Transcript: Zzzzz: The Importance of Good Sleep | Mar 12, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped lavender tie.

A caption on screen reads "ZZZZZ: The importance of good sleep. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT'S ALWAYS BEEN GOOD
ADVICE TO GET A DECENT NIGHT'S SLEEP.
BUT AS MODERN LIFE SEEMS
INCREASINGLY WIRED UP TO
INTERFERE WITH THAT, RECENT
RESEARCH IS DEMONSTRATING JUST
HOW CRITICAL SLEEP IS, NOT JUST
TO FEELING REFRESHED IN THE
MORNING, BUT ALSO FOR YOUR
OVERALL HEALTH.
JOINING US NOW TO EXPLAIN:
JOHN PEEVER, HE IS VICE
PRESIDENT OF RESEARCH AT THE
CANADIAN SLEEP SOCIETY AND A
PROFESSOR IN CELL AND SYSTEMS
BIOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO...

John is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He's wearing a black coat and a checkered purple shirt.

Steve continues AND DAVID SAMSON, HE'S AN
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF
BIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, ALSO AT
THE U OF T.

David is in his thirties, with dark hair gelled back and a full beard. He's wearing a blue plaid suit, white shirt, and striped brown tie.

Steve says GOOD TO HAVE YOU TWO
GENTLEMEN HERE LOOKING SO
RESTED, I MAY SAY, AS WELL.
DAVID, I WANT TO READ A LITTLE
SNIPPET OF SOMETHING YOU WROTE
WITH CHARLES NUNN.
HERE WE GO.

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Go to sleep." The quote reads "Sleep occupies approximately one third of a typical human life span. Deviations from this standard are linked to cognitive impairment and negative health consequences. For example, sleep is critical for working memory, attention, decision-making, and visual-motor performance. Sleep loss, driven by access to artificial lighting, shift-work, and increased international travel, has societal costs, ranging from decreases in workplace productivity to fatal accidents."
Quoted from David R Samson and Charles L Nunn, Evolutionary Anthropology. November, 2015.

Steve says THIS SUGGESTS... YOU
SAY A THIRD... THIS SUGGESTS,
DAVID, THAT WE NEED 8 HOURS'
SLEEP A NIGHT.
I DON'T KNOW ANYBODY WHO GETS 8
HOURS A NIGHT.
SO HOW MUCH SLEEP DO WE TRULY NEED?

The caption changes to "David Samson. University of Toronto."
Then, it changes again to "How much is enough?"

David says IT'S A FASCINATING QUESTION AND IT
APPEARS AS THOUGH THERE ARE TWO
EMERGING NARRATIVES TO EXPLAIN.
IN A POST INDUSTRIAL CONTEXT WE
HAVE SLEEP LABS SHOWING
EMPIRICALLY THERE'S BEEN A TREND
LINE WITH THE TOTAL REDUCTION OF
SLEEP DURATION AND SLEEP QUALITY
FOR PEOPLE IN WESTERN POST
INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT.
THAT'S ON ONE HAND.
ON THE OTHER HAND, WE HAVE
EMERGING RESEARCH FROM
BIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, THIS IS
THE GROUP I'VE BEEN WORKING
WITH, THAT HAVE SHOWN IN OTHER
SOCIETIES N TRADITIONAL
SOCIETIES THAT ARE SLEEPING IN
CONTEXTS THAT DIFFER
DRASTICALLY, SMALL-SCALE
AGRICULTURALISTS, HUNTER
GATHERERS, THEY'RE SLEEPING LESS
AND THEIR SLEEP QUALITY IS
GENERALLY OF LESS QUALITY AS WELL.
IF YOU WERE TO PUT MY FEET TO
THE FIRE AND FORCE ME TO GIVE AN
AVERAGE, SAY A SPECIES AVERAGE,
WHAT I WOULD WANT TO DO IS GET A
CROSS-SECTION OF ALL THESE
CULTURES AND THEN GET AN
AVERAGE.
IT SEEMS THAT THERE'S THIS
CONVERGING VALUE AROUND SEVEN
HOURS THAT WE'RE GETTING FROM
THIS.
NOW, THAT BEING SAID, THE WAY
THAT SLEEP IS EXPRESSED WITHIN A
24-HOUR CYCLE, THIS IS ACTUALLY
QUITE FLEXIBLE.
SO IN THE WEST WE HAVE THIS SORT
OF LIE DOWN AND DIE MODEL WHERE
IT'S A BIG MONO PHASIC CHUNK OF
SLEEP AT NIGHT AND YOU WAKE UP
AT NIGHT BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT TO
BE FUNCTIONING FROM NINE TO
FIVE.
IN A HUNTER GATHERER CULTURE,
THERE MAY BE MUCH MORE
FLEXIBILITY IN TERMS OF WHEN YOU
CAN EXPRESS YOUR DAYTIME
ACTIVITY AND NIGHTTIME SLEEP.

Steve says FIVE OVERNIGHT AND
MAYBE A TWO-HOUR NAP IN THE
AFTERNOON?

David says EXACTLY.

Steve says AND THAT WORKS?

David says EXACTLY.
STILL THERE'S AN IMPORTANCE ON
THE SEVEN-HOUR VALUE.

Steve says GOTCHA.
JOHN, IT'S BEEN ALLUDED TO IN
DAVID'S PIECE ABOUT WHAT THE
NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES ARE OF
INADEQUATE SLEEP.
ARE THEY REALLY THAT DRAMATIC?

The caption changes to "John Peever. Canadian Sleep Society."

John says THEY CAN BE EXTRAORDINARILY DRAMATIC.
SLEEP LOSS IS PROBABLY ONE OF
THE MOST LEADING CAUSES OF
TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS.
WE'VE ALL HEARD ABOUT EXXON
VALDEZ.
THERE'S MULTIPLE EXAMPLES...

Steve says YOU KNOW WHAT?
SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
WATCHING THIS PROGRAM WERE NOT
ALIVE WHEN THE EXXON VALDEZ HAD
ITS ACCIDENT.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD FILL US IN ON
THAT.

John says THE CAPTAIN OF THE EXXON
VALDEZ FELL ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL,
SO TO SPEAK.

Steve says IT WAS AN OIL TANKER.

John says IT WAS AN OIL TANKER.
AND CRASHED.
IT DUMPED ITS ENTIRE LOAD OF OIL
INTO THE OCEAN, ONE OF THE
BIGGEST NATURAL DISASTERS IN
HISTORY, ALL STEMMING FROM THE
LOSS OF APPROPRIATE SLEEP.

Steve says HE WAS SLEEP DEPRIVED.

John says HE WAS SLEEP DEPRIVED.

Steve says IF I GET FOUR HOURS
ONE NIGHT BUT THEN I GET TEN THE
NEXT, AM I STILL OKAY?

The caption changes to "John Peever, @CanSleepSociety."

John says THAT'S NOT AN IDEAL SCENARIO.
YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE... ONE
OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN
TERMS OF GETTING A GOOD NIGHT OF
SLEEP... WE'RE NOT LOOKING AT
SLEEP OVER MANY NIGHTS... IS TO
HAVE A CONSISTENT AMOUNT OF
SLEEP EACH AND EVERY NIGHT.
SO SEVEN HOURS APPEARS TO BE FOR
ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES THE
TARGET AMOUNT THAT MOST PEOPLE NEED.

The caption changes to "Watch us on Facebook Live: Weekdays at 8 PM."

Steve says IF YOU DON'T GET IT,
CAN YOU CATCH UP?

John says YOU CAN CATCH UP.
THERE IS EVIDENCE.
YOUR BRAIN IS INCREDIBLY
WELL-DESIGNED TO HELP YOU CATCH UP.
SO WE'VE ALL HAD THAT NIGHT OF
GOING OUT LATE AND LOSING A GOOD
NIGHT OF SLEEP AND WHAT HAPPENS
THE NEXT DAY?
WE ARE SLEEPY.
WE TRY TO SLEEP IN.
IF WE CAN DO IT, THAT'S GREAT.
YOU CATCH UP ON YOUR EXCESS
SLEEP.
BUT IF YOU'RE NOT ABLE TO DO IT,
THEN THE NASTY SIDE EFFECTS OF
SLEEP LOSS CATCH UP WITH YOU.

Steve says MORE ON THAT IN A
SECOND.
DAVID, LET'S GO BACK TO THAT
PIECE WE QUOTED FROM,
EVOLUTIONARY ANTHROPOLOGY AND DO
ANOTHER EXCERPT HERE.

Another quote from the same source appears on screen, under the title "Sleep intensity." The quote reads "Human sleep differs substantially from that of other primates: We are exceptionally short sleepers and we pack a higher proportion of R.E.M. sleep into our short sleep durations. It appears that evolution has whittled away sleep durations just as access to electricity and lighting continues to do in the present day."

Steve says WHAT EVOLUTIONARY
FACTORS HAVE LED US TO SHORTER,
MORE EFFICIENT SLEEP?

David says YEAH, THAT'S A GREAT
QUESTION, ONE I'VE BEEN FOCUSED
ON FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS.
SO YOU HAVE TO... IT SORT OF
BEGS THE QUESTION: WHY DO WE
SLEEP IN THE FIRST PLACE, RIGHT?
BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER
THINGS WE COULD BE DOING THAT
ARE INCREDIBLY VALUE, FROM AN
EVOLUTIONARY STANDPOINT, LOOKING
FOR A MATE, LEARNING NEW SKILLS,
THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER THINGS
TO DO.
THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THIS
TENSION.
ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL, YOU
WOULD WANT AS HIGH A QUALITY OF
SLEEP AS POSSIBLE SO YOU CAN DO
ALL THESE THINGS.
IT TURNS OUT FOR HUMANS, THE
REAL BIG EVENT OCCURRED PROBABLY
AROUND THE ADVENT OF OUR GENUS.
YOU HAVE EARLY MAN IN THE TREES
GENERALLY AND THEY COULD SLEEP
UP THERE AS WELL, MOST LIKELY.
SO SOMETHING REALLY INTERESTING
HAPPENED WHEN THE FIRST HUMANS
CAME TO THE GROUND.
YOU HAD... FIRST OF ALL, YOU
DIDN'T HAVE THE VAGARIES OF
BEING BLOWN OUT OF A TREE NEST,
RIGHT?
SO YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO WORRY
ABOUT THAT.
AND MANY ANTHROPOLOGISTS POSIT
THERE WAS A CONTROLLED USE OF FIRE.
YOU WOULD HAVE HAD A SLEEP SITE
THAT WAS THERMO-REGULATED, COULD
HAVE DETERRED PREDATORS.
ONE OF THE CRITICAL THINGS AND
THIS IS THE WORK MYSELF AND MY
COLLEAGUES HAVE DONE WITH HUNTER
GATHERERS, YOU HAVE PEOPLE THAT
ARE AWAKE AT ANY GIVEN EPOCH
DURING THE NIGHT.
WE FOUND, AND IT WAS REALLY
QUITE SHOCKING, WE FOUND THE
AVERAGE OF SEVEN ADULTS WERE
AWAKE AT ANY GIVEN MINUTE IN
THIS COMMUNITY OF ABOUT 30
ADULTS.
YOU HAVE AN ENVIRONMENT HERE
THAT REALLY FACILITATES HIGH
QUALITY SLEEP BECAUSE THE SAFETY
OF THAT SLEEP SITE IS
INCREASING, AND SO THAT MIGHT
HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE WATERSHED
EVENTS THAT ALLOWED FOR US TO
REDUCE OUR TOTAL SLEEP TIMES,
YET JAM IN THAT REALLY HIGH
QUALITY DEEP SLEEP.

Steve says LOCK ON THE FRONT
DOOR BASICALLY DO IT TODAY?

David says THAT'S THE IDEA.

Steve says HAS THERE BEEN A
PRICE TO PAY FOR OUR REDUCED
SLEEP NEEDS?

The caption changes to "David Samson, @Primalprimate."

David says THERE'S NEVER A PERFECT
SYSTEM.
THERE'S ALWAYS A TRADE-OFF, RIGHT?
WHEN YOU REDUCE SLEEP, THERE MAY
BE SOME COSTS.
IN FACT, THERE HAVE BEEN SOME
POTENTIAL COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH
SHORT SLEEP IN MODERN HUMANS IN
THAT YOU MIGHT BE MORE
VULNERABLE TO COGNITIVE DECLINE.
ALZHEIMER'S MIGHT BE INDICATED
IN THIS AS WELL BECAUSE WHEN YOU
DON'T GET ENOUGH SLEEP, ONE OF
THE FUNCTIONS OF SLEEP IS TO USE
CEREBRAL SPINAL FLUID TO CLEAN
OUT YOUR BRAIN OF PLAQUE AND
IT'S BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH
ALZHEIMER'S.
IT COULD BE THAT EVOLUTION BY
WHITTLING AWAY OUR TOTAL SLEEP
TIMES MADE US MORE VULNERABLE TO
THIS.
REMEMBER, EVOLUTION DOESN'T CARE
WHAT YOU DO AFTER YOU'VE REPRODUCED.
OLD AGE DOESN'T MATTER.
YOU'VE CONTRIBUTED TO THE GENE POOL.

Steve says WE'RE ON DAYLIGHT
SAVINGS TIMES, JOHN.
I HEARD ABOUT THIS.
70,000 PEOPLE IN FINLAND
APPARENTLY SIGNED A PETITION AND
MPs AGREED TO LOBBY THE
EUROPEAN UNION TO DO AWAY WITH
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BECAUSE
THEY THOUGHT IT MESSED UP OUR
CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS AND ALL THAT
KIND OF THING AND MADE US LESS
WELL-FUNCTIONING.
HOW MUCH OF AN IMPACT DOES
SPRING FORWARD HAVE ON OUR
TYPICAL SLEEP PATTERNS?

John says AS I ALLUDED TO BEFORE, WE'RE
VERY AWARE THAT EVEN A SUBTLE
CHANGE IN THE AMOUNT OF SLEEP
THAT YOU HAVE EACH NIGHT HAS AN
IMPACT ON YOUR BEHAVIOUR.
I'LL GIVE YOUR LISTENERS A VERY
GOOD EXAMPLE.
THERE WAS A BEAUTIFUL STUDY IN
WHICH THEY TOOK TWO GROUPS OF
PEOPLE.
ONE THEY GAVE THE Rhinovirus and
THEY WOULDN'T LET THEM SLEEP AS
MUCH AS THEY NORMALLY WOULD.
THE RHINO VIRUS CALLS THE COMMON COLD.
THE OTHER GROUP THEY LET THEM
HAVE A NORMAL NIGHT OF SLEEP.
WHAT THEY FOUND IS YOU'RE THREE
TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP A
COLD AFTER YOU'VE BEEN
INOCULATED WITH THE VIRUS WHEN
YOU HAD LESS SLEEP.

Steve says JOHN LET ME ASK YOU
ABOUT OUR BELOVED TORONTO MA...
WELL, BELOVED TORONTO MAPLE
LEAFS TO THOSE OF US WHO LIVE
IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO, MAYBE NOT
SO BELOVED IN EASTERN ONTARIO
OR SOUTHWESTERN. BUT IF FOR
EXAMPLE WHEN THE LEAFS GO ON A
ROAD TRIP AND THEY GOTTA GO PLAY
THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS AND THE
SAN JOSE SHARKS AND THE
LOS ANGELES KINGS AND SO ON.
AND THEY ARE NOW THREE HOURS
NOT JUST DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME
ONE HOUR, BUT THREE HOURS OFF
OF THEIR REGULAR SLEEP PATTERNS
IT'S A GIVEN THAT THEY'RE NOT
GOING TO PLAY AS WELL?
ON THE WEST COAST?

John says IT'S... IT... ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT ATHELETES ACTUALLY
TRY TO DO IS... IS TO AVOID
JET LAG. BUT OF COURSE IN THE
THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS, THEY
DON'T HAVE THAT LUXURY OF BEING
ABLE TO ACCOMMODATE THEMSELVES
TO JET LAG. BUT ABSOLUTELY
THERE'S GREAT SCIENTIFIC
EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT A SUBTLE
CHANG OF AN HOUR, IN LOSING
A NIGHT OF SLEEP, AN HOUR OF
SLEEP IN EACH NIGHT CAN IMPACT
THE ABILITY TO SCORE GOALS AND
PERFORM WELL.

Steve says WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON
GETTING RID OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME?

David says PERSONALLY, I DON'T REALLY
HAVE A HORSE IN THAT RACE.
I WILL SAY, THOUGH, THAT LIGHT
HAS PROFOUND EFFECT ON SLEEP
BIOLOGY.
LIGHT AND TEMPERATURE ARE THE
PRINCIPLE ENTRAINMENT FACTORS
THAT REALLY REGULATE OUR
SLEEP-WAKE ACTIVITY.
EVEN BUMPING IT AROUND AN HOUR
IS GOING TO HAVE A PROFOUND
EFFECT, LIKE JOHN SAID.

Steve says WHEN THE KIDS COME
TO YOU AND SAY, I CAN'T GO TO
BED, IT'S STILL LIGHT OUTSIDE.
THEY'RE NOT FAKING IT.
THAT'S TRUE?

David says IT'S GOING TO HAVE AN EFFECT.

Steve says LET ME GET YOU GUYS
TO LOOK AT THE MONITOR.
JOHN, TAKE US THROUGH THIS.
THIS IS THE HUMAN SLEEP CYCLE.
I WONDER IF YOU'LL JUST HELP US
UNDERSTAND WHAT'S SIGNIFICANT
ABOUT THIS CHART?

A chart pops up with the title "Human sleep cycle."

The chart shows a line that goes up and down, from 11 pm to 6 am, in 4 cycles that are shorter each time.

John says WHAT I THINK IS REALLY
IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE, AND MANY
PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE THAT YOUR
BRAIN ACTUALLY AND YOUR BODY ARE
GOING THROUGH A VERY SPECIFIC
NUMBER OF CYCLES EACH NIGHT.
SO YOU SIMPLY DON'T PUT YOUR
HEAD ON THE PILLOW, LIGHTS OUT,
AND YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING.
YOUR BRAIN IN PARTICULAR GOES
THROUGH VARIOUS CYCLES OF SLEEP.
SO YOU START OUT IN THAT LIGHT,
DOZY SLEEP.
YOU THEN ENTER INTO THE DEEPER
STAGES OF SLEEP, CALLED DEEP
SLEEP OR SLOW WAVE SLEEP.
AND IT'S REALLY THOUGHT THAT
THOSE DEEP PHASES OF SLOW WAVE
SLEEP ARE THE BRAIN AND THE BODY
REQUIRED TO RESTORE ITSELF FROM
THE WAKING DAY.
AFTER YOU'VE BEEN IN THIS DEEP
STAGE OF SLEEP, YOU THEN CYCLE
BACK TO THE LIGHTER STAGES, BACK
TO THE DEEP CYCLE, AND THEN
EVENTUALLY YOU ENTER ABOUT 90
MINUTES LATER INTO RAPID EYE
MOVEMENT OR DREAMING SLEEP.
AND THEN THAT CYCLE REPEATS
BETWEEN DEEP SLEEP, DREAMING
SLEEP, DEEP SLEEP, DREAMING SLEEP.

The caption changes to "The importance of quality."

Steve says FOR THE TYPICAL
ADULT YOU ARE HAVING THREE,
FOUR, FIVE CYCLES A NIGHT?

John says ABOUT EIGHT CYCLES A NIGHT.

Steve says EIGHT CYCLES A NIGHT?
IS THIS DESIRABLE IN TERMS OF
FEELING RESTED BY THE TIME THAT
MORNING COMES?

John says ABSOLUTELY.
DISRUPTING THAT CYCLE IS
PROBABLY ONE OF THE KEY THINGS
THAT GOES WRONG WHEN YOU LOSE A
NIGHT OF SLEEP OR YOU HAVE A
DISTURBED SLEEP AS MANY PEOPLE
WITH INSOMNIA OR OTHER ANXIETY
DISORDERS HAVE A CHANGE IN THAT
CYCLE.
IT'S THAT CHANGE IN THE
DISTRIBUTION OF THE DEEP SLEEP
AND THE DREAMING SLEEP THAT MAY
WELL LEAD TO THE COGNITIVE AND
BEHAVIOURAL IMPAIRMENTS WE SEE
IN SLEEP LOSS.

David says ALSO, JOHN, I THINK IT'S
WORTH PIGGYBACKING ON THIS AND
BRINGING IN THE EVOLUTIONARY
NARRATIVE.
HUMANS HAVE THE LOWEST SLEEP
TIME BUT THE HIGHEST PROPORTION
OF REM IN THAT?
IT'S HARD TO WAKE YOU UP DURING
THIS PERIOD, IT'S VERY HIGH.
SO THIS REALLY UNDERSCORES HOW
UNIQUE HUMAN SLEEP IS RELATIVE
TO OTHER ANIMALS BECAUSE WE HAVE
ALL THIS VULNERABLE SLEEP, WE
REALLY NEED TO FIGURE OUT WAYS
TO MAKE SURE THAT, WHEN WE WERE
ASLEEP, WE WERE SAFE.

Steve says DAVID TALKED TO US
EARLIER ABOUT THE PLAQUE BETA AMYLOID.

John says AS DAVID WAS TALKING ABOUT MY AREA OF RESEARCH IS IN WHAT
CAUSES REM SLEEP.
HOW DOES THE BRAIN GENERATE A
STREAMING STATE.
AND ONE OF THE BEST PREDICTORS
OF FUTURE HEALTH PROBLEMS IS THE
DISRUPTION IN REM SLEEP.
SO THERE IS A DISORDER CALLED
REM SLEEP BEHAVIOUR DISORDER
WHICH IS QUITE REMARKABLE IN
THAT, WHEN YOU AND I WOULD GO
INTO OUR DREAMING STAGE OR REM
SLEEP, OUR MUSCLES WOULD BE
QUIETED AND WE WOULDN'T MOVE.
BUT IN PEOPLE WITH REM SLEEP
BEHAVIOUR DISORDER, THAT PROCESS
IS LOST AND THEY PHYSICALLY ACT
OUT THEIR DREAMS.
AND THAT MIGHT SOUND INNOCUOUS,
BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT 80 TO 9O
HAVE REM SLEEP BEHAVIOUR
DISORDER, THOSE WHO MOVE AROUND
DURING DREAMING SLEEP, GO ON TO
A NEURODEGENERATIVE disease.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU MEAN ACT
OUT THEIR DREAMS?

John says IF THEY DREAM OF KICKING A
FOOTBALL, THEY KICK A FOOTBALL.
IF THEY DREAM ABOUT JUMPING OVER
A BARREL, THEY JUMP OVER A BARREL.

Steve says YOU SAY WHILE
THEY'RE IN BED.

John says WHILE IN BED.

Steve says THEY ARE LEAPING?

John says THEY ARE LEAPING.
THE NUMBER ONE PROBLEM WITH
THESE INDIVIDUALS THAT BRINGS
THEIR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT
THEY HAVE THIS DISORDER IS THAT
THEY USUALLY HURT THEMSELVES OR
THE PERSON THAT THEY SLEEP WITH,
AND CUTS, DEEP BRUISES, OR EVEN
BROKEN BONES ARE CAUSED BY
PEOPLE WITH REM SLEEP DISORDER.

Steve says IS THERE A
CONNECTION BETWEEN THAT AND SLEEP APNEA?

John says REM SLEEP BEHAVIOUR DISORDER
CAN... SLEEP APNEA CAN MASK AS
REM SLEEP BEHAVIOUR DISORDER.
EFFECTIVELY WHAT HAPPENS IS THE
MUSCLES IN YOUR UPPER AIRWAY
BECOME TOO RELAXED, THE AIRWAY
CLOSES AND THEN YOU CAN'T
BREATHE.
YOU HAVE APNEA.
THAT'S THE DEFINITION OF APNEA.
WHEN THAT HAPPENS, YOU ACTUALLY
AROUSE AND YOU WILL MOVE.
SO PEOPLE WITH SLEEP APNEA WILL
MOVE DURING SLEEP BUT THEY'RE
MOVING TO REENERGIZE THEIR
AIRWAY TO OPEN IT SO THEY STOP
THE APNEA.
THIS IS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THAN
PEOPLE WITH REM SLEEP BEHAVIOUR
DISORDER WHO PHYSICALLY ACT OUT
THEIR DREAMS.

David says EVOLUTION WOULD NOT HAVE
ALLOWED IF YOU WERE A SLEEPING
APE IN A TREE, RIGHT?
IT'S PROBABLY SOMETHING THAT
HAPPENED A LITTLE BIT AFTER WE
CAME TO THE GROUND.

Steve says I HAVE HEARD PEOPLE
DESCRIBED, WHO ARE SUFFERING
FROM SLEEP APNEA, I HAVE HEARD
THEM DESCRIBED AS LOOKING DEAD.
RIGHT?
I MEAN, THEY'RE NOT BREATHING,
THEIR AIRWAYS ARE CONSTRICTED
AND THEY LOOK AS IF THEY HAVE
EXPIRED.
DOES THAT JIBE WITH WHAT YOUR
KNOWLEDGE OF IT IS AS WELL?

David says WHAT I DO KNOW ABOUT SLEEP
APNEA IS IT'S PROBABLY LINKED
WITH OBESITY.
THERE'S SOME EXPERIMENTAL
EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT THERE
IS AN ASSOCIATION THERE.
AND WHEN IT COMES TO BRINGING
EVOLUTION INTO THE NARRATIVE
HERE, SO THERE'S THIS CONCEPT OF
EVOLUTIONARY MISMATCH.
THAT IS OUR BODIES ARE
HARD-WIRED FOR HOW THINGS WERE
AND NOT HOW THINGS ARE TODAY,
RIGHT?
AND SO THIS CLASSIC EXAMPLE WITH
OBESITY IS, IN THE WEST, WE HAVE
ACCESS TO ALL THESE PROCESSED
SUGARS AND FATS AND WE HAVE
THEREFORE AN OBESITY EPIDEMIC.
AND SO IF THAT'S THE CASE, THEN
REALLY WHAT'S GOING ON IS, OUR
DIET, OUR RUNAWAY DIET IS
AFFECTING OUR SLEEP BECAUSE IT'S
INFLUENCING THE RATES OF INSOMNIA.

Steve says INTERESTING.
I MANAGED TO GET THROUGH THE
FIRST FIVE DECADES OF MY LIFE
WITHOUT KNOWING ANYBODY THAT HAD
SLEEP APNEA, JOHN, AND NOW I
KNOW TONS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE IT.
AND THEY'RE NOT OBESE, NOT ALL OF THEM.
WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

John says OBESITY IS A MAJOR
CONTRIBUTING FACTOR TO SLEEP APNEA.
BUT THERE ARE OTHER CONTRIBUTING
FACTORS, ONE OF WHICH IS, SOME
PEOPLE ARE NATURALLY PREDISPOSED
TO HAVE A TINY AIRWAY.
WHEN YOU HAVE A TINY AIRWAY, IT
JUST MAKES IT MORE LIKELY THAT
IT CAN COLLAPSE WHILE YOU'RE
SLEEPING AND PRODUCE SLEEP
APNEA.
SO WHILE OBESITY IS OBVIOUSLY A
MAJOR FACTOR, THE FAT
ACCUMULATES AROUND THE AIRWAY
AND PUSHES IT SHUT WHEN THE
MUSCLES RELAX AS THEY NORMALLY
DO WHEN YOU SLEEP.
CERTAINLY THERE ARE CERTAIN
PEOPLE WITH JUST SMALL AIRWAYS
THAT HAVE SLEEP APNEA.

Steve says AND I KNOW SOME
PEOPLE HAVE TOLD ME THEY'VE GOT
TO PUT THAT MASK ON OVERNIGHT
AND THEY HATE DOING IT.
SOME PEOPLE CAN'T DO IT.
IF YOU CAN'T WEAR THE MASK, WHAT
DO YOU DO?

John says THERE'S LOTS OF... THE MASK
IS CERTAINLY THE BEST TREATMENT,
AND IT FUNCTIONS BASICALLY LIKE
A VACUUM CLEANER IN REVERSE.
THE MASK IS ON YOUR FACE AND IT
PUSHES AIR IN THERE AND IT POPS
OUT THE AIRWAY SO IT CAN'T
COLLAPSE.
BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE
WITH THESE ANATOMICAL DEFECTS
CAN ACTUALLY USE WHAT'S CALLED
MANDIBULAR ADVANCEMENT AND IT
HELPS OPEN THE AIRWAYS.
SO THERE ARE ALTERNATIVE
TREATMENTS TO THE MASK FOR
TREATMENT OF SLEEP APNEA.

Steve says SOME FOLKS JUST
CAN'T DO IT.

John says SOME PEOPLE HAVE A REALLY
HARD TIME.

Steve says WE'VE HEARD ABOUT
HIS TAKE ON REM SLEEP.
I WANT TO GET YOUR TAKE NOW.
WHAT HAS YOUR RESEARCH TAUGHT
YOU ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF REM
OR DREAMING SLEEP FOR MODERN
HUMANS?

The caption changes to "Just a dream..."

David says SO, YEAH.
REM IS ONE OF THESE REALLY
COMPELLING TOPICS, RIGHT,
BECAUSE ONE OF THE MOST COMMON
TIMES... THE FREQUENCY WITH
WHICH WE DREAM IS DURING REM
SLEEP ARCHITECTURE.
SO DREAMING IS ONE OF THESE
TOPICS THAT PEOPLE LOVE TALKING
ABOUT.
AND WHEN I WAS DOING RESEARCH ON
THE HUNTER GATHERERS, FOR
EXAMPLE, I RECORDED SOME OF
THEIR DREAM NARRATIVES.
IT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE IN THE
WEST WE SORT OF HAVE THIS CASUAL
RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR DREAMS.
WE CAN HAVE A VERY POWERFUL
DREAM AND BY THE TIME WE'RE
CHECKING e-mail THE NEXT MORNING,
WE'VE ALREADY COMPLETELY
FORGOTTEN IT, RIGHT?
BUT THERE WAS ONE EXAMPLE WHERE
A HODSA HUNTER, AN ELDER IN THE
GROUP, I WAS RECORDING HIS DREAM
AND HE MENTIONED HE HAD BEEN
AMBUSHED IN HIS DREAM BY A
LEOPARD WHEN HE WAS HUNTING.
IT WAS BECAUSE OF THIS HE WAS
NOT GOING TO GO OUT INTO THE
BUSH FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS,
RIGHT?
IT KIND OF HIT ME LIKE A TON OF
BRICKS THAT FOR THESE PEOPLE
THERE IS A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THEIR DREAMING LIVES AND
THE LIVES THEY HAVE WHEN THEY'RE
AWAKE.
IT AFFECTS THEIR BEHAVIOUR.
THAT'S WHERE I DON'T THINK YOU
OR I COULD HAVE A DREAM ABOUT US
GETTING HIT BY A CAR AND THEN
CALLING OUR BOSS AND SAYING,
HEY, I'M NOT COMING IN FOR THE
WEEK, RIGHT?

Steve says DO YOU DREAM?

David says YEAH.

Steve says DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR
DREAMS WHEN YOU WAKE UP?

David says AS PART OF... I WAS DOING
THIS PROTOCOL.
I LOVE DOING THE KIND OF SCIENCE
I DO WITH OTHER PEOPLE ON
MYSELF.
I'VE RECORDED ABOUT 60 OF MY
DREAMS, IN THE SAME WAY THAT I
RECORD WHEN I'M IN THE FIELD.

Steve says RECORDED THEM HOW?

David says THEY ARE DREAM SURVEYS.
SO YOU ASK VERY SPECIFIC
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PLACE OF THE
DREAM, THE PEOPLE IN THE DREAM,
IF THERE ARE ANY NOTABLE EVENTS
OR ACTIONS, THE EMOTIONAL
CONTENT, THE EMOTIONAL... OF THE
DREAM.
A RESEARCHER WHO HAS MADE IT A
CAREER OUT OF SCIENTIFICALLY
QUANTIFYING DREAM CONTENT.
WHAT I HOPE IS A GLOBAL
CROSS-CULTURAL ANALYSIS OF
DREAMS, COMPARING WESTERN VERSUS
TRADITIONAL SOCIETY DREAMS.

Steve says COOL.
THIS TO ME IS A VERY TIMELY
QUESTION: SLEEPING PILLS.
IF YOU CAN'T GET THE 7 TO 8
HOURS EVERY NIGHT THAT YOU TWO
BOTH SAY WE NEED, SHOULD YOU
TAKE A SLEEPING PILL?

The caption changes to "Sleep aids."

John says THERE'S GOOD EVIDENCE TO
SUGGEST THAT SLEEPING PILLS
CERTAINLY HELP A SMALL GROUP OF
PEOPLE WHO NEED TO GET A GOOD
NIGHT OF SLEEP.
BUT THERE'S EQUAL EVIDENCE TO
SUGGEST THAT PEOPLE WHO TAKE
SLEEPING PILLS HAVE A SHORTENED
LIFE SPAN.
SO IF YOU LOOKED AT THE ODDS OF
HOW LONG YOU WOULD LIVE IN THOSE
WHO AREN'T TAKING SLEEPING PILLS
BUT HAVE INSOMNIA, THEY ARE
LONGER THAN THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE
INSOMNIA AND TAKE SLEEPING PILLS
TO CORRECT THEIR INSOMNIA.
SO I WOULD LEAVE IT UP TO YOUR
LISTENERS TO DECIDE FOR
THEMSELVES ON THAT QUESTION.

Steve says IN TRADITIONAL
SOCIETIES THAT YOU HAVE STUDIED,
WHAT STRATEGIES DO THEY USE,
BECAUSE THERE OBVIOUSLY NOT
PHARMACOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS, WHAT
HAPPENS WITH INSOMNIA?

David says WHEN YOU ASK THEM IF THEY'RE
HAPPY WITH THEIR SLEEP QUALITY,
IT'S RESOUNDING THAT THEY ARE.
AND IT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE
THEY'RE GETTING LESS SLEEP AND
MORE FRAGMENTED SLEEP.
SO I THINK THE WAY TO ANSWER
THAT IS TO LOOK AT CIRCADIAN
BIOLOGY HOLISTICALLY.
THEIR CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS ARE MORE
IN SYNC WITH THEIR ENVIRONMENT,
WHICH IS KIND OF SURPRISING.
AGAIN, WE TALK ABOUT THE
PRINCIPAL ENTRAINMENT FACTORS,
LIKE LIKE AND TEMPERATURE.
WE AS PEOPLE SLEEPING IN THE
WEST, WE SHOULD GET MORE OF AN
EXPOSURE TO OUR ENVIRONMENT SO
WE CAN SYNCHRONIZE WITH OUR
ENVIRONMENT AND THERE'S GOING TO
BE A HOST OF POSITIVE HEALTH
OUTCOMES IF WE DO THIS.

Steve says THOSE WHO WORK SHIFT
WORK, SAY OVERNIGHT, THEY ARE AT
RISK FOR LOUSY SLEEP.

David says THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT IS
PRETTY RESOUNDING, YEAH.

Steve says WE'VE BEEN TOLD
NUMEROUS TIMES DON'T PUT YOUR
SMARTPHONE BESIDE YOUR BED
BECAUSE YOU'LL BE TEMPTED TO
LOOK AT IT AND THE LIGHT FROM
THE SCREEN WILL MESS YOU UP.
TELL US ABOUT A GOOD NIGHT
ASLEEP AND LIGHT?

The caption changes to "Technology versus sleep."

David says LIGHT IS CRITICAL.
SINCE I'VE BEEN READING THIS
LITERATURE, ONE OF THE THINGS I
LIKE TO DO IS AS SOON AS THE SUN
GOES DOWN, I'LL TURN OFF AS MANY
LIGHTS AS POSSIBLE IN THE HOUSE.
AND THIS IS SUPPOSED TO HELP
PROMOTE MELATONIN PRODUCTION,
MELATONIN IS THE PRINCIPAL
HORMONE THAT REGULATES
SLEEP-WAKE ACTIVITY.
ANOTHER THING I DO, A PASTIME OF
MINE IS VIDEO GAMERS, AND
THEY'RE ONE OF THE WORST
SLEEPING SEGMENTS OF OUR
SOCIETY, I'LL THROW ON... I HAVE
A PROP.
I WAS TOLD IN TO BRING IN A PROP.
I PUT ON THESE BLUE WAVE LIGHT
BLOCKING GLASSES.

He takes out a pair of glasses from his pocket and puts them on.

He continues
IT ALLOWS FOR NATURAL MELATONIN
PRODUCTION TO OCCUR.
GAMERS ARE HUNCHED OVER IN FRONT
OF THESE LCD SCREENS THAT ARE
BLASTING BLUE WAVE LIGHT ON THEM
AND THEY'RE IN THESE REALLY
COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENTS.
THEY'RE IN SOCIALLY COMPETITIVE
ENVIRONMENTS, THEIR CORE RESULTS
SPIKED.
THEIR ENTIRE SYSTEM IS PRIMED
FOR PERFORMANCE.
THEY TURN THE COMPUTER OFF AND
THINK THEY'RE GOING TO FALL
ASLEEP AND IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Steve says THOSE GLASSES LOOK
LIKE ANY OTHER GLASSES AND THE
LENSES DO TOO.
BUT THEY'RE NOT?

David says THEY HAVE A LITTLE YELLOW
TINGE TO THEM BUT THEY'RE
BLOCKING BLUE WAVE LIGHT IN THE
ROOM RIGHT NOW.

Steve says WHAT'S A BETTER
OPTION HERE: CONVINCING PEOPLE
TO GIVE UP USING THEIR DEVICES
IN THE EVENING TO AVOID ALL THE
TROUBLE DAVID JUST MENTIONED OR
MAKE DEVICES THAT ARE LESS SLEEP
DISRUPTIVE?

John says YOU KNOW, THE IDEAL SCENARIO
IS THE FORMER, TO GIVE UP USING
THESE DEVICES BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP.
DAVID POINTED IT OUT VERY
NICELY, THAT THE LIGHT EMITTED
FROM YOUR PHONES AND COMPUTERS
AND TABLETS, THEY EFFECTIVELY
WAKE UP THE BRAIN.
THEY TRICK IT INTO THINKING IT'S
TIME TO BE AWAKE WHEN IT'S
REALLY TIME TO SLEEP.
OBVIOUSLY THE GLASSES THAT HAVE
BEEN DEVELOPED ARE USEFUL
BECAUSE THEY HELP REDUCE THE
BLUE LIGHT IN PARTICULAR THAT IS
STIMULATING TO THE BRAIN.
BOTH SOLUTIONS... THE BEST FIX
IS REALLY GIVING UP YOUR DEVICES
BUT GLASSES ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY
THE WAY THAT PEOPLE WILL
ACTUALLY BENEFIT.

Steve says IS THERE ANY GOOD
EXCUSE AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING TO
TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR SMARTPHONE?

John says I'M NOT SURE OF ONE MYSELF,
BUT I'M SURE THAT THERE ARE A
LOT OF PEOPLE WHO NEED TO CHECK
OUT WHAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES IS TWEETING AT
3:00 IN THE MORNING.

Steve says GOOD POINT.
HE MIGHT BE COFEFEING OR
WHATEVER.
IF YOU WANT A GOOD NIGHT'S
SLEEP, KEEP THAT SCREEN AWAY
FROM YOU ALL NIGHT LONG?

John says IT'S PARTICULARLY DISASTROUS
TO BE LOOKING AT THE SCREEN IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.
AS DAVID WAS ALLUDING TO, THE
BRAIN IS VERY CAREFULLY
ORCHESTRATED TO HAVE A RHYTHM,
AND IT'S A WAKE RHYTHM AND A
SLEEP RHYTHM.
AND THE LIGHT STARTS TO SIGNAL
THE WAKE CELLS IN THE BRAIN TO
WAKE UP AND THEY SUPPRESS THE
CELLS THAT GET YOU TO SLEEP.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says WHERE'S YOUR
SMARTPHONE WHEN YOU GO TO BED?

John says MY SMARTPHONE IS IN ANOTHER ROOM.

Steve says AND YOURS, DAVID?

David says IN ANOTHER ROOM TOO.
AN HOUR BEFORE BED IS WHAT THE
SCIENCE IS SHOWING WE SHOULD NOT
BE USING OUR CELL PHONES.
WE SHOULDN'T BE LOOKING AT LCD
SCREENS EITHER.
SO ACTUALLY READ A HARD-COVER
BOOK, BECAUSE THE e-READERS,
THE SCIENCE IS SHOWING...

Steve says SAME PROBLEM.

David says SAME PROBLEM.

Steve says FOR GOODNESS' SAKES.

David says WE HAVE A REASON TO KEEP
BOOKS AROUND.

The caption changes to "Producer: Gregg Thurlbeck, @GreggThurlbeck."

Steve says BESIDES THE FACT
THEY MAKE US BRILLIANT, THEY CAN
HELP US GET TO SLEEP BETTER TOO.
GENTS, THIS WAS GREAT.
SLEEP DREAMS TO BOTH OF YOU.
JOHN PEEVER, VP RESEARCH,
CANADIAN SLEEP SOCIETY.
DAVID SAMSON, PROFESSOR OF
BIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY,
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.

Watch: Zzzzz: The Importance of Good Sleep