Professor Jim Al-Khalili talks to leading scientists about their life and work, finding out what inspires them and asking what their discoveries might do for us in the future.
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Every moment of the day tiny biological clocks are ticking throughout the body, but Russell Foster, world-renowned expert in circadian neuroscience, warns that modern life is playing havoc with these ancient and delicate mechanisms. In his latest book, Life Time: The New Science Of The Body Clock And How It Can Revolutionise Your Sleep and Health, Professor Foster reveals how this essential part of our biology works. He tells Tom Sutcliffe how new understandings about our daily routines could help reset how we live and sleep. ViSiBLE is a professional theatre company dedicated to creating new and provocative works, with and about older people. Its latest performance, Five Characters in Search of a Good Night's Sleep, is at the Southwark Playhouse until 21st May. ViSiBLE’s founder, the playwright Sonja Linden, says the new piece was inspired by the experiences of the actors who as they’ve aged have found sleep more elusive and sleep-inducing techniques more desperate. Ros Holmes is a lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of St Andrews. Her research focuses on ideas about sleep and insomnia, and how they’ve been represented in the visual culture of twentieth century and contemporary China. From the images of ‘national awakening’ in the early years of the Republic and the always-alert workers of the Cultural Revolution to the cities that never sleep today – sleep deprivation has become part of life in China. Producer: Katy Hickman Photo Image: 'Five Characters in Search of a Good Night's Sleep' (credit: Bessell Photography)