With the clocks turning back this week, now’s a good time to think about sleep. We spend a third of our lives doing it, and it’s a behaviour we share with every animal on Earth. But for such a ubiquitous activity, a good night’s slumber can be surprisingly difficult to achieve.
Professor Alice Gregory is a sleep psychologist and author of the book Nodding Off: The Science of Sleep From Cradle to Grave (£16.99, Bloomsbury Sigma). She’s spent her career attempting to understand why so many of us suffer when the lights go out. In this week’s Science Focus Podcast, she speaks to BBC Focus staff writer – and long-suffering insomniac – James Lloyd about the importance of sleep, the realities of insomnia, and what we can do to maximise our chances of a good night’s rest.
Please note that this podcast is not intended as a replacement for medical advice. If you think you are suffering with a sleep disorder, please contact your GP.
Listen to more Science Focus Podcast episodes:
- What psychology can tell us about suicide – Jesse Bering
- Sin: Why we do the things we shouldn’t
- Everything that’s wrong with the human body
- To become Prime Minister, change your voice
- The neuroscience of happiness
- What it’s really like to die