The New Science Of The Body Clock And How It Can Revolutionise Your Sleep and Health with Professor Russell Foster


The tired brain remembers negative experiences but forgets the positive ones. Is there a more powerful statement in favour of going to bed earlier and prioritising our sleep? Modern life has seen us push into the night, staying up later and extending our social and work lives around the clock. But this, says today’s guest, goes against what our bodies are wired to do.

Russell Foster is Professor of Circadian Neuroscience at Oxford University and author of the fantastic new book, Life Time: The New Science Of The Body Clock And How It Can Revolutionise Your Sleep and Health. In this conversation, Russell explains that living out of sync with our circadian rhythms doesn’t just lead to sleep disruption and tiredness. The further we stray from them, the more we become vulnerable to chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, suppressed immunity, dementia and even mental illness. But he’s not here to scare us – rather share the strategies that we can all use to get back on track.

During this compelling conversation, we cover the science behind exposure to natural daylight at the right times. We talk chronotypes – and if there’s anything you can do to change being a lark or an owl. Russell explains the dangerous phenomenon of ‘microsleeps’ and why 4am is the most dangerous time to be on the roads. And we cover the unique problems faced by night-shift workers and new parents, including what they, their families and employers can do to mitigate their health and safety.

We also chat about the value of sleep trackers and blue-blocking glasses. Russell busts the myth that we all need eight hours’ sleep or that you mustn’t read a Kindle before bed. And he reveals the best time of day for sex (clue: it’s different depending on whether you want to conceive or relax). And for all those insomniacs who go to sleep fine but wake during the night? There’s some wisdom towards the end of our conversation that you’ll want to hear!

This is a fact-filled episode, full of fascinating insights. I hope you enjoy listening.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Russell’s book:

Life Time: The New Science of the Body Clock And How it Can Revolutionize Your Sleep and Health

Related Feel Better Live More episodes:

#70 Why Sleep is the Most Important Pillar of Health with Professor Matthew Walker

#147 How To Improve Your Sleep and Why You Should with Professor Matthew Walker

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

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