GETTING CURIOUS | What’s the Science of Sleep? with Dr. Gina Poe


We spend one third of our lives sleeping. But WTF is going on during those hours?! This week, Dr. Gina Poe gives us an A to Zzzz crash course in all things sleep. Dreams, memory, narcolepsy, naps, sleep demons, traveling across time zones, playing video games before bed, how substances like caffeine and alcohol affect our rest—and beyond!

Gina Poe is a neuroscientist at UCLA who has worked on the functions of sleep for over 30 years with an independent research laboratory funded by the National Institute of Mental Health for over 20 years. At UCLA she teaches how the brain becomes biased and one can change one’s mind through the powerfully plastic state of sleep, winning the UCLA Distinguished Teaching award in 2022 and the US President’s 2014 PAESMEM award for mentoring work through the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Poe counsels on initiatives and funding priorities for the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, has authored nearly 200 publications (papers and abstracts), and has appeared on PBS’s NOVA and Netflix’s The Mind Explained and other television and podcast venues. She and her husband have four children, two grandchildren (with another on the way!), a dog, and a cat.

You can follow Dr. Poe on Twitter @doctorpoe, on Instagram @poe.gina, and on LinkedIn at Gina R. Poe.

For more information, check out:

The National Sleep Foundation

Dr. Poe’s Brain Research Institute site

Dr. Poe’s Department site

Dr. Poe Lab site

Dr. Poe’s publications

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Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our producer is Chris McClure. Our associate producer is Allison Weiss. Our engineer is Nathanael McClure. Production support from Julie Carrillo, Samantha Martinez, and Anne Currie.

Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to

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