Insomnia, anxiety, depression, sauna, cooking oils and more with Dr. Ashley Mason


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Dr. Ashley Mason is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Health. She directs the Sleep, Eating, and Affect, or “SEA” laboratory, is the co-director of the Center for Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment (COAST), and is core research faculty in the Osher Center research program. In her clinical role, she directs the Osher Center Sleep Group, wherein she provides cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia for patients with tough to treat insomnia.

Lab Website:

We will be looking for a volunteer and hiring in the coming year.

Instagram @ash_e_mason

Twitter @DrAshleyMason

Summer Tomato Farmers Market Updates:


Mountain View


AMA (with Kevin Rose)

Paper that had me digging into cooking oils:

On smoke point:

Grapeseed oil:

Avocado oil:

Peanut oil:

Oxidative stability of selected edible oils:

Evaluation of chemical and physical changes in different commercial oils during heating:

How to make cauliflower taste as good as French fries

Mindful Eating:

Some of my earlier work on reward-driven eating / mindful eating:

Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D TED talk: Why dieting doesn't usually work

Mindful Meal Challenge


Why We Sleep, by Matt Walker

Basic CBT book

Common cognitive distortions worth working with:

Nice review of CBT-I:

Favorite CBT-I book (includes thought record)

Stimulus control instructions, original paper:

Progressive Muscle Relaxation research:

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) recordings

Direct link to try PMR:

Finding a CBT-I practitioner:

Eight Sleep mattress cooler


2016 paper – Janssen et al.

This is the medical hyperthermia device that I do NOT use:

This is the commercially available sauna dome that I DO use:

2021 UCSF sauna paper:

2013 paper – Hanusch et al. (single arm, indwelling rectal probe):

Research on temperature elevations in depression:

Temperature regularizes upon successful antidepressant treatment:

Exercise works for depression:

Literally, I bought friends these thermomenters:

The rectal probe we use in the study:

Longer time to get to high temperature associated with larger antidepressant response:

Example of a possible sauna that people could use at home to extend treatment

Rhonda Patrick on sauna use to extend healthspan:

19 episodes