Runchatlive Podcast

RCL54: Sleep Awareness Month Pt2 - ’Sleep Trackers’ with guest Dr Olivia Walch

April 13, 2022

After 18 months we're BACK! The response for last week's 'Sleep: The Silent Epidemic' episode has been fantastic - so very glad it has proved popular amongst the Runchatlive Community. We will continue to stream all episodes of the 'Sleep Awareness Month' LIVE to not just the STA YouTube Channel but also the Runchatlive Facebook Page so if you'd like to watch them live be sure to head to one of these sites at 8pm (GMT +1) every Tuesday in April. 

In Part 2 of this month's 'SLEEP AWARENESS MONTH' on the Sports Therapy Association Podcast, we talk about 'Sleep Trackables' with special guest Dr Olivia Walch, CEO of Arcascope, a company that develops science-backed apps to help people fix their sleep and circadian rhythms.

With an estimated one in three people in the UK reporting regular sleep complaints, it is not surprising that sleep trackers have become enormously popular over the last few years. On waking up, our faithful Fitbit, Oura Ring or Withings Sleep Analyzer (to name just three) will inform you of the quantity & quality of your night's sleep, but just how accurate are they? Can the information these consumer sleep wearables provide be put to good use, or are they just another modern day gadget causing dependency and anxiety?

Special guest Dr Olivia Walch takes us through such questions to see how marketing claims hold up under the scrutiny of science, and discusses what role they can play in improving sleep health.

Topics discussed include:

  • What is the difference between sleep trackers and sleep wearables?
  • How long have sleep trackers/wearables been used to assess sleep quanitity/quality?
  • How has the technology in sleep wearables changed over time?
  • How do scoring algorithms work?
  • How accurate are popular sleep wearables from Garmin, Fitbit, Oura Ring, etc?
  • Can popular consumer sleep wearables measure stages of sleep? 
  • What is the relationship like between sleep researchers and consumer brands for wearables?
  • If we see clients/patients are wearing sleep trackers, what sort of conversations should we be having with them?
  • Can sleep trackers cause 'orthosomnia' - the obsession for 'perfect' sleep?
  • Using sleep wearables to measure sleep consistency.
  • Controlling light exposure: one of the easiest & most accessible ways to improve sleep quality/quanity      

Useful Links  

About This Week's Guest
Dr Olivia Walch has been studying the mathematics of sleep for the last ten years, getting her Ph.D in Applied Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 2016. She is the CEO of Arcascope, a company dedicated to making science-backed apps to help people fix their sleep and circadian rhythms. Olivia is also co-editor of Political Geometry, a volume on the mathematics of gerrymandering, with Moon Duchin. 

A huge thanks to Dr Olivia Walch for giving up her time to join us!

What is the Sports Therapy Association Podcast?
For those of you are unaware, in May 2020 I created the Sports Therapy Association Podcast, a weekly podcast with the mission of Putting the Evidence Back into Sports Therapy and Sports Massage Therapy. It gets streamed LIVE every Tuesday at 8pm (UK time) on the Sports Therapy Association YouTube Channel and is then uploaded to all popular podcast apps including Spotify.

Though it's not specifically about running related injury & performance, many of the topics covered will be useful to YOU, the listeners of Runchatlive Podcast, as we're essentially talking about issues that affect pain & performance. As is the case for Runchatlive, our listeners include health care professionals across the spectrum as well as active people of all levels looking for evidence informed strategies to stay fit and healthy! 

This April 2022, we have a 'SLEEP AWARENESS MONTH', and because SLEEP is such a massively important topic, each weekly episode is being recorded live on not just the STA YouTube Channel but also the Runchatlive Facebook Page AND being uploaded to the Runchatlive Podcast feed for YOUR listening pleasure.

The four episodes are:

  • 'Sleep: The Silent Epidemic' - April 5th with Jesse Cook, Clinical Psychology PhD Student and Sleep Researcher
  • 'Sleep Trackers' - April 12th with Dr Olivia Walch, CEO of Arcascope, PhD Applied Mathematics.
  • 'Sleep: Injury & Performance' - April 19th with Dr Jonathan Charest, Director of Athlete Sleep Service at Centre For Sleep & Human Performance
  • 'In-Home Polysomnogram' - April 26th with Dr Amy M. Bender, Director of Clinical Sleep Science at Cerebra, including results of my 30 night Sleep study! Amy was my guest in August 2021 in Ep63 ‘How Sleep Affects Sports And Fitness’.

Feel free to join us LIVE on Tuesdays throughout April at 8pm (GMT+1)!

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