Research Blog

Sleep talking on BBC radio

Here’s something I wrote for our work blog:

PDR’s Dr Sally Cloke was interviewed on BBC Radio’s Free Thinking about her research into sleep, design and justice.

Sally was part of a panel with other academics discussing various aspects of sleep, including sleep in fiction, politics and sleep and the history of the alarm clock.

“I talked about the boom in new sleep devices such as sleep trackers, sleep headphones and ‘smart’ bedding,” said Sally, PDR’s Human Centred Design Assistant Researcher. “While these products are targeted at the individual’s sleep experience, in reality the factors that affect how well we sleep are environmental and economic – urban noise, inadequate housing, precarious employment, the 24/7 economy. These need addressing on a social and political level, not with new and better gadgets.”

“I was also able to share my passion for speculative and critical design and discuss its potential role in raising people’s awareness of how good sleep has become a consumer good. It’s not so much that we’re losing sleep: capitalism is stealing it – then selling it back to us.”

The program aired on Radio 3 on March 13 and is now available on the BBC website (click here for details and to listen) and as an episode of the Free Thinking / Arts & Ideas podcast.