The Matt Walker Podcast

#02: Sleep Pressure

August 16, 2021 Dr. Matt Walker Season 1 Episode 2
The Matt Walker Podcast
#02: Sleep Pressure
Show Notes

Episode 02:  Sleep Pressure

Welcome back to the Matt Walker podcast. Today’s episode looks at the story of sleep pressure - how it works, how you can try to block it or fool it, and why you feel so good after a night of full, peaceful sleep. 

Matt explains that from the moment you wake up, a chemical called adenosine begins to build up in your body. The longer you’re awake, the more adenosine will build up and the sleepier you will feel. This is called sleep pressure. Once adenosine concentrations peak, usually after about 12-16 hours of being awake, the irresistible urge for slumber takes hold. 

Sleep then purges the buildup of adenosine in your brain, and you will wake feeling refreshed and ready to face another day.

Today, you’ll learn about the dual-action effect of adenosine, how caffeine operates to artificially mute its “sleepiness” signals to the brain, and the ideal length of sleep you need to fully clear the adenosine levels from your body overnight. 

The episode is sponsored by the wonderful folks over at Athletic Greens, who are providing a discount and free product if you use the link above. Matt is more than a little obsessed with Athletic Greens. He's been using Athletic Greens, each day for the past 3 years (and he does buy his own to prevent any conflict of interest, as that's important to integrity).

Why does Matt use it each day.? Athletic Greens is a comprehensive daily nutritional beverage containing 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole food-sourced ingredients, including a multivitamin, multimineral, probiotic. So, head on over to and get a free year supply of Vitamin D and 5 free travel packs today.

Finally, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out on Instagram @drmattwalker.

Music credit:

By the incredible, Kai Engel (aka Anton Fedchenkov).