Yellow text that reads "Chasing Sleep" across a blue background.
Community & Culture

Our Newest Podcast: Chasing Sleep

Welcome to “Chasing Sleep”

Ever wonder how an astronaut conducts experiments in space in zero gravity? Or how an ultra-marathon runner completes a 100-mile race, running nonstop for almost 24 hours? The answer: good sleep.

A new episode every week

Listen in as we talk to people whose careers, passions and locations impact their drive to perform, and how sleep plays a critical role in their pursuit of excellence. Join us and our host, Washington Post writer Anahad O’Connor exploring their unique worlds and discovering how these extraordinary people sleep well to live well.

Get the healthy sleep that fits your life

In every episode, guests are joined by leading experts and best-selling authors in the fields of sleep science, psychology and medicine, including our own Mattress Firm and advisors, Drs. Chris Winter and Jade Wu. Dive into the fascinating science of sleep and discover tips and tricks you can use every day to better your sleep and improve your own performance at work, at home and on the go, no matter where you are.

Episode One: The Ultimate Race

For most, it’s hard to fathom a 50-mile trek on foot across any terrain. But for YiOu Wang, a professional ultra-marathon runner, that kind of distance is all in a day’s work. It takes strategic training and relearning what it means to sleep and rest to prepare the body and mind for such exertion. Learn about the important role sleep plays in athletic training and competition. Plus, hear from Luisa Nicola, neurophysiologist and brain coach to elite athletes, as she explains how bodies in training at any level require more attention to sleep to maintain strong muscles and high performance.

Episode Two: News Has to Sleep, Too

It’s said that “The news never sleeps,” but the reporters who are breaking news in this nonstop 24-hour cycle have to get shut-eye sometime. ABC News anchor Diane Macedo has worked every shift in broadcast news, and while her passion for reporting has never diminished, the adrenaline and anxiety that come with the job can make getting quality sleep a challenge. Discover what sleep professionals say about that sensation of being “tired but wired,” and learn about Diane’s journey to restful sleep even on busy news days.

Episode Three: Urgent Rest

Emergencies can happen anytime, and ER doctors need to be ready and rested to treat everything from cardiac events to gunshot wounds or broken bones. Their work could mean life or death for the patients in their care. NYC ER doctor George Russo shares how he finds time to rest despite long days and constantly changing shifts in order to put patients first, while pulmonologist and sleep advocate Dr. Seema Khosla weighs in on the benefits of regular sleep for wellbeing of both doctors and their patients.

Episode Four: The Reality of Gaming

We may not think of gaming and eSports as a physical activity, but similar to professional athletes, professional gamers like Will Wiggins, also known as Black Oni on Twitch, know the importance of sleep when they look at the longevity of their careers. From strengthening the body's immune systems to finding ways to block out the blue light, neurologist and sleep specialist Dr. Chris Winter explains the science of sleep as a professional gamer and how gaming may be tricking our brains to stay awake.

Episode Five: Sleeping in the Wild

When you’re a wildlife documentarian, you camp in the most remote parts of the world, ready at a moment’s notice to record elusive subjects. You also have to sleep when you can, where you can, often in extreme, uncomfortable, sometimes sub-zero conditions. Chris Morgan is a renowned filmmaker, ecologist and conservationist who’s journeyed the world, including deep into the Siberian tundra, tracking endangered species. With insights from sleep psychologist and researcher Dr. Jade Wu, discover how Chris uses sleep strategies borrowed from the military to stay alert and how time in nature can actually help improve sleep.

Episode Six: Sleep, the Final Frontier

Astronauts undergo rigorous training to prepare their bodies and minds for space, but once they arrive, the experience of being weightless thousands of miles above Earth is like nothing they’ve ever felt before. Join host Anahad O’Connor as he learns from former NASA astronaut and International Space Station commander Leroy Chiao about what it’s like to work and sleep in space, including the dramatic changes the body endures over the course of a mission. Sleep science researcher Dr. Mathias Basner joins to share how zero gravity and noise can impact everyday activities like resting in space.

Episode Seven: When the Sun Doesn't Sleep

Most of us take sunset as the cue to start winding down our day, but what if the sun never sets? The remote city of Inuvik, Canada, is so far north that it experiences non-stop sunlight in the summer, followed by round-the-clock darkness in the winter. Inuvik resident Adi Scott details what it was like to move to this unique part of the planet, and the unique ways she keeps a sleep schedule when it isn’t possible to rely on the regular day-night cycle of the sun. Joined by neuroscientist and sleep specialist Dr Steven Lockley, learn about the powerful impact of light and dark on the brain, and how that triggers the complex internal mechanisms influencing our sleep.

Episode Eight: Working to Sleep and Sleeping at Work

There’s more to sleep than being a good sleeper. So many factors—from overall health to our environments—impact our experience of sleep and how our brains and bodies behave while sleeping. From restless leg syndrome to sleep walking to narcolepsy, researching and diagnosing sleep uncovers myriad solutions for getting the quality sleep that helps us live our best lives. In this episode, Anahad speaks with doctors whose passion and calling is sleep in all forms. Dr. Logan Schneider, a clinical assistant sleep professor of Sleep Medicine at the Stanford Sleep Center, explores the ways the important role sleep analysis plays in managing our health. Sleep neurologist Dr. Chris Winter returns to the show to share his insights on the importance of evaluating our sleep and the future of sleep wellness and health.

Recommended products