Discover the power of sleep for learning, performance, and emotional wellbeing through insights from sleep experts like Gina Poe, who shares fascinating facts on the stages of sleep, light exposure, and the impact of substances, while also offering a positive story of being a scientist.
Since 2017, when I arrived [back] at Flinders for my current role, I’ve been interested in learning as much as I can about the tools we can use to improve our mental health.
I currently view sleep as probably one of the most important tools we have for learning, performance and emotional wellbeing. I have in my own life implemented practices to improve my sleep, notably early morning light exposure and consistent wake/bed times.
In my travels, I’ve encountered a number of science communicators who talk about and promote sleep as central to health and wellbeing sleep. Three in particular are Matt Walker, Andrew Huberman and Flinders Alum Michael Gradisar.
I can add a new person to that list – Gina Poe. Dr. Poe is a professor of Integrative Biology and Physiology at UCLA, where she is also the Director of the school’s Sleep and Memory Laboratory, which investigates the mechanisms by which sleep traits serve learning and memory consolidation.
She recently appeared on one of my subscribed podcasts, the Knowledge Project.
She covered a range of interesting sleep topics – the stages of sleep, the contrasting functions each stage serves, importance of light exposure, the impacts on sleep of drugs, alcohol and caffeine, sleep and the immune system and more.
As an aside, I also found her discussion of what it means to her being a scientist to be a positive and uplifting story. Those interested in a career in science might find her perspective valuable.
Check out the episode here
Learn more about the lab she runs here
Visit one of my previous sleep tips posts here