with scientists, and they can get their own personal copy of their brain. – [Rudy] Very interesting. So to summarize, the
brain might look the same on the outside, but at a deep level, there are changes that are
critically being developed even while people are in college, and this not something
that we’re aware of, in particular, the prefrontal
cortex that’s in charge of the regulation and
goal-setting tasks that are so critical for successful
college careers and beyond. – That’s right. – That’s really interesting. Another really interesting aspect of this, is that brain development
occurs not just while we’re awake, but while
we’re asleep as well. So let’s move onto this
relationship between brain development and sleep. – How does sleep really tie
in to brain development? – I would defer to my
colleagues over here. – Absolutely. – Sleep, we know, is probably
in its largest amounts early on in life. Firstly, we know that
if sleep is voluminous in those early stages,
and those early stages are critical for development,
it probably suggests that sleep is involved in
brain development somehow. And we now know that that’s exactly right. But that development and that relationship with sleep doesn’t end when you’re two, three, five, or 10 years old. It continues on even into adulthood. So what I mean to say is
that sleep actually helps your brain rewire itself,
each and every night. Why would it do that? Because you’re learning
things during the day. And to hold on to those
things, to essentially hit the save button on those new memories, the brain needs to change its structure. It needs to increase or
decrease connections, whichever of those two is required, sleep seems to transact a rewiring benefit at night so that you wake up and you haven’t forgotten
what you’ve learned. – For students that pull all-nighters, what do you have to say
about, what’s better, to pull an all-nighter and
finish an assignment or to get up early and finish
the assignment? (laughs) – We’ve actually looked at this, We’ve done the study to say, “Is pulling the all-nighter a wise idea?” So you take two groups of
college undergraduates, you give one a full eight hours of sleep, you give the other a
night of sleep deprivation in the laboratory, no naps, no caffeine, it’s miserable for everyone. (Dree laughs) And the next day, you
place both of those groups inside an MRI scanner, and you have them try and learn a whole list of new facts as we’re taking snapshots
of brain activity. First, what you find is that in those people who are sleep-deprived, there is about a 40%
deficit in the capacity of their brain to make new
memories without sleep. Just to put that in context,
it’s the difference between acing an exam and failing it miserably. Second, we know why that’s happening. There’s a structure
within your brain called the hippocampus, and you
can think of that structure like the informational
inbox of your brain. It’s very good at grabbing new memories and holding onto them. After you’ve had a full night of sleep, there’s lots of healthy
learning-related activity in this part of the brain. Yet, in those people
who are sleep-deprived, we couldn’t find any significant activity in that part of the brain. It’s as though the informational
inbox have been shut down and was just bouncing
those memory emails. Nothing more was coming in. And if you want to know what life is like, by the way, without a
functioning hippocampus, just watch the movie Momento. I don’t know it you’ve seen it, but this gentleman suffers
brain damage, he can’t make any new memories
from that point forward. The part of his brain that is damaged is the hippocampus, it’s
the very same structure that sleep deprivation will attack and block your brain’s
capacity for new learning. – [Rudy] I wonder if Silvia
might be able to show us approximately where the hippocampus is. – It’s deep inside. If you were to go deep
inside the brain here, and it’s this beautiful
structure that’s laid out, it looks like the seahorse, which is what it’s named after. – The frontal cortex is
responsible for goal-setting, for motivated behavior and regulation. The hippocampus seems
to be more involved in memory and knowledge consolidation. is that–
– Exactly, that sort of textbook-like learning
that we all think of as memory, those are the forms of memory, of course, but certainly, the hippocampus is involved in that
classic textbook memory. – What about sleep and the
frontal cortex activity? Is there a relationship there? – Yeah, there is, and that’s another area that we’ve examined, one
of the other functions of the frontal cortex is to act
like a control mechanism. The frontal cortex, you
can also think of as the CEO of the brain, it’s
good at making high-level executive top-down decisions for control. There are other regions
deep within the brain that do need some control,
centers that control your emotional impulsivity
or responsivity. So you can think of
this, almost like a car with a gas pedal and a break. The frontal cortex is the break, and these deep structures,
these emotional centers, they’re the gas pedal. When you’ve had a night of sleep, that connection between those two is nicely regulated, it’s strong. So you have a balanced mix between your emotional gas pedal and break. Yet, without a night of sleep, that connection is severed,
and as a consequence, now you become lopsided,
it’s almost as though you’re all emotional gas pedal and too little frontal
lobe break as it were. So there’s real dangers there that happen. I think we all have that
sense though, don’t we, that if we haven’t been sleeping enough, we become a little bit
emotionally unstable, irrational, (Rudy laughs) some people say unhinged, that’s unkind (Dree laughs)
but we’ve known that for a long time, a
parent’s holding a child, the child is crying, and
they look at you and say, “They just didn’t sleep well last night,” as if there’s some universal knowledge that bad sleep the night before equals bad mood and emotional
reactivity the next day. And it has real clinical implications. – [Silvia] In college, it’s
a time of a lot of anxiety and potential for depression, which I know Alison can talk more about,
and we know that anxiety makes it very, very hard
for prefrontal cortex to goal-set and control behavior. One of the ways in which
sleep is important, is for helping to reduce anxiety levels. There are others as
well, we could talk about exercise, mindfulness meditation. – [Rudy] All of which we’ll talk about in various segments of this course. – I know a lot of students wonder, they study hard all week and
they go out and let loose on weekends and drink,
and I know there are some studies behind not being
able to enter your proper REM cycle when you’ve been
drinking, is that true? How does that work? – [Matthew] Yeah, it turns
out that there is principally two different types of sleep. One of them is called
non-rapid eye movement sleep or non REM sleep, and the other is called rapid eye movement sleep or REM sleep, named not after the popular
Michael Stipe pop band, (Dree laughs)
but because of these bizarre horizontal eye
movements that occur. And REM sleep, you can
think of as dream sleep. REM sleep is critical for
lots of different functions, creativity, emotional regulation. So you do need your REM sleep. The problem is that alcohol
is a rather potent way to suppress your REM sleep. And alcohol does at least
two things to your sleep. Firstly, it fragments your sleep. So you wake up much more
throughout the night. You can’t have what we
call consolidated sleep. So you’ll just feel
unrefreshed the following day. The second thing, as I said, is that alcohol blocks your REM sleep. The metabolic byproducts
that are swilling around in your head and body,
actually work very hard to prevent you from
obtaining that REM sleep, and as a consequence, you’ll lose that restorative benefit
that sleep, and particularly, REM sleep provides. What’s interesting is
that it’s also important for creative, associative
learning as well. What’s interesting is that
they did a study where you learned some information
on the first day, and the following night,
some people would dose with alcohol, they gave
them some shots of vodka, they got them drunk, and
they tested them to see how much they remembered seven days later. In another group, they
learned on the first day and they were tested on day seven, and they had no alcohol. They had undisrupted sleep for six nights. The third group, they
learned on the first day, then the following night,
they didn’t get drunk, they had normal sleep and
on the following night after that, they had normal sleep and on the third night,
they got them drunk, and they tested them on day seven. What they found was that your memory was equally impaired
whether you’d had alcohol on the first night, or the third night. What that tells us is that
memories are still being processed and consolidated
even 72 hours later. To put this in context,
you study the books hard on Wednesday, and you
say, “I’m not gonna go out “with my friends Wednesday
night ’cause I just “learned all this information,
I don’t wanna disrupt it.” And then you say, “I also
did a lot of learning “on Thursday, I want to
retain that information, too. “But Friday, surely, now
my memories are safe. “I can cut loose, I can
go out for a drink.” Not so much. – [Dree] Wow.
– So alcohol’s profoundly bad for sleep. – But Matt, a lack of
sleep can’t kill you. – Ironically, it actually can. There are two ways, first,
we know that rats will die as quickly from sleep
deprivation as they will food deprivation, so it’s that essential. But secondly, human beings, surely, we don’t have that evidence. There’s another context here,
which is drowsy driving. After being awake for 20 hours straight, you are as impaired in
terms of your driving as you would be if you
were legally intoxicated. In fact, sleep deprivation
is responsible for more car accidents than
drugs or alcohol combined. And what happens is that
you have these small microsleeps at the wheel, where you fall asleep
for just a few seconds. You’re driving at 40 miles an hour. That’s enough for you to drift from one lane to the next. So if you’re having these microsleeps and you have one at the wheel, that may be the last
microsleep that you ever have. – Just to summarize the
conversation so far, we’ve talked about the biology of sleep, not only for the sake of biology, but for the sake of underscoring
its absolute essential nature to our brain development, to our health, and even to our life. – That’s right. – [Rudy] We’ve talked a
little bit about alcohol and sleep, and that
brings up the question of, as you brought up, Silvia,
many of the different topics that we will cover in this show, but it’s important to ask the question related specifically to brain development. What are some of the
environmental concerns, opportunities, or risk
factors, specifically present in the college setting,
for brain development? – One of the biggest ones is actually the effect of stress on the brain. We know that stress, let
me back up for a second, there’s a hormone in the
body called cortisol. It’s actually really
important for learning. It has this rhythm over the day, and that rhythm helps to
establish new memories. But the problem is that
stress leads to a big increase in this cortisol and it actually impairs, interferes with the
learning of new information, and it can actually lead to forgetting of older information as well
’cause it actually shrinks connections between cells. And it also leads to
loss in the hippocampus, which is the area that we talked about that’s really important for memory. So anything that we can
do to reduce stress levels in college and beyond,
is gonna be essential for maintaining brain health. – [Dree] I’m thinking about my own stress, about my undergraduate career, but to shift gears,
about sleep in general, I hear a lot of students that are around, “I have insomnia, I can’t sleep.” What’s your response? What is an appropriate
bedtime routine to help ease– – That’s a great question. Insomnia is one of the
most common problems in sleep as well as in terms
of psychological health problems, so on campus it
will be huge prevalence. A couple of different
things can be very helpful. The big one is, and this won’t be a popular one, probably, but it is to have regular
bedtimes and wakeup times. There’s a whole biology unto pinning this. There’s clocks in every cell
and organ in these bodies of ours, and there’s the
central clock in the brain, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, and that’s a UC Berkeley story of Zucker, who’s one of our retired professors, discovered it’s the
central clock in the body. What we want is for all these clocks to be synchronized to each
other and to external time. And one of the key ways we can do that is to have regular
bedtimes and wakeup times. That would help
enormously, and not to say, “Don’t go to the party,” or whatever. Of course, we’re gonna
have interruptions to that. We want people socially
connected and building relationships, but then
to get back on track. I think that’s one of
the big ticket items, and the question becomes, “How to scaffold “a regular bedtime and
a regular wakeup time?” We may wanna talk about
that, we may provide some resources in another way
about that, your choice. – Let’s take just a little moment before we delve a little
bit deeper into some of the concrete things that we can do, just to summarize a little
bit where we are so far. We started this particular
segment with the discussion around all-nighters, and
the fact that people, students, regularly pull all-nighters. Some of the work that
Matt has shared with us has discussed how pulling
an all-nighter, in fact, may feel like you’re
getting a lot of work done, but, in fact, at a deeper level, you may actually be hurting yourself, so that sleep becomes an important part of what your learning
process should be about. And therefore, not something
to be just thrown away. We’ve talked about the effect of alcohol, very much how it can serve, for the brain, very much like a
disabling dose of alcohol, where a lack of sleep, by itself, reduces and impairs hippocampal
activity and in some, as Silvia reminded us, also
frontal cortex activity. You reminded us beautifully
about this interplay between the regulatory functions and the memory and learning functions, and how both of those
need to be on for you to be at an optimal level of development, to do the learning that
you came to Cal for. – [Matthew] Great. – One question that comes up is, the clocks need to be synchronized and it’s important to have the regular wakeup time and the regular sleep time, but how can students possibly be expected to do that when– – [Alison] I think there
are bunch of things but I wanna mention three. One is time management skills. That’s probably the biggest thing that makes it hard for us to get to bed at the target bedtime for each of us. Grabbing a book or taking a course in time management is time probably really well-spent, and you don’t have to take the all-nighter before the exam because you’re well-studied for the exam. So time management’s one. Second one is technology. We’re using iPads, whatever,
late into the night. These are a source of light, arousal, and they’re rewarding, so
they’re hard to turn off. So these are getting in
the way of our sleep. The recommendation is to
set an electronic curfew of maybe 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. A third recommendation
is to learn how to manage this monkey mind that we
all have. (Rudy laughs) Our head hits the pillow
and for many of us, that starts a worrying rumination and almost self-punishment
of all the things we didn’t do well today, and the things that we’re
worried about tomorrow. So I think learning skills there, is a really good piece as well. – I think I would add
to that, too, by saying, you have to ask yourself, “Why are you shortchanging
yourself of sleep?” and I think, in part,
it’s because many people don’t really understand
all of the constellation of benefits that you get from sleep. In part, this is why this
type of situation is great. We can actually give
people the information and make them decide. Across every level that
would motivate people to sleep, there is good evidence, so if you’re concerned
maybe about appearance, and everyone is, when we get to college it’s this burgeoning area of, “How do I fit with my
other people in groups?” It turns out that if you’re sleep-deprived and we take a picture of
you, and then we give you a good night of sleep and
take a picture of you, and we ask people to rate you and to see (everyone laughs)
how do you look? How attractive are you,
how healthy do you look? How tired do you look? People who knew nothing
about which of those two conditions you were in, fundamentally absolutely know which
one you actually were in, you are rated less attractive. You are rated more unhealthy-looking as a consequence. And there’s issues of how healthy you are, levels of testosterone,
for example, in guys will go down, it seems,
if you’re sleep-deprived. So if that’s a motivating factor for you, it’s right there, too. So learning, memory, creativity, we haven’t spoken about the body, either, there are immense health
benefits of sleep. If you’re getting sick a
lot, one of the factors is that you’re probably
not sleeping enough. There is an intimate association between your sleeping health and your body health. The motivation, I think, is
one of those other factors that can help people realize that they can reclaim their right to
a full night of sleep without embarrassment or
the stigma of laziness. – Just on that note, is
there a relationship between weight gain and sleep? – Absolutely, I think
we’ve all probably noticed when we haven’t slept
well, we are more likely to reach for the hamburgers, french fries, and the cakes, and when
we’re sleeping better, it’s easier to stay on a healthy track. – [Rudy] That’s so interesting, Alison, just as you’re saying,
we pull an all-nighter, we feel lousy and go
and reach right for that worst possible source of
nutrition that’s available. Why is that? – There’s some hormones,
leptin and ghrelin in the brain and the body that change our energy balance
and appetite balance. These get highly
disrupted under conditions of sleep deprivation, and I
think the other piece of this just to extend it one step further, is that under conditions
of sleep deprivation, I think we’re more likely
to medicate ourselves, too. So it’s coffee or other uppers in the day, and we have to take
alcohol or other downers at night, so there’s a real link between substance-related difficulties
and sleep problems, too, and this potential
for a vicious cycle. So I think that’s another
thing really to be weary of to go with the flow of
these natural bodily rhythms that we have, rather
than to medicate them. – For incoming college student, would you say coffee is a complete no-no or is moderate amount of coffee ok? – [Alison] I think low
to moderate is just fine. And trying to finish
it off by about midday is just fine. What we find among moderate
to high level uses, is that it starts impairing sleep. Coffee takes a long time
to flush out of the body, so it’s really being aware of finishing coffee intake earlier,
but it’s a very enjoyable, pleasurable thing, so
I wouldn’t take it out of life completely. – [Silvia] More than
that, as a coffee drinker, I’d like to put in a little
plug for having a little bit of it in the morning because
it boosts your attention skills and working
memory, and it turns out that if you have it right
after a learning experience, it helps to consolidate new memories. But, of course, we have to shy away from it in the afternoon. – [Rudy] So there really
is some biological basis for, in this particular case, everything in moderation
and at the right time. – Right. – What about people who say, “Coffee doesn’t affect me,
my head hits the pillow “even if I have had four
cups of coffee right before.” What are the effects there on the body? – The way that caffeine works, that there’s a chemical that builds up in your brain naturally the
longer that you’re awake. The more of that chemical,
it’s called adenosine, the more that you have,
the sleepier you feel. And at some point, it builds
up like a pressure cooker and it’s so powerful that
you just can’t resist sleep. And caffeine comes in
and blocks that signal so your brain thinks, “I haven’t been awake for as long.” But the way caffeine is then removed from the system, as Alison was saying, is by way of an enzyme. Different people have
different functioning levels of that enzyme, and that’s
why some people can have one coffee and they are wired for the day, whereas other people can have six of those cups of coffee, and they
can still be vigilant but perhaps ready to sleep. But for the most part, removing caffeine from your system by about midday is a very wise thing to do. The system doesn’t necessarily need it if you’re getting sufficient
sleep the night before. It’s nice to have that hot drink. The question though is,
“Could you do without it?” Because if you’re medicating
yourself with caffeine in the morning, probably
means that you haven’t been having enough sleep the night before. Not to say that caffeine
can’t be useful, and it has memory benefits, we
know, early in the day, try and stay away from
it late in the night. – [Rudy] Silvia, I wanted to ask you that, Alison was mentioning
about some strategies related to first picking up
a book on time management and regulation and yet,
brain development is such that our frontal cortex, the
very area that’s associated with self-regulation, is still developing. So what gives? – The prefrontal cortex is
almost entirely developed by college, but it’s true
that we have this opportunity to help it along its way,
to complete its development, and practising these
time management skills is, I think, an excellent way to do that. Also, another thing that
Alison mentioned was about trying to block the anxiety
and stress that makes it difficult to sleep, and sleep, of course, is really important for
helping to reduce your anxiety. So all these different
techniques that Alison was talking about for
helping you to maintain regular sleep and wake,
I think is gonna be essential for this process. – I know it affects memory with sleep, but how does alcohol affect long-term consolidation of memory? – Alcohol has a lot of
effects on the brain including memory, but a number
of other ones as well. The research in animals
suggest that it’s really pretty, pretty bad for your brain. – Let’s get back to sleep
for just a little bit. I’m really interested in that conundrum that I think many college students face, which is simply not enough time in a day and then the sacrificing
of sleep for that feeling that you’re getting more out of your day. We’ve talked about how
it’s really important to not sacrifice that sleep, that it’s not something
that you can throw away without having serious
benefits down the road, even if you’re not seeing
them necessarily later. That brings up the question specifically, not just a routine, but of tips. For example, for me, what is a routine that I would need to follow to be able to ensure that I get
the best sleep possible? And we’ve talked about those a little bit. – I think, first of all, working out what a target bedtime and wakeup time would be that would allow you an eight hours’ sleep opportunity. That actually means you have to be in bed for at least eight-and-a-half hours. Some people probably
need a little more sleep than that, too, although be aware that too much more sleep beyond that can actually be a symptom of depression, which maybe we’ll talk about later. So if we’ve got that time, be it 10pm, we’re then thinking an
electronic curfew, maybe 9pm, and then we’re thinking prior to that, I guess I’ve just given you
the professor time zone, let’s give an undergraduate
(everyone laughs) time zone, so bedtime might be midnight, electronic curfew might be 11pm. Then you gotta fit in
all those other things, and particularly, the homework assignments and the study that you’ve got, as well as other activities
on campus that you’ve got. You serve on the Senate, so this is time-consuming and important. Then I think it’s being
planful about how to get everything in, as well
as the healthy stuff like good healthy food and
exercise not too close to bed. So a bit of forward
planning, and there are some apps that can help,
check out Woop, W-O-O-P. It takes from some cognitive psychology findings, social psychology findings, too, that if you image what
it is that you wanna do, like go to bed tonight, professor, 10pm, (everyone laughs) and image myself doing the
electronic curfew at 9pm, I’m 60% more likely to do it. That’s a lot more likely to do it, just by activating those
parts of the brain. – What if your mind
simply will not be quiet? – I think a lot of our
minds are like that. I’ll share my few favorite ones. One is to activate the
positive calm circuitry in the brain, so we all really love positive highly-activated circuitry, or when our head hits a pillow often we go into negative circuitry. So positive calm circuitry. For me, that would be gratitude practice. Identify three things that happened today that I’m grateful for. Another one would be savoring, to think about three things
I really enjoyed today and try and reconjure those. Another one, many of us
humans punish ourselves, so honoring yourself
for three small things that you did well today. That’s the new practice. Head hits the pillow,
and associate it with those kinds of things,
and it takes time though. That’s not gonna work the first night. The brain is gonna go back a million times to the worries and rumination, so gently bring it back to the positive. – To follow up on that,
the research on mindfulness and brain development is
really pretty striking. Actually, there have now
been a number of studies showing that long-term
practice of these sorts of mindfulness techniques actually shapes various parts of the brain,
ones involved in memory, emotion regulation,
self-monitoring, self-awareness, and reasoning are all shaped. – [Rudy] All of which relate
right to the very areas and skills that we are trying to practise as developing undergraduates. Just to recap, we’ve been
focusing in this particular segment about the thing that we can do to maximize our sleep and
our healthy sleep habits in a college kind of setting. It’s important to have a stable bedtime and a stable wakeup routine. It’s important to limit caffeine intake after noontime, although
I think you’ve pointed out helpfully that it can help in the morning to orient you and rewire you. We’ve also talked about some
of the kinds of thoughts that you can engage in to
help yourself fall asleep, and those fall in the area of gratitude, savoring, and remind me of the third. – Honoring yourself, and
not punishing yourself. – [Rudy] And not punishing yourself. This is so incredibly interesting. I wonder if we can conclude by maybe just for those students who
are interested in sleep and the science of sleep, of course, we’ll have, online, the
articles that you spoke about. We can give access to Woop
as part of this course. Let me ask you, what
courses can students take if they’re interested
in brain development? – A teacher course on the developing brain at Psychology 125, and we go through a number of these issues in it. – [Rudy] Alison? – [Alison] Matt and I both teach the psychology of sleep,
mainly Matt these days, so I’ll let Matt talk about that. And I’m teaching a course
next fall, actually, and fairly often from here on in about mental illness and
developing better treatments so that’s open to undergrads. You wanna say about psychology of sleep? – The offering that I offer is something that came from Alison originally, which is the psychology of sleep. It takes you through,
hopefully, a whirlwind tour of what sleep is, why we do it, the good things that
happen when you get it, the bad things that happen when you don’t. By the end of the course, we tend to have increased people’s sleep
by about 45 minutes. (everyone laughs)
We do a survey at the start, which sounds, at first, potentially impressive
but if you break it down, for every one hour of lecture that I give, I’m really only adding
about two minutes of sleep (everyone laughs)
to everyone. So it’s actually rather depressing but for the most part, it seems to work. – [Rudy] If I have 45 minutes
of extra sleep per night I would be, I think, much better-looking. (everyone laughs) – [Matthew] I should
just note, by the way, that there was a great
study done in Minneapolis, in an area called Edina
in Minnesota, a township, and they shifted school
start-times for adolescents from 7:25 in the morning, what are they doing trying
to teach people at 7:25, to 8:30. The only thing more impressive
than the 45-minutes’ additional sleep that the
next year of students got, was the SAT score increase. The top students of the year
before, starting at 7:25, their score was 1,288, it’s a great score. The following year, those
same top students scored 1,500. – Wow. – 45 minutes of extra sleep. – Incredibly interesting. You now have access to these professors, the courses, and the
knowledge that they can convey to you, that’s part of
the magic of being at Cal. We’ve talked about sleep,
the biology of sleep, its relationship to brain development, with a really clear understanding that even though we are adults, we also need to be very mindful about our brain development and the ways that our brains need to be taken care of. Sleep is such an important part of it. We’ve talked about some ways in which we can structure our
environment and our schedules to maximize our sleep, and above all, underline the importance of sleep to learning and to healthy well-being. I couldn’t think of a
better topic to talk about for a wellness course than sleep. Such an easy thing and yet, sometimes so difficult to achieve. Thank you for watching. (soft music)