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A lack of sleep can leave you feeling groggy and in desperate need of coffee, but neuroscientist Matthew Walker has revealed the impacts can spread far beyond your caffeine intake. Have a listen:
You don't need to be a scientist to know that you don't perform your best after only spending a couple of hours tucked up in bed, but as the founder of the Center for Human Sleep Science and author of more than 100 studies relating to the impact of sleep on human brain function, it's safe to say Walker knows what he's talking about.
The scientist appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast in 2018 to discuss the topic of sleep, touching on how your sleep can be impacted by environment, alcohol and drugs, and how the quality of sleep can impact your health.
According to Walker, men who only get five to six hours sleep each night will have a level of testosterone equivalent to someone 10 years their senior.
So while it can be hard to resist spending night after night at bars in your 20s, waking up a few hours later with the confidence that a quick espresso will see you through the day, bear in mind that your sex hormones could be ageing rapidly in the meantime.
"A lack of sleep will age you by a decade in terms of that critical aspect of wellness, feritlity, muscle strength, sexual performance," he explained.
It's recommended that adults get an average of eight hours sleep per night, but Walker has stressed that too many people are falling short of that recommendation.
In an interview with Berkeley Psychology, he explained that human beings are the only species that 'deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent gain'.
"Many people walk through their lives in an underslept state, not realising it," he explained. A lack of sleep has been defined as six hours or less, and the issues aren't limited to testosterone as deficiency is also associated with problems in concentration, memory and the immune system.
A lack of sleep could even have the impact of shortening your lifespan, as Walker explained: "Every disease that is killing us in developed nations has causal and significant links to a lack of sleep. So that classic maxim that you may [have] heard that you can sleep when you're dead, it's actually mortally unwise advice from a very serious standpoint."