Are You Sleeping?

Are You Sleeping?

Everyone needs to sleep, and everyone has a story to tell. The way we sleep, or struggle with sleep, can tell us a lot about who we are. And if you are feeling exhausted, or worried about your sleep, you are not alone. Join host Kate Berlant as she meets some of the most fascinating sleepers in the country. And, leading sleep experts help uncover the mysteries that play out during our unconscious hours. Sisters discover the secret behind their short-sleep superpower. A woman composes music in her dreams. A man tries to keep his life together while being forced to sleep in his car. An Olympian trains to perform at her best while struggling to get enough rest. Plus, sleep stories and questions from you! Brought to you by Mattress Firm, with Vox Creative, Are You Sleeping? Is setting out to dive deep into sleep. Join us. Subscribe now, and learn more about the show at


August 5, 2022 34 mins
Sleep paralysis is like when you wake too early from a dream, and your waking and sleeping brains collide. Many see vivid and terrifying visions, and feel unable to move. This is a sleep disorder that more than twenty-percent of us will experience in our lifetime, yet is it not well understood. Meet Dr. Baland Jalal, who went from suffering from sleep paralysis to becoming an expert working on a cure. Learn more and submit your own...
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Olympic bobsledder Lauren Gibbs has struggled with sleep her entire life. But as an elite athlete, she knows that sleep can be the difference between winning a key race and losing a spot on Team USA. So, why is sleep so important for performing our best? And what exactly happens when we sleep? We’ll check in with a sleep and athletics expert, and find out how the rest of us can improve our own sleep game.  Learn more and submit you...
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The stress of trying to fall asleep when you know the alarm is going off extra early can be maddening. Listener Suzana calls in to ask how to wind down for an early bakery shift. Host Kate Berlant talks to sleep expert Dr. Shelby Harris about the wider sleep challenges shift work presents in our society. And meet trucker Antoinette, who has adapted her unpredictable sleep schedule to her life on the road. Learn more and submit your...
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June 24, 2022 38 mins
How can dreams help unlock our creativity, and put us better in touch with ourselves? Brian’s lucid dreams of flight help him create a comic book superhero, and to process his emotions. Amy composes operas and new musical works while sleeping, dreaming her way through tricky creative challenges. Host Kate Berlant meets dream coach Kim Gillingham for a session examining her own dreams.  Learn more and submit your own sleep questions...
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Sleep gadgets are everywhere. On our wrists. In our pockets. Even built into our beds. Technology today can help us track how much sleep we get and what kind of sleep it is. Great! But listener Elizabeth wants to know… what do we do with all that data? Listen to find out how smart watches and apps can help you get better sleep, and our sleep experts share why some of your daily habits might need changing. Learn more and submit your...
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May 27, 2022 25 mins
What would you do if you had no place to sleep tonight? That’s the question Kameron faced every day for two years. As a young college student, he lived out of his car, struggling to get enough rest to function - to stay in class, to find a job, to keep friendships. Kameron’s experience represents some of the struggles too many people face: housing insecurity, safety, and a lack of sleep. Our sleep expert Dr. Shelby Harris joins Kat...
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Sleep Divorce… it sounds serious. But for some, it’s the only way to stay in a relationship. Studies show that when one partner’s snoring or tossing and turning keeps the other person up, the relationship suffers. But breaking up the marital or couples bed can be seen as taboo, and scary. Because, after all, couples are supposed to sleep together and enjoy it, right? But what if sleeping separately is the key to a happy relationshi...
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April 29, 2022 27 mins
Jane Evans and Joanne Osmond are sisters with a superpower: they only need about four hours of sleep a night! The sisters each carry a rare genetic mutation that experts like Dr. Ying-Hui Fu say makes them “natural short-sleepers” – people who only need a few hours of sleep to live their best lives. They don't need caffeine to get through their day. They don’t experience jetlag. Many short-sleepers have no health issues. Dr Fu beli...
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This week, host Kate Berlant gets a call for help. Listener Dan’s bed is crowded. Since the pandemic hit, his two kids have been afraid to sleep on their own. Dan wants to reclaim his bed and his privacy, and help his kids relearn to sleep on their own. Our sleep experts are here with a strategy to help get them out, and to give some global perspectives on co-sleeping. Learn more and submit your own sleep questions at
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April 1, 2022 20 mins
Meet host Kate Berlant, and get ready for a deep dive into the fascinating world of sleep. So… how DID you sleep last night? If your answer is great, terrible, or so-so, welcome! Our society is obsessed with sleep; the best ways to do it, the tech to measure it, and how to hack it. Why? Maybe you want to work, play and live at peak performance with as little sleep as possible. Or maybe you throw money at sound machines, motion pill...
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March 16, 2022 4 mins
Are You Sleeping? A new podcast from Mattress Firm and Vox Creative. Launching 4/1! On World Sleep Day, meet host Kate Berlant as she pulls back the covers on real stories about why we can’t sleep, how sleep shapes who we are, and the huge price we pay when we don’t get enough… Subscribe now! Learn more at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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