With the current pandemic, sleep is a hot topic right now. More and more of us are having strange ‘COVID dreams’ and as anxieties are at an all time high, many people claim to be getting less sleep than they think they should.
There is a lot of information out there about sleep and it can sometimes be overwhelming. If you are looking to learn some more about sleep and its effects, or just want a little light lunchtime relief, here are our top five TedTalks about getting some shut eye.
ONE MORE REASON TO GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP, JEFF ILIFF
If my weekly Sleep Series isn’t enough to convince you that getting some rest is incredibly important, Jeff Iliff is here with his quick ten minute video to give you ‘One more reason to get a good night’s sleep’. He explains how restorative sleep can be for the body and the mind, particularly in its ability to clear byproducts from the brain. It is these byproducts which can lead to serious health complications if sleep deprivation persists – so Jeff is on hand to remind you to treat sleep like a household cleaning task.
Top Quote: “If you stop cleaning your kitchen for a month, your home will become completely unliveable very quickly. But in the brain, the consequences of falling behind may be much greater than the embarrassment of dirty countertops… understanding these very basic housekeeping functions of the brain today may be critical for preventing and treating diseases of the mind tomorrow”
HOW TO SUCCEED? GET MORE SLEEP, ARIANNA HUFFINGTON
Arianna’s bitesized talk calls sleep and sleep depravation a ‘feminist issue’ which is based on one-upmanship and productive bragging rights. This punchy and effective talk tells us to value sleep as it makes you better at making decisions and seeing the bigger picture. The secret to success is sleep, and ladies, she wants us to know.
Top Quote: “The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep… we are literally going to sleep our way to the top”
THE BRAIN BENEFITS OF DEEP SLEEP – AND HOW TO GET MORE OF IT, DAN GARTENBERG
Dan Gartenberg gets his science hat on for us as he explains our different stages of sleep, and how a little technology could change our shut eye forever. He explores the links between mental and physical illnesses and lack of sleep and reminds us that it is both quantity, but most importantly quality that matters when it comes to hitting the pillows.
The most interesting part of his quick six minute video is the use of a sound waves which can put our bodies into a deeper sleep and how a little device worn on our fingers could be the next development in sleep health.
Top Quote: “For some reason, we decided to wear it as a badge of honour that we can get by on not enough sleep. This all adds up to a really health crisis”
SLEEP IS YOUR SUPERPOWER, MATT WALKER
Sleep scientist Matt Walker has produced many TedTalks on the importance of sleep, and a good one to start with is ‘Sleep is your superpower’. Matt discusses the importance of sleep and its impact on our ability to learn new things and retain them. He explains how a good night’s sleep for young children can actually mean the difference between passing and failing an exam – a warning to all those late night crammers.
The most shocking part of his talk occurs when he dives into the links between sleep and health complications, as he drops the bombshell that when daylight savings kick in, and we lose an hour of sleep in the spring, heart attacks rise by 24% the following day.
Top Quote: “I believe it is now time for us to reclaim our right to a full night of sleep, and without embarrassment or that unfortunate stigma of laziness. And in doing so, we can be reunited with the most powerful elixir of life, the Swiss Army Knife of health, as it were”
WHY SLEEP MATTERS NOW MORE THAN EVER, MATT WALKER ET AL.
You may have seen a lot of literature lately about how the Corona Virus pandemic has been effecting many people’s sleep, dreams and energy levels.
If you have some spare time today, check out this hour long virtual panel discussion with sleep expert Matt Walker, current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers and head of TED Chris Anderson. Inspired by the world’s ‘sleep crisis’ during these unsettling times, they debunk some myths, discuss sleep deprivation and its impact on the mind and body as well as practices you can start doing to help lead to a more peaceful nights sleep.
Top Quote: “Sleep seems to provide a benefit to almost every major organ system in the body.”