Sleep Science Podcast

S2E4 Colin Espie – What is insomnia and how can we treat it?

July 16, 2021 Season 2 Episode 4
Sleep Science Podcast
S2E4 Colin Espie – What is insomnia and how can we treat it?
Show Notes

In this episode, we interviewed Colin Espie, one of the world’s leading authorities on sleep and insomnia. Colin is Professor in Sleep Medicine at the University of Oxford, and  Clinical Director of the Experimental & Clinical Sleep Medicine Programme, Sleep & Circadian Neurosciences Institute, again at the University of Oxford.  

Professor Espie talks about sleep problems, explains why actively focusing on getting more sleep is not the best way to combat these issues.  He also argues that behavioural approaches are much more effective even though clinicians tend to prescribe medicine by default. He has solid plans for changing the treatment of insomnia in the future and has already made a flying start eleven years ago by launching Sleepio, the online sleep clinic.  Find out more about how Sleepio works and how can you register today by listening to this episode.

If you would like to have a look at the Sleepio website, you can do it by clicking here. You can also click here to find out more about Prof. Espie and read through recent publications mentioned in this podcast.

A new edition of Prof. Espie's book Overcoming Insomnia: A self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques, published by Little Brown Book Group will be released in late September.

This recording is property of the sleep science podcast and not for resale.


·       Hypermetabolised (brain) = having an elevated energy expenditure 

·       Hyperarousal = abnormal state of increased responsiveness to stimuli

·       Chronotype = one’s natural inclination to sleep and be active at certain times of the day

·       CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) = form of therapy aimed to improve mental health mainly through emotional regulation and developing coping mechanisms

·       Sleep Restriction Therapy = a CBT therapy that works to decrease variability in the timing of sleep while increasing the depth of sleep


Episode produced by Bianca Strete & Sophie Smith