Image - illustration of sleeping person in bed, in front of background detail from book cover
Past Event

Recent Brain Research on the Rejuvenating Power of Sleep

Join us to discuss the most recent brain research confirming the indispensable value of the "downstate" (sleep)—the key to cellular rejuvenation—and how to use the downstate to maximize your physical and mental vitality. Most people are worn down by the daily grind, but the body is designed to alleviate its effects. Brain research continues to accumulate ever more detail about why the downstate is so indispensable to our mental and physical health.

Mednick's Sleep and Cognition Lab studies the role sleep plays in forming our long-term memories, regulating our emotions, keeping our cardiovascular system functioning properly, and helping older adults stay alert and more agile. The downstate is an integral part of all the physiological, cognitive and emotional processes that allow us to stay as strong as possible. So why do we often ignore it during our stressful, nonstop lives, when respecting the downstate would mean a longer, healthier life?

Mednick's answer encompasses all the most up-to-date findings from autonomic, sleep, circadian rhythms, exercise physiology, and nutrition research. She won't tell you to stop working so hard. The sweet smell of ambition in the morning is not the enemy. Rather, she explains how we can handle any reasonable amount of stress as long as we replenish ourselves on a daily basis—and so indefinitely delay burning out.

MLF Organizer
George Hammond

A Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

Photo by Cece Canton.

April 26, 2022

The Commonwealth Club of California
United States

Image - Sara Mednick

Sara Mednick

Professor of Psychology, University of California, Irvine; Director, Sleep and Cognition Lab; Author, The Power of the Downstate: Recharge Your Life Using Your Body's Own Restorative Systems

Image - George Hammond

In Conversation with George Hammond

Author, Conversations With Socrates