Matthew Walker on Joe Rogan: 

Effects of Alcohol, Marijuana, + Other Points on Sleep

​From The Joe Rogan Experience podcast episode #1109

  • When you sleep in an unusual or new environment, one half of your brain will not sleep as deeply as the other 

    • It's a threat-detection thing ​

      • Other species do this more impressively than us ​

        • i.e. Dolphins can sleep with half a brain (half asleep, half wide-awake) ; ducks sleep with one eye open 

  • 2 principle types of sleep 

    • 1. REM ​(dream-sleep) 

    • 2. Non-REM

      • Non-REM is further subdivided into 4 stages ​(Stages 1, 2, 3 & 4) ​

        • Stages 3 & 4 (the deeper stages) is where a lot of body repleninshment takes place 

          • cardiovascular, metabolism, etc. 

          • This is the deep sleep that your brain resists going into when you're in a foreign environment  

  • Quality of sleep is as important as quantity of sleep 

  • ​Alcohol and marijuana are good at blocking REM sleep (dream sleep 
    • (dream sleep) ​
    • The brain builds up a clock-counter of how much dream-sleep you should've been getting, but have not been getting, and develops an increasing hunger for dream sleep 
      • When you finally get the chemicals out of your system, you get what's called a REM-SLEEP REBOUND EFFECT ​
        • You get the normal amount of REM sleep PLUS the brain tries to get back some of the dream sleep it's lost 
          • Intense dream-sleep situations ​
            • i.e. After a night of heavy drinking: After about 6-8 hours when your liver and kidneys excreted all of the alcohol, your dream-sleep-deprived brain feasts int he last couple of hours  ​​
  • With marijuana it's unclear ​if the speediness of falling asleep after marijuana is natural sleep 
    • physiologically different from alcohol ​
    • Also disrupts REM sleep, we think at the level of the brain-stem 
  • Recovering chronic alcoholics often have "delirium trems" ​
    • Because the alcohol has been blocking dream-sleep for so long, and the pressure for dream-sleep has built up so powerfully in the brain, it actually spills over into wakefulness​
      • They experience delirium -- the collision of two states of consciousness -- as the brain enters dream-sleep while awake ​
        • Consider the lengths that the brain is willing to go to ​​​​get that which it's been missing... 
          • Beware of "sleep machismo" attitude 
            • Don't be proud of being underslept, or think "I don't need 8 hours!" -- yes you almost certainly do. ​
              • Men who sleep 5-6 hours a night will have a level of testosterone 10 years their senior 

                • = Lack of sleep can age you by a decade by this critical aspect of ​wellness, viritlity, muscle strength, sexual performance...