World Extreme Medicine News

It was an exciting and unique opportunity to hear from Sophie Bostock, a Sleep Evangelist on a mission who discussed the importance of regular sleep-wake patterns for health, performance and wellbeing as well as sharing strategies for anyone preparing to sleep in extreme environments.

We were delighted to welcome Sophie to our 9th annual Virtual World Extreme Medicine Conference in October 2020. As a passionate advocate for the importance of sleep for health and wellbeing, she brought with her an enormous amount of knowledge and experience around the science of sleep and performance. Plus, Sophie also be shared her exciting challenge where she will be rowing 2,400 miles across the Pacific in 2021; to get up close and personal with sleep loss and circadian disruption and experiencing first-hand how athletes cope with extreme sleep deprivation in endurance sports.

As today’s frenetic 24/7 world becomes more challenging, psychological resilience is key and with science behind her Sophie argues that sleep holds the key. Sleep loss interferes with all of the critical components of resilience and problem solving, a key factor when dealing with medicine, especially in the extremes.

A little bit about Sophie Bostock…

Sophie’s background is as a scientist and has always been intrigued by what makes us feel good and function. Following degrees in Medicine at Nottingham University and a MSc in Entrepreneurship, and several years consulting before developing an interest in healthcare innovation. Sophie completed a PhD in Psychobiology at University College London (UCL) investigating why happiness protects against heart disease, and how to improve wellbeing at work.

This work led to an interest in sleep and her research pointed to sleep being one of the unsung heroes of mental and physical resilience. It was at this point that Sophie spent the next 5 years first as a research scientist, then as UK Innovation Lead at Big Health, an award-winning digital medicine company, where in 2016 she was awarded an NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellowship for her work on ‘Sleepio’, an online sleep improvement programme that has been made available on the NHS to a fifth of the UK population.

A climbing accident caused by sleep deprivation in 2018 was the trigger for Sophie to become a full-time champion for the importance of sleep and launch Sophie now works as an independent Sleep Evangelist and when she’s not providing keynote conference talks, TEDx talks, consulting and coaching you’ll find her rowing, climbing, swimming, windsurfing and following the sunshine around the world.

As an energising and inspiring speaker, we couldn’t wait to welcome Sophie Bostock to Day 1 of the conference for her talk about ‘Sleeping in the Extremes’. In this session, Sophie shared findings from 15+ interviews with elite endurance athletes and experienced ocean rowers, exploring preparation, and any physical and mental techniques they used to improve resilience to sleep loss. This was the perfect session for anyone preparing to sleep in an extreme environment, or coping with circadian disruption, including shift workers.

Feeling inspired? #WEM21 A New World Awaits…

Join us this year (13th – 15th Nov) for our 10 year anniversary, where for the first time in WEM history, you can either attend in person at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh or online via our brand new Virtual WEM Environment – we guarantee you an experience like no other! Book your place today!