The power of ‘Downstate’ – Sara Mednick, PhD | EP55 recap


What is the true cost of being constantly switched on when it comes to our productivity and overall health?

Although the recognition of work and life balance has increased over the last twenty years, we still are operating in a hustle hard culture. The increased blurring of the lines with pandemic working from home has caused many to lose their ability to manage the struggle for balance altogether. Between kids, work, and the demanding boss many have found themselves locked into their computer screens, all hours of the night feeling perpetually behind and increasingly anxious and exhausted.

This week we dive into solution mode.

Professor Sara C. Mednick is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of California, Irvine and author of The Hidden Power of the Downstate and Take a Nap! Change Your Life.

She is passionate about understanding how the brain works through her research into sleep and the autonomic nervous system. Dr. Mednick’s seven-bedroom sleep lab works literally around-the-clock to discover methods for boosting cognition by napping, stimulating the brain with electricity, sound and light, and pharmacology. Her lab also investigates how the menstrual cycle and aging affect the brain. Her science has been continuously federally funded (National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense Office of Naval Research, DARPA).

Dr. Mednick was awarded the Office Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 2015. Her research findings have been published in such leading scientific journals as Nature Neuroscience and The Proceedings from the National Academy of Science, and covered by all major media outlets. She received a BA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, in Drama/Dance. After college, her experience working in the psychiatry department at Bellevue Hospital in New York, inspired her to study the brain and how to make humans smarter through better sleep. She received a PhD in Psychology from Harvard University, and then completed a postdoc at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and UC San Diego. She resides in San Diego, CA.


Notable moments in this episode:

? 08:18 – what this study is saying about stress correlated to your stress
? 37:22 – what is happening to your mind-body during high-pressured environments
?️ 45:53 – the habits you can start today to be working effectively in Downstate

Enjoy folks!


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