010: David Samson, Anthropology Professor, What Primates Can Teach Us About Leveraging Circadian Rhythm For Great Sleep

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Episode Summary

🦍David is an anthropology professor, research, writer, and thinker on the topic of sleep & evolution. If there were such a thing as the rockstar of evolutionary biology & sleep...he would be it. He brings a fresh, fun, and tirelessly researched look at the link between human evolution and sleep. He truly lives his brand of investigating the relationship between sleep, health, and cognition in human and non-human primates. In this podcast, he even gets in the weeds on how to fit all of life into a circadian paradigm. Where should you put alcohol & video gaming from a circadian perspective? He’s got you covered. Samson helps us understand how stress and anxiety (think, COVID-19), have roots in our history and sleep.

🦍Have you ever considered sleep’s role in evolution? Prepare to be fascinated.

Episode Notes

In this episode, we discuss:

🦍David Samson’s origin story. How did he become the rockstar of sleep & human and non-human primates?!

🦍Investigating the link between sleep, health, and cognition in human and non-human primates

🦍How the stress and anxiety are at play for so many right now have a role in our history and our sleep

🦍Detailed discussion on the topic of chronic fears and chronic anxieties, and how we can powerfully navigate this in 2020

🦍Concept of that hunter-gatherer sleep and what it is that we in our modern-day society can learn from

🦍Discussion regarding sleep quality  

🦍How sleep is a superpower

🦍How to structure your life around strengthening your circadian rhythm

🦍Taking the candlelight challenge and why it is fundamental to getting great sleep



David R. Samson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He has performed field research on wild apes in Uganda, captive apes, and small-scale human societies in Madagascar, Tanzania, and Guatemala. His main research focuses on primate behavior, with a specific interest in the evolution of sleep and cognition in the human lineage.