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Adventures of Mattman: Sci-Fi and Sleep Superpowers (Ep 11)

Gooood morning, superpower seekers!

I’m joining you today from my office in the clouds where the fluffiest of pillows are packed and there appears to be endless space for digital storage.

I’m looking out my window at an expansive view of the Apple iCloud. It’s massive, I’ve never seen anything like it. Up here, it’s known as The Big Apple. Between the iCloud, other clouds, and technology in general, today’s gadgets are more like magic every day. It takes a good night’s sleep just to keep up with the pace of improvements all around us. Some improvements have been predicted by movies and TV shows.

The range of predictions is vast. We don’t yet have a Jetson’s flying car in every garage, but we do have Rocket Man jet pack capability for those who dedicated their lives to the research and development of it.

Another prediction is playing out before our eyes as we wake: Sleep trackers. I have a future episode planned to discuss sleep trackers in greater depth. But in the meantime, what do you think of when you hear the words sleep tracker? Are you using one? Do you sell an adjustable base that comes with one? Yeah, I’m talking to you Tempur retailers!

Well, a sleep tracker monitors a variety of sleep factors like heart rate, breathing, and movement. Nowadays they can coach you to form better habits based on accumulated data. Trackers create awareness of how and why you sleep good or bad. They’ve only been around for seven years or so.

You know what has been out longer? The movie “Inception.” If you haven’t seen it, I promise there are no spoilers here that you wouldn’t find in the trailer. And if you’re in our industry, it’s worth the watch!

The movie stars Leonardo DeCaprio as a sleep sleuth entering other people’s dreams to learn their passwords and secrets. They basically plug their brains into a giant, high-powered sleep tracker!

It’s a wild concept and gets honorable mentions from time to time when you spot an Inception moment IRL(in real life). Like a fence inside a fence inside a fence. It’s an inception fence! The movie’s true sleep sci-fi comes in the form of lucid and not quite lucid dream states we can achieve. And they have control over their brains to hide and lock information away. But then you can also go find and unlock information all the same. 

This truly is a two-way street of insanity. You see, in order to even enter a dream state, science tells us we go a little crazy. Leo wasn’t the only one losing his mind!

This is great, check this out: In order to dream in the first place, you have to go a little crazy. Not just once, but several times a night! According to Matthew Walker’s Master Class “The Science of Sleep,” “When you enter a dream state, you become flagrantly psychotic.” He continues that while dreaming we hallucinate, we’re delusional, time is distorted, and when we wake up we often forget what we dreamt about.

If you experience any one of these things while you are awake, you are going to the doctor! But our brain prepares itself to go full immersion dream state for a reason. It imagines scenarios, replays important information, and connects short-term memories into the long term. The class continues with studies showing that dreams of traumatic incidents can be therapeutic and speed up recovery. Even relieve depression. And it’s the same sleep function that improves motor skills and muscle memory with sports. Including E-Sports. I said sports and I’m not leaving out the ones I follow! 

Just think if you could have that ability to recall any memory and live through it over and over on command. To learn and relearn the same experience and master its potential…What’s that pillow pupper? Say it again boy? They already can do that? They just need to maximize their sleep to turn those powers on?

Well, shoot folks…apparently I was wrong. That is scary crazy Pillow Pupper. He says when you maximize your sleep, you have quicker access to your memories. You know what? I do remember that chapter in the Master Class about the brain’s ability to learn faster with a good night’s sleep.

The obvious part was getting good rest after learning, brainstorming, or a workout would help make better imprints on the brain. But the real secret is that the first impression is the best impression. You need to get a great night of sleep BEFORE you go into your lesson, brainstorming, or workout session.

Two groups of people were tested for a week. One group with six hours of sleep per night and the other group with eight hours. Big shocker here, but the eight-hour group did way better. And the thing we don’t get a measure of is how hardcore did either group maximize? That’s how you get exponential results!

“But Mattman, what if I just maximize my six-hour sleep schedule so I don’t have to get the eight hours?” Down boy, down. Hold on, it’s a legitimate question, Pillow Pupper. Here, here’s a treat.  I got this, let me handle this.

Whew. Dude. Seriously? Why don’t you just try the eight hours first? You’ve gone to all the lengths of setting yourself up for awesome sleep already!  That extra sleep cycle potential of one a night quickly turns into seven cycles a week and 52 weeks a year. Dude. That’s A LOT!

Wait let me try like this. If your sleep cycles are the currency in which you pay for your body to perform each year, would you like to make an annual deposit of $1,456 worth of sleep cycles or $1,820? No matter how far you stretch your budget there, the bigger deposit will get you more bang for your buck! I can switch this analogy to burritos if that helps paint a better picture. Just text me. 

Look look look, the real moral of the story here is we already have some super science-fiction learning capabilities built into the brain through human evolution. The movie Inception illustrates the absurdity of dream states but our brains use our dreams.

We are still in the early stages of understanding the how, but we know the why. And things like sleep trackers are going to help us master the art of sleep maximization. And who knows what those trackers will look like five to ten years down the road.

Through the power of good sleep habits, our brain can learn faster, react quicker, and do everything better! It’s our responsibility to give it the foundation it needs to make evolutionary worthy leaps! Let’s set our circadian rhythms and unlock our superpowers! 

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