The Happy Pear Podcast


Let’s take the anxiety out of sleep! with Russel Foster

Season 7, Ep. 85

Why do we have a biological clock?

Do you struggle to get up in the morning?

Does sleep affect men differently to women?

How do you know you are getting enough sleep?

Is there a link between sleep disruption and mental health?

“Most people don’t have a sleeping problem, they have an anxiety problem”

Born in Aldershot in 1959, Russell Foster is an award winning professor of circadian neuroscience at Oxford and the director of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology. 

For his discovery of non-rod, non-cone ocular photoreceptors he received numerous awards including the Zoological Society scientific medal. He has written numerous books, his latest being -  Life Time: The New Science of the Body Clock, and How It Can Revolutionize Your Sleep and Health.

According to Russell, when it comes to sleep one glove does not fit all. The notion that we need “8 hours of sleep per day” to be healthy is nonsense says Russell. There are numerous factors that interplay to create a good nights sleep and each one of us is unique to the other.

Russell wants to remove the anxiety associated with sleep and get down to the root of why we sleep the way we do. 

“To understand if you are getting enough sleep the first thing is to ask yourself are you not feeling able to function optimally during the day? Do you need an alarm clock? Does it take you a long time to get up? Do you feel sluggish? Do you need caffeine? Do you need a nap? On your time off do you oversleep? Are you irritable? It’s listening to our bodies! And listening to it carefully as the tired brain can delude itself to think that it’s not tired.

In this episode Russell breaks down the biological clock and circadian rhythm, why certain people are morning people vs night owls, how waking up in the night isn’t necessarily a bad thing, how sleep and mental health are linked, how morning light vs evening light effects us and how different types of work could go against our sleep requirements.

He really covers it all and will put you at ease if you consider yourself someone who struggles with sleep.

A fascinating episode - Enjoy!

Lots of Love,

Dave & Steve

To find out more about Russell Foster and his work, check out his latest book Life Time: The New Science of the Body Clock, and How It Can Revolutionize Your Sleep and Health.

This episode is sponsored by Vivobarefoot Footwear. Vivobarefoot Footwear have given our listenders an exclusive 20% discount when you enter the code HAPPYPEAR20  

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Produced by Sara Fawsitt and Sean Cahill

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