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.
Your host is Jeff Mann, the founder and editor of SleepJunkies.com, a website that has been shining a spotlight on sleep since 2012. Sleep Junkies is an independent, research-based blog and community that's dedicated to educating and raising awareness about all aspects of sleep health, advocacy as well as following the wider cultural trends in sleep, including the burgeoning sleep industry.
Cannabis and sleep: from prehistory to the 21st century
Pretty much every week, we get an email from a new cannabis startup, promoting their latest CBD or THC remedy to treat any number of health conditions, including sleep problems.
This boom in new, legal cannabis products is the result of recent legislation to start the process of widespread marijuana decriminalisation, and eventually full legalisation. But whilst the consumer demand is fuelling massive growth in the global cannabis industry, currently, there's little, verging on zero clinical evidence to firmly substantiate many of the health claims made by the new wave of cannabis products hitting the market.
So in this episode, we go behind the marketing claims, and look at the real, solid, scientific evidence behind medical cannabis and its efficacy in treating insomnia and a whole host of other sleep disorders including sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and even narcolepsy.
This episode's guest:
Anastasia Suraev is a clinical research officer at the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, a philanthropically-funded centre for cannabinoid research at the University of Sydney. She is also a PhD candidate at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research where she is leading a clinical trial assessing the effects of a cannabis-based therapy on sleep in people with chronic insomnia.
University of Sydney: https://www.sydney.edu.au/science/about/our-people/academic-staff/anastasia-suraev.html
Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics: https://www.sydney.edu.au/lambert/:
Systematic Review: Cannabinoid therapies in the management of sleep disorders: A systematic review of preclinical and clinical studies
Episode Homepage: https://sleepjunkies.com/cannabis-sleep-medicine/
Robots, innovation and the sleep economy
Technology and sleep have a troubled relationship. On one hand, doctors and therapists remind their patients to banish every gadget and gizmo from the bedroom, lest they act as addictive, irresistible slumber-stealing distractions.
On the other side however, there's a fast growing cohort of innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, and sleep practitioners who recognise the unbounded potential of technology to improve, rather than detract from our sleep.
In this episode we talk to Julian Jagtenberg, co-founder of Somnox, a company at the vanguard of the vibrant, innovative 21st century consumer sleep technology industry. We talk to Julian about the world's first sleep robot, and how the new 'sleep economy' may offer exciting new pathways and opportunities to help people overcome sleep issues, without resorting to pills, or potions.
This episode's guest:
Julian Jagtenberg is Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of Somnox, the world’s first sleep robot. Created to fight insomnia, help the sleep deprived and start a global sleep revolution, Somnox was borne from Julian’s desire to help his mother manage and overcome insomnia without the need for prescription medication.
He graduated with honors from the Delft University of Technology with a degree in Industrial Design, and also holds a minor in Robotics from the Delft Biorobotics Lab
As an industrial design engineer, Julian is on a mission to develop soft robotics to contribute to health and well-being. With multiple design and engineering awards, including the James Dyson Award, Philips Innovation Award, Robotdalen Innovation Award and Sprout’s 25 under 25, Julian passionately believes in the ability of robotics to help humans live happier and healthier lives.
Julian's website: https://julianjagtenberg.com/
Somnox website: https://somnox.com
Paro Therapeutic Robots: http://www.parorobots.com/
Our in-depth review of the Somnox Sleep Robot: https://sleepgadgets.io/somnox-sleep-robot-review/
Episode Homepage: https://sleepjunkies.com/somnox-robot-sleep-economy/
045: AI, wearables and the future of sleep medicine – Dr Cathy Goldstein
Artificial intelligence is the vanguard of a new technological revolution that will affect all aspects of human society.
Our work, our health, the cars we drive, even the media we consume - all will be radically transformed in the coming years and decades by 'intelligent machines'. Essentially, these are computers that have learnt how to do many of the tasks we thought only humans were capable of. But the difference is, AI can do things quicker, more accurately, and of course, without needing human intervention.
Sleep medicine will not be an exception to this march of progress. So much so, that earlier this year, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) issued a position statement, outlining a roadmap for sleep professionals to start engaging now with the multifaceted ways that AI will inevitably impact on patient care, diagnostics, staff allocation, treatment protocols and much more.
We talk to Dr Cathy Goldstein, neurologist, and chair of the AASM's committee on AI about how artificial intelligence will shape the field of sleep medicine in coming years, and also how Dr Goldstein's own research into longitudinal sleep tracking with consumer wearables may also play a role in expanding our vision for how we manage sleep health outside of the clinic.
This episode's guest:
Cathy Goldstein, MD, is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan and faculty in the Sleep Disorders Center. Her current research focus, through work with mathematics, is the improvement of sleep tracking via algorithm development and validation using consumer sensors.
The ultimate goal of this work is more accurate longitudinal sleep estimation for performance and precision health applications. Dr. Goldstein has a passion for teaching and her educational roles have included University of Michigan athletes, trainers, and coaches and medical school faculty and trainees. She has helped disseminate sleep health and wellness to the general public through pieces in numerous media outlets.
Dr. Goldstein works to promote the adoption of cutting edge technology in sleep medicine as the chair of the national committee on AI in sleep medicine.
Dr.Goldstein has a passion for education that spans colleagues, trainees, patients and the public. In addition to her clinical work, she holds various leadership roles including Associate Editor for the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Circadian Sleep-Wake Rhythm Disorders Section Editor of UpToDate, and committee work through the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
University of Michigan: https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/neurology/cathy-goldstein-md-ms
AI in sleep medicine: an AASM position statement: https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/10.5664/jcsm.8288
A Consumer Sleep Tracker Researchers Can Actually Use
Artificial intelligence in sleep medicine: background and implications for clinicians
Episode Homepage: https://sleepjunkies.com/ai-sleep-medicine
Do dreams have a social function? Covid-19 Special Report
This week we explore 'pandemic dreaming' - a phenomenon where people around the world, experiencing lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, have reported an uptick in incidences of dreaming and more vivid dreams.
We talk to two academics who, for several years have been undertaking an art/science project, DreamsID in which individuals recall a dream, which is then transformed in real time to a work of art.
We talk about some of the reasons behind 'Covid dreams', art, symbolism and metaphors, an overview of contemporary theories of dreams' functions, and explore new theories of how the act of sharing dreams may strengthen social bonds by increasing feelings of empathy.
This episode's guests:
Mark Blagrove is a Professor of Psychology at Swansea Univeristy. He studies the relationship between sleep and cognition, including effects of sleep loss, memory consolidation functions of sleep, causes and possible functions of dreaming, nightmares, and lucid dreams.
Swansea University: https://www.swansea.ac.uk/staff/human-and-health-sciences/psychology/m.t.blagrove/
Julia Lockheart BA MA PhD FRSA SFHEA is a British artist, academic and researcher. She currently works as a metadesign researcher and Associate Lecturer in Design Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London; as a Senior Lecturer, Head of Contextual Practices, and Director of the Metadesign Research Centre at Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and also as a design and language consultant to several educational institutions internationally.
Study - Empathy & Dream Sharing: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01351/full
Article from Sublime Magazine: https://sublimemagazine.com/dream-sharing
Wired Magazine: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/coronavirus-dreams-sleep
Episode Homepage: https://sleepjunkies.com/covid-dreams-empathy/
Screens, tech and sleep - it's not all about the blue light
In recent years we've been bombarded with advice warning of the dangers of sleep-stealing blue light emitted from smartphones, tablets and computer screens.
But scientists and health experts are slowly coming to realise that the melatonin-blocking function of short-wavelength light is only part of the story regarding the reasons why technology keeps us awake at night.
In this episode we talk to renowned sleep expert Dr Michael Grandner about the complex and nuanced ways that technology can contribute to a lack of sleep - discussing not just the role of blue light, but also the addictive nature of social media algorithms, how different types of digital media affect sleep, and offering some practical tips to help you manage your smartphone addiction.
This episode's guest:
Dr. Michael Grandner is the Director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, Director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic at the Banner-University Medical Center, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the UA College of Medicine, with joint appointments in the Departments of Medicine, Psychology (UA College of Science), Nutritional Sciences (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), and Clinical Translational Science. In addition, he is a faculty member of the Neuroscience and Physiological Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs. He is Certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine by the American Board of Sleep Medicine and is a Diplomate in Behavioral Sleep Medicine by the Board of Behavioral Sleep Medicine.
University of Arizona: https://www.sleephealthresearch.com/team.html
Episode Homepage: https://sleepjunkies.com/screens-and-sleep/
Sleep, immunity and coronavirus - a special episode: Dr Jonathan Cedernaes
A special episode focussed around coronavirus COVID-19, we talk to Dr Jonathan Cedernaes about the roles that sleep plays in our immune system, fighting infections, and how environmental factors such as physical exercise, sunlight and diet impact our circadian clocks.
This episode's guest:
Jonathan Cedernaes MD, PhD is a senior researcher at Uppsala University where he completed both his medical degree and his PhD in the Department of Neuroscience.
Sleep Science Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/495466987134152/
Episode Homepage: https://sleepjunkies.com/sleep-immunity-and-coronavirus/
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fantastic resource for insomniacs like me
Thanks for putting this together.
Informative and an eye opener to sleep
This podcast covers so many issues to do with sleep, it looks into the science behind disorders and connections of sleep to other conditions such as epilepsy.
It also addresses many issues that have caused us great pain on a personal level where the world seems to be divided on whether to let your child “cry it out” at night or nurture them and be there for them at a critical time of development in their lives. Thank you for bringing so many issues of sleep to the public and for the knowledgeable people you interview to bring awareness to us all.
A goldmine of sleep info
There's so much unresearched nonsense talked about what happens when we sleep, so it's refreshing to come across a resource like this. Sleep is a subject so utterly essential to who we are and how we are, we could all do with paying a bit more attention to it me thinks. But then of course quality attention needs to be rewared with quality information and I've been getting that here so thanks. Looking forward to many more Sleep Junkies podcasts. Good work peoples.