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Insomnia and the Art and Science of Sleep

Prof. Jason Ellis

Jason Ellis (@JasonGEllis101) is Professor in Psychology at Northumbria University, and Director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research, a purpose-built facility designed to study and treat disorders of sleep and wakefulness.

He’s the author of “The One-week Insomnia Cure: Learn to Solve Your Sleep Problems“, and in 2013 served as resident sleep expert on BBC One’s two-part series Goodnight Britain.

In 2015 he led the first ever study to attempt to treat insomnia in the acute phase – before it becomes chronic – and found that almost three-quarters of participants saw improvements in the quality of their sleep following a single one-hour therapy session.

Jason has presented his research at numerous conferences around the world, and is also actively involved in both public and professional engagement activities, speaking at the British Science Festival, TEDx Conference, and the National Science Learning Centre.

In today’s episode we discuss insomnia and how it relates directly to mood and mental health. So, what is sleep and why does it matter? How do a couple of sleepless nights turns into chronic insomnia for some people, and nothing more than a few groggy shifts at work for others?

We discover how the quality of our sleep can predict your likelihood of developing depression, why seasonal affective disorder is more of a sleep problem than a mood disorder, how daytime napping could be a sign of underlying health concerns, and the limits of medication.

We also discuss some of the more curious aspects of sleep, such as why we sometimes start body popping just as we’re about to nod off, why couples shouldn’t share a duvet, why none of us should be shy when trying out a mattress in the bed shop, why playing Candy Crush at bedtime could be messing up your circadian rhythms, and also how having sex in the kitchen could potentially help you sleep more soundly.

 

Jason’s Recommended Links

Northumbria Sleep Research Laboratory on Facebook

Books Mentioned in This Episode

          

 

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Image courtesy: Jacob Stewart