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GUEST SERIES | Dr. Matt Walker: The Science of Dreams, Nightmares & Lucid Dreaming

Huberman Lab

Scicomm Media

Science, Life Sciences, Health & Fitness

4.923.3K Ratings

🗓️ 8 May 2024

⏱️ 153 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


This is episode 6 of a 6-part special series on sleep with Dr. Matthew Walker, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and a leading public educator on sleep for mental and physical health, learning and human performance. In this episode, we discuss dreaming, including the biological mechanism of dreams, what dreams mean and their role in daytime life. We explore how dreams can enhance our creativity and emotional well-being and help us resolve various challenges and dilemmas. We discuss how to remember and interpret your dreams and the abstractions/symbols frequently present in dreams. We also discuss nightmares and therapies to treat reoccurring nightmares. We explain what lucid dreaming is and if there are benefits or drawbacks to this type of dreaming. Dr. Walker also answers frequently asked audience questions and discusses snoring, body position, sleep supplements, sleep challenges due to aging, menopause, stopping racing thoughts, and how to fall back asleep if you wake in the middle of the night. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman BetterHelp: https://betterhelp.com/huberman LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman Helix Sleep: https://helixsleep.com/huberman WHOOP: https://www.join.whoop.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps 00:00:00 Dreaming 00:01:13 Sponsors: BetterHelp, LMNT & Helix Sleep 00:05:06 Dreams & REM Sleep 00:12:20 Evolution of REM Sleep, Humans 00:17:13 REM Sleep & PGO Waves; Dreams & Brain Activity 00:24:26 Dreams, Images & Brain Activity; Sleepwalking & Sleep Talking 00:30:51 Sponsor: AG1 00:32:04 Dream Benefits, Creativity & Emotional Regulation; Challenge Resolution 00:41:27 Daily Experience vs. Dreaming, Emotions 00:45:08 Dream Interpretation & Freud, Dream Relevance 00:52:59 Abstractions, Symbols, Experience & Dreams; “Fuzzy Logic” 01:00:28 Sponsor: Whoop 01:01:36 Nightmares; Recurring Nightmares & Therapy 01:11:08 Targeted Memory Reactivation, Sounds & Nightmares 01:15:38 Odor, Paired Associations, Learning & Sleep 01:18:53 Fear Extinction, Memory & Sleep; Tool: Remembering Dreams 01:25:38 Lucid Dreaming, REM Sleep, Paralysis 01:32:33 Lucid Dreaming: Benefits? Unrestorative Sleep? 01:44:07 Improve Lucid Dreaming 01:49:30 Tool: Negative Rumination & Falling Asleep 01:53:41 Tools: Body Position, Snoring & Sleep Apnea; Mid-Night Waking & Alarm Clock 01:58:43 Sleep Banking?; Tool: Falling Back Asleep, Rest 02:05:53 Tool: Older Adults & Early Waking; Sleep Medications 02:11:25 Tool: Menopause & Sleep Disruption, Hot Flashes 02:15:06 Remembering Dreams & Impacts Sleep Quality? 02:18:32 Tool: Sleep Supplements 02:26:48 Tool: Most Important Tip for Sleep 02:30:56 Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

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Welcome to the Huberman Lab guest series where I and an expert guest discuss science and science-based tools for everyday life.


I'm Andrew Huberman and I'm a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine.


Today marks the sixth episode in our sixth episode series all about sleep with expert guest


Dr Matthew Walker.


Today's episode focuses on sleep and dreaming, as well as lucid dreaming.


We talk about what's happening in your brain when you dream, both mundane dreams as well


as heavily emotionally-laid in dreams,


and we discuss how to think about and perhaps even interpret


the content of your dreams.


And we talk about lucid dreaming,


which are dreams that occur while in sleep, of course,


in which you are aware that you are dreaming.


And because unfortunately they are relatively common,


we also talk about nightmares and both what to do about nightmares


as well as how to think about nightmares. This being the final episode in the


six episode series all about sleep. I put the call out on my social media


handles for any and all questions about sleep that I could direct to Dr.


Matthew Walker.


So as today's episode closes, I ask him those questions, focusing specifically on the questions that were most frequently asked by you, the audience, and he answers them in rapid succession.


Before we begin, I'd like to emphasize that this podcast is separate from my teaching


and research roles at Stanford.


It is, however, part of my desire and effort to bring zero cost to consumer information about science


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