a podcast at the intersection of Christianity & mental health.


57 - Why We Need Better Sleep (& How to Get It) (feat. Dr. Michael Scullin)

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Hey, how’re you feeling today? Tired? Us too. This week, we’re joined by Dr. Michael Scullin (an expert in the connection between sleep & cognition) to talk about getting good sleep and how we’re not getting it. We talk about how lack of sleep impacts memory, driving, adolescents, college students, and tons more. Dr. Scullin also shares with us his top ten tips for getting better sleep!

Things we mention in this episode/other resources:
- CXMH episode 48 - How Does Nutrition Impact Our Mental Health? (feat. Dr. Leslie Korn)
- CXMH episode 49 - College Students & Creating Supportive Communities (feat. Dr. Gary Glass)
- The book Robert mentions during the conversation is The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances E Jensen and Amy Ellis Nutt
- the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
- the National Sleep Foundation

Connect with Dr. Scullin using his email ( or visit Baylor’s Sleep Neuroscience & Cognition Laboratory.

- “Sleep relates to our cognitive, physical, and mental health on every level.” (tweet)
- “Sleep exists to specifically restore the brain.” (tweet)

Dr. Scullin’s 10 Tips to Improve Sleep:
1. Avoid electronics near bedtime.
2. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants at least six hours before bedtime.
3. Minimize saturated fats and maximize fiber at dinner.
4. Only use the bed for sleep rather than for studying or entertainment.
5. If you cannot fall asleep in 10 minutes then, get up and leave the room. Only try again when you feel sleepy.
6. Avoid long daytime naps.
7. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
8. If you are ruminating at bedtime, then write out your to-do list or worries.
9. Engage in aerobic exercise in the morning or afternoon.
10. Prioritize sleep and manage time better during the day, for example, by staying on campus after class to complete homework.

Connect with Robert on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Connect with Holly on her website or Twitter.

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Intro/Outro music for this episode is ‘Fall Down’ by Rivers & Robots.