Ep 48 Prof. Danny Eckert on the dramatic impact of sleep on your performance and life

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If a man sleeps only five hours a night for a week his testosterone levels plummet as if he has aged a decade, says Professor Danny Eckert, one of the world’s leading experts in sleep apnoea.

Sleep, along with diet and exercise, is one of the three pillars of health. Sleep apnoea is as common as asthma and diabetes. And yet Dr Eckert and his team are amazed that sleep is not prioritised.

In fact, in business a lack of sleep is often glorified. Danny says this is “crazy”, and describes in detail the horrifying physical and mental impact.

Sleep depravation impacts every organ, it has the affect of intoxication and can even shorten your life expectancy. Every part of life is impacted, from the bedroom to the boardroom. After listening to this, you’ll be aiming for eight hours shut eye tonight.

The life of a top scientist is not lab coats and test tubes. In his current role as principal research fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia, in Sydney, Danny travels the nation and the world talking about his team’s research into sleep apnoea, raising awareness and raising funding.

Danny’s journey, which began in Adelaide in “the mud patch” with his cousin James (Rooster Radio’s co-host), has had both highs and lows. He talks about the impact of losing of his mum, and how he found his way to the famed Harvard University in Boston.

Professor Danny Eckert:

The Associate Professor has been actively involved in human sleep and respiratory physiology research since 2001. In 2006, he completed his PhD at the University of Adelaide.

After three years of postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, he was promoted to Faculty as Assistant Professor. In late 2011 Danny returned to Australia to establish a comprehensive sleep and respiratory physiology research program at Neuroscience Research Australia. His team continues to advance knowledge into the causes of sleep apnoea and develop new treatments. He currently serves on the board of the Australasian Sleep Association, the peak profession body, and is Chair of the Research Committee.

Neuroscience Research Australia www.neura.edu.au/