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Penny Lewis | 16:10


 You know, for a sleep scientist, I actually don't sleep very well. Any little chin of light in the room, and I'm awake all night, and my eye mask is just as important to me as my laptop. But really I take sleep very seriously and I'm hoping this talk will be a sort of a wake up call to all of you to make some of you feel the same about it.

Now, what I'm not gonna do is preach to you about how you should get more sleep. We all know that. We all know we live in a sleep deprived society. Instead, I'm gonna talk about something which I think is much more interesting. This is how we can manipulate the sleep that we do get in order to get the most out of it in order to improve our quality of life.

And I call this the new science of sleep engineering, but let's start from the beginning. As humans, we spend roughly a third of our lives asleep eight hours a day. That's more time than we spend doing anything else. That's a huge amount of time, and just the pure fact of that time investment suggests that sleep must be doing something incredibly important.

But what is this? Well, it turns out that sleep is all about the brain. Contrary to popular opinion, the brain doesn't just switch off when we go to sleep. Instead, it goes through a series of highly specific different types of activity. We can measure.  by putting electrodes all over the scalp like this.

This, by the way, is a sleep scientist idea of a selfie.

With these electrodes, we can measure the electrical activity of the brain, and during wake it looks something like this. Just a, a wiggly line. With time going from left to right. And what that tells us is the brain is active good, um, and that the activity is not particularly synchronized. So things aren't summing up in any particular way.

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