Since the COVID pandemic began, one in three Americans has had reduced quality sleep. Correspondent Susan Spencer pulls back the covers on how pandemic stress is among the factors affecting people’s already-tortured relationship with shuteye. Spencer talks with Drew Ackerman, a lifelong chronic insomniac whose storytelling podcast, “Sleep With Me,” lulls listeners to slumberland; and with professors Sharon Bowman, Jennifer Martin and Tiffany Yip about the importance of sleep hygiene, and the effects of reduced sleep on chronic health impacts and productivity.
NPR News Now reports: President Trump and Joe Biden on the campaign trail, coronavirus relief aid bill stalemate, high levels of stress from Covid-19, and other top news.
Hear the latest science news, brought to you by Nick Howe and Benjamin Thompson. This week, why stress makes mice turn grey, and how to think about climate change.
In this episode:
00:45 Going grey
Anecdotal evidence has long suggested stress as a cause of grey hair. Now, a team of researchers have showed experimental evidence to suggest this is the case. Research Article: Zhang et al.; News & Views: How the stress of fight or flight turns hair white
08:39 Research Highlights
Ancient bones suggest that giant ground sloths moved in herds, plus an atomic way to check for whiskey fakes. Research Highlight: A bone bed reveals mass death of herd of giant ground sloths; Research Highlight: Nuclear-bomb carbon unmasks fraudulent luxury whisky
10:40 Climate optimism
To tackle climate change, the former UN secretary for climate change argues that the biggest change needs to be mindset. Comment: Paris taught me how to do what is necessary to combat climate change