In 2004, former MTV personality Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer wrote a program that allowed them to automatically download Internet radio broadcasts to an iPod. The Internet quickly took notice, and in June 2005 Apple’s iTunes started offering podcast downloads. Podcasts have grown in popularity ever since, and it's easy to see—or rather, hear—why. Podcasts are a great way to learn, have a laugh, or stay up-to-date with current events. They can be accessed whenever you want, and best of all, they’re usually free!
We've rounded up a few of our favourite podcasts talking about sleep, covering everything from economics to sleepwalking killers.
Podcasts about sleep:
Radiolab – Sleep
Radiolab takes a mostly scientific look at its topics, but often dives into philosophy and the human experience. For its episode on sleep, hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich discuss how animals sleep, sleep deprivation through the eyes of new parents, and the scientific study of dreams.
Stuff You Should Know – Can you control your dreams?
Hosts Josh and Chuck of Stuff You Should Know (shortened to SYSK by fans) cover a variety of topics in this bi-weekly podcast. They have a whole suite of episodes surrounding sleep-- including
Once you've got the basics covered, listen to SYSK's episode on lucid dreaming, the idea that people can control their dreams.
Stuff You Missed in History Class – Albert J. Tirrell, The First Sleepwalking Killer
For history buffs, there’s Stuff You Missed in History Class' episode on American Albert J. Tirrell, who was charged with murder in 1845. His attorney famously used Tirrell's habitual sleepwalking as a defence.
This American Life – Fear of Sleep
This American Life is a multi-award winning radio show and podcast, treating listeners to thought provoking stories focusing on a different theme each week. This episode features stories from people who are afraid to go to sleep. Their fears range from extreme sleepwalking (thankfully, this story doesn't include homicide) to the 1980 film The Shining.
Freakonomics – The Economics of Sleep
This podcast, based on the 2005 bestseller by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, reveals the secret side of everything through an economic lens. Freakonomics' two part discussion of sleep explores a number of questions surrounding our slumber: Can lack of sleep explain the income gap? Are humans really sleeping less these days than we used to? Do early birds really get the worm?
Part 1 - Listen here
Part 2 - Listen here
The sleepvantage team