Archives for sleep



The Economics of Sleep, Part 1

Season 5, Episode 10

On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: poor sleep can impair our cognitive function; sleep loss has been linked to adverse physical outcomes like weight gain and, increasingly, more serious maladies; and the Centers for Disease Control recently declared insufficient sleep a “public-health epidemic.” So are we treating the problem as seriously as we ought to be? And is it possible that lack of sleep can even explain the income gap? We speak with sleep researchers, economists, a psychologist and an epidemiologist to answer these questions. Read More »



The Economics of Sleep, Part 2: A New Freakonomics Radio Episode


Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is “The Economics of Sleep, Part 2.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)

In our previous episode, we primarily discussed the health implications of sleep. This time, we look at the economic impact. One big takeaway: if you sleep more, you will likely earn more money. How do we know this? Thanks to a fascinating paper by Matthew Gibson and Jeffrey Shrader, called “Time Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to Sleep.” As Gibson tells us, economists have traditionally not paid too much attention to sleep — in part because good data were hard to come by: Read More »



The Economics of Sleep, Part 1: A New Freakonomics Radio Episode


Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is called “The Economics of Sleep, Part 1″ (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)

It’s well-established that a lack of sleep can impair our cognitive function. Sleep loss has also been linked to adverse physical outcomes like weight gain and, increasingly, more serious maladies. Is it possible that lack of sleep can even explain the income gap? Read More »



New Miracle Sleep Aid Discovered!

From a podcast listener named Jessica Graham in Sydney, Australia: My name is Jess and for most of my adult life I have been afflicted by various forms of sleeplessness. Would I call it insomnia? I don’t know if it could be classified as clinical insomnia, but all I can say is up until a […] Read More »



A Wake-Up App That Economists Would Love

Cartoonist Manu Cornet has a simple economic fix for oversleeping.

(HT: Hans van der Drift)



Study: Early Bedtimes Keep Kids Slimmer

A new study out of Australia shows that children who go to sleep early and wake up early are less likely to be obese. The results, published in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Sleep, indicate that it’s not so much the amount of sleep kids get, but the times at which they get it that has the biggest impact on their weight. Read More »



Our Daily Bleg: Naked Dreams in Other Cultures?

My friend was just telling me about a recent dream in which she was naked at a party and it reminded me of my similar dreams of being naked at school. It’s such a common trope in American culture that it made me wonder if people in other cultures have it too. Do more open/less prudish cultures like maybe Brazil have it as a common dream? What about much more conservative cultures, like in the Middle East — do they have a much more reserved version of it? Read More »



Seth Roberts, Guest Blogger (Part III)

Here’s a third post from our guest blogger, Seth Roberts, a psychology professor at Berkeley and, apparently, the next American diet guru. If you need to get up to speed on Seth’s unorthodox research with weight-loss, mood, and sleep, click here (our N.Y. Times article about him), here (research extras and pix), here (the first […] Read More »