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“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together”. Thomas Dekker (1572- 1632)
“Take control of your sleep,” says Professor Russell Foster CBE, leading neuroscientist and this year’s opening lecturer on the festival theme of the Speed of Life. Sleeping consumes 1/3 of our lifetimes, but Professor Foster believes our sleeping hours are still not properly appreciated. His research shows how our bodies, honed by 3 million years of evolution, follow a natural clock and not the man-made one in daily use. He believes that all life on the planet has developed a 24 hour timing system which humans now use to fine-tune our rhythms.
And yet Britain’s sleep problems have never been more acute: three separate surveys over the past decade indicate insomnia has increased across the population – and it’s becoming a source of public debate and private misery. Professor Foster comes to Sage Gateshead to explain the neuroscience of sleep and sets out the case for a change in approach. Hosted by Radio 3 presenter Matthew Sweet.
Russell Foster is Head of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology and Senior Fellow at Brasenose College Oxford. His books (written with Leon Kreitzman) include The Rhythms Of Life: The Biological Clocks That Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing, Circadian Rhythms: A Very Short Introduction and Seasons of Life: The biological rhythms that enable living things to thrive and survive.
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