The Matt Walker Podcast

#38: Sleep is Bloody Remarkable Pt 3

January 02, 2023 Dr. Matt Walker Episode 38
The Matt Walker Podcast
#38: Sleep is Bloody Remarkable Pt 3
Show Notes

Almost every species will suffer catastrophic impairment in the brain and body due to total or chronic partial long-term sleep loss—save for a small handful of befuddling cases where lack of sleep does not cause devastating impairment. While humans are the only species that deprives itself of sleep for no adaptive benefit, there are rare situations where an animal will limit or go completely without sleep. Starvation pushes aside an organism’s need for sleep to forage more widely, while the need to protect newborns can be prioritized over sleep (as seen in the long journeys of killer whales returning to their pods). 

Even more remarkable is the ability of birds to stay awake for thousands of kilometers during migration. The white-crowned sparrow, for example, can withstand days without sleep during their migratory period with no cognitive impairment; it has basically discovered an internal biological Iron Man suit!

Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor, and none of the content in this podcast should be considered medical advice in any way, shape, or form, nor prescriptive in any way.

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So, make your way over to InsideTracker and Athletic Greens to take advantage of these incredible deals. And, as always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.