How does sleep shape your life?
Playing fast and loose with sleep? Think you can sleep when you’re dead? These 8 TED talks about sleep will stretch your mind and force you look at your sleep differently.
If you’re like us and enjoy the endless font of inspiration TED and TEDx offers the world, you’re going to want to grab your headphones and turn off your phone so you can concentrate. We’ve gathered the best (in our opinion) TED talks that focus on sleep – why we do it, why we need it and what happens when we don’t get enough of it. These videos are short, smart and will give you something to consider the next time you think it’s okay to skimp on your sleep.
Russell Foster – Why do we sleep?
Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist, which means he studies sleep cycles of the brain. And he asks: What do we know about sleep? Not a lot, it turns out, for something we do with one-third of our lives. In this talk, Foster shares three popular theories about why we sleep, busts some myths about how much sleep we need at different ages – and hints at some bold new uses of sleep as a predictor of mental health.
Arianna Huffington Succeed by getting more sleep
In this short talk, Arianna Huffington shares a small idea that can awaken much bigger ones – the power of a good night’s sleep. Instead of bragging about our sleep deficits, she urges us to shut our eyes and see the big picture. We can sleep our way to increased productivity and happiness – and smarter decision-making.
Jessa Gamble – Our natural sleep cycle is nothing like what we do now
In today’s world, balancing school, work, kids and more, most of us can only hope for the recommended eight hours of sleep. Examining the science behind our body’s internal clock, Jessa Gamble reveals the surprising and substantial program of rest we should be observing.
Kelly McGonigal – How to make stress your friend
Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat – and robs you of a good night’s sleep. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.
Jeff Iliff – One more reason to get a good night’s sleep
The brain uses a quarter of the body’s entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body’s mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep.
Lissa Rankin – The truth about your health
Discouraged by the broken, patriarchal health care system, Lisa left her medical practice in 2007 only to realize that you can quit your job, but you can’t quit your calling. This epiphany launched her on a journey of discovery that led her to become a leader in the field of mind/body medicine, which she blogs about at OwningPink.com and is writing about in her third book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself.
Charlie Morley – Lucid Dreaming
Charlie Morley is a lucid dreaming teacher and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism specializing in the use of both Western scientific and Tibetan Buddhist dream practices with the aims of bringing mindful awareness into all stages of dream, sleep and waking life. His approach aims to help us sleep better, dream more lucidly and wake up with more awareness, clarity and joy.
Eric Whitacre – A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong
In a moving and madly viral video last year, composer Eric Whitacre led a virtual choir of singers from around the world. He talks through the creative challenges of making music powered by YouTube, and unveils the first 2 minutes of his new work, “Sleep,” with a video choir of 2,052. The full piece premiered a few weeks later (yes, on YouTube!).