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Sleep Junkies Podcast

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Sleep Junkies spans the whole conversation about sleep. Interviews with sleep experts, thought-leaders and advocates talking about sleep-centric topics to do with health, science, culture, technology and the sleep industry.

Sleep Junkies spans the whole conversation about sleep. Interviews with sleep experts, thought-leaders and advocates talking about sleep-centric topics to do with health, science, culture, technology and the sleep industry.
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United Kingdom


Sleep Junkies spans the whole conversation about sleep. Interviews with sleep experts, thought-leaders and advocates talking about sleep-centric topics to do with health, science, culture, technology and the sleep industry.




Lucid dreaming: a science-based user's guide

Lucid dreaming is a wildly popular, but often misunderstood phenomenon. But alongside the fantasy narratives of movies like Inception, and its adoption into mysticism and New Age beliefs, lucid dreaming is also steeped in a rich and diverse body of modern scientific research. In today's podcast we speak to two guests, who as well as being lucid dreamers themselves, are also at the forefront of the science of lucid dreaming. We take a wide-ranging, science-based look at exactly what lucid...


Sleep, ethical behaviour and the workplace

We all know what it's like to get out of the 'wrong side of bed'. Grumpiness, short temper, slow thinking - these are all traits associated with lack of sleep, or poor quality sleep. But a mounting body of evidence shows us that poor sleep can also affect our moral and ethical behaviour, our basic sense of what's right and wrong. Indeed studies have shown that sub-optimal sleep can increase the likelihood of people cheating, lying and even abusive behaviour. In today's episode we talk to...


Intensive Sleep Retraining - a genuine quick fix for insomnia?

When it comes to treating insomnia, we're usually told that there are no quick fixes. Although a relatively recent development, the recommended first-line treatment for insomnia is usually cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT-I), a course of treatment which, although highly effective, takes several weeks to complete. But in the past 10 years, researchers at Flinders University have been researching and testing a novel behavioural therapy for insomnia called Intensive Sleep Retraining which,...


ASMR: a sleep expert's perspective

In just 10 years, ASMR has grown from a fringe Youtube trend into a mainstream cultural phenomenon, boasting billions of video views, and even a Superbowl commercial. Despite millions claiming that ASMR induces relaxation and helps them to get to sleep, there is still only a tiny body of scientific research to lend any credence to this often bizarre phenomenon. In today's episode we speak to sleep physiologist Stephanie Romiszewski, who teamed up last year in a video collaboration with...


Mindfulness, meditation and sleep

Over the last decade, mindfulness - a secular version of some of the rituals, beliefs and meditation practices originating in ancient Buddhism - has grown into a massive wellbeing trend. From hugely successful apps like Headspace and Calm to corporate wellness programs and government initiatives, mindfulness and meditation techniques have captured the public imagination. One of the most popular uses of mindfulness is to facilitate relaxation and help with sleep problems. In today's podcast...


Why sleep is vital to your sports & fitness regime

In recent years, the world of professional sports and athletics has 'woken up' to the idea that sleep plays a vitally important role in optimizing athletic ability and performance. Today we're talking to Dr Amy M. Bender, a sleep scientist who has spent her life involved in many competitive sports activities, about the importance of sleep with regards to fitness, exercise and sports, but not just for competitive athletes, but for anyone who wants to ensure they're making the most of their...


How to optimize your sleep when you work night shifts

Despite the constant warnings about the negative health impacts of shift work, the 20-30% of the workforce who work nights and irregular hours provide a vital function to our modern 24/7 society. So what are the best practices for shift workers to balance the demands of working shifts, disrupted sleep schedules and all the health, emotional implication this entails? We speak to Carolyn Schur who has been helping employers and workers develop practical, evidence-based strategies to cope with...


The Nocturnal Brain with Dr Guy Leschziner

We talk with Guy Leschziner, world-renowned neurologist, sleep physician and the author of a new book, The Nocturnal Brain: Tales of Nightmares and Neuroscience, a fascinating journey interweaving real life stories with cutting edge sleep science. This episode’s guest: Dr Guy Leschziner is a consultant neurologist at London Bridge Hospital, the Cromwell Hospital and within the Department of Neurology and Sleep Disorders Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals. He is the clinical lead for...


The great sleep tracker debate - Part 2

What are the barriers for consumer sleep wearables being taken seriously as accurate, reliable sleep measurement tools by the research and clinical communities? In the second part of this discussion we talk about the problems of proprietary algorithms, raw data access, and the challenges that need to be met by both science and commerce. For Part 1 of the discussion see: Prefer to read? Download the full episode transcript here...


The great sleep tracker debate - Part 1

How accurate is your sleep tracker? Are consumer sleep wearables good enough to used for research and clinical purposes? Join us as we navigate the complex issues surrounding marketing claims, scientific validation, reliability, raw data and why 'black boxes' technology is an impediment to research. In this first instalment of a 2-part episode, we talk about the rapid improvement that consumer sleep tracker have made in a short amount of time, and how, compared to expensive validated...


Yoga, meditation and integrative sleep therapies

Using yoga, meditation and a range of complimentary physical therapies, our guest today, integrative sleep therapist and trainer Deidre O'Connor tells the story of her very personal journey to solving her sleep problems. Skip to sections: 2:51 Introduction 4:05 The decision to travel and study yoga in India 4:45 Bihar School of Yoga, travelling to Thailand, Buddhist monasteries 6:46 How yoga, meditation is conceived in India, contrasted with Western notions 8:22 Yoga and meditation, it's not...


The science of dreams and dreaming: a brief history

From the earliest civilisations to the present day, humans have been fascinated by the many mysteries of dreams and dreaming. But in the 20th century, the discovery of REM sleep kickstarted a new era of scientific enquiry in dream research. We talk to sleep and dream researcher Dr Antonio Zadra about the history of dream research, from ancient ideas, to the leading modern theories of the function of dreams. Skip to sections: 1:45 Introduction 2:30 The lucid dream that inspired Dr Zadra's...


Behind the headlines: Sleep research roundup March 2019

We invited Dr Neil Stanley to take a look at some of the most recent scientific publications from the world of sleep research.With so many discoveries being made in the field we take a look at just four sleep science stories that have crossed into the mainstream press. We analyse the findings, examine how and why the results are significant and ask what the implications for these new discoveries yields for future findings. 1:45 Introduction 3:22 Study 1: Adults enjoy better sleep in a...


Timeshifter - fighting jet lag with light

Timeshifter is new app for treating jet lag based on research using timed-light exposure to shift your circadian rhythms quickly into your new time zone. We speak to CEO Mickey Beyer-Clausen about the first science-based integrative solution to effectively treat the symptoms of jetlag. Skip to highlights 03:14 Introducing Mickey Beyer-Clausen 05:24 The significant consequences of jet lag for business and vacations 08:07 Common myths, hacks and misconceptions about jet lag 08:24 Why generic...


Can plants and herbs play a role in sleep medicine?

An in-depth conversation with licensed naturopathic doctor Josh Corn about using natural medicine to treat sleep problems. We discuss different herbs and supplements, dispel some of the myths about naturopathy and why public perceptions are often wrong. Prefer to read? Download the full episode transcript here Skip to highlights 03:23 Introducing Dr Josh Corn 04:59 Dr Josh Corn's training and research background 06:10 What is a naturopath? How does naturopathy fit into the wider world of...


Hacking light for optimal sleep and circadian biology

A practical guide to optimising your sleep and circadian biology with light exposure in the day and blocking blue light at night. We talk to Thaddeus Owen, the Primal Hacker about blue light blocking glasses, getting naked outdoors in the morning and lots more. Prefer to read? Download the full episode transcript here Skip to highlights 1:44 What is biohacking? 4:57 Dave Asprey and modifying your biology 6:20 The pivotal moment when Thaddeus decided to pursue a life of optimal health 9:00...


Solving sleep problems in school-age children

We talk to clinical child psychologist Professor Michael Gradisar of Flinders University in Australia about his new book which looks at evidence-based techniques and strategies to help school age children with insomnia, parasomnias and other sleep problems. Prefer to read? Download the full episode transcript here Episode Highlights 02:04 Introducing Professor Michael Gradisar 03:44 Dr Leon Lack and Flinders University history of sleep education 05:38 Specialising in sleep interventions for...


The impact of daylight saving time on sleep and circadian timing

A new report looks at the widespread impact of daylight saving time and how circadian disruptions affect every aspect of our sleep and health. We talk to lead author, Dr Miguel Meira e Cruz about the scientific consensus that's building about the harmful effects of DST. Episode Highlights 02:45 Introducing Dr Miguel Meira e Cruz 04:13 Recent proposals to abolish Daylight Saving Time (DST) 06:11 The origins and history of Daylight Saving Time 09:33 Sleep is only one of the many functions...


What is CBT-I? Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia explained

CBT-I is a cognitive and behavioral-based therapy that is rapidly becoming a first line treatment for insomnia around the world. We ask psychologist and neuroscientist Dr Lindsay Browning to explain what CBT-I is, how it works, and why it's so effective. Prefer to read? Download the full episode transcript here Skip to highlights 02:04 introduction to Dr Lindsay Browning 03:51 the importance of a checking a sleep expert's credentials 08:49 the difference between counselling and cognitive...


The art and science of the power nap - with sports physician Kasper Janssen

Exploring the science and practice of power napping with sports physician Kasper Janssen. We look at the physical and cognitive benefits of napping and explain the practical steps how to manage naps at work and in your fitness regime. Prefer to read? Download the full episode transcript here Episode Highlights 3:04 introducing Dr Kasper Janssen 5:38 myths and misconceptions about napping 6:12 the different cultures of napping round the world 6:47 how siesta culture is dying out 8:59 naps,...