Outliers: Why Some People Succeed and Some Don't

Can you recall the last time you woke up without an alarm clock feeling refreshed, not needing caffeine? If the answer is “no,” you are not alone. Two-thirds of adults fail to obtain the recommended 8 hours of nightly sleep. You may be surprised by the consequences, which Matthew Walker (University of California, Berkeley) describes in his keynote for the 26th annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society annual meeting. His talk describes not only the good things that happen when you get sleep but also the alarmingly bad things that happen when you don’t get enough. He discusses the brain (learning, memory aging, Alzheimer’s disease, education), and highlights disease-related consequences in the body (cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease). The take-home: Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset the health of our brains and bodies.