In this interesting podcast, Edward Franz Pace-Schott, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, talks about trauma and anxiety, and the importance of sleep.
As an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, much of Pace-Schott’s work has focused on the importance of sleep, which is so incredibly vital for the normal regulation of human emotions. Pace-Schott looks at sleep disturbances in multiple study participants who have suffered or are currently suffering from psychological trauma of various types. In his research he has analyzed particular behavioral responses to emotional memory. Pace-Schott talks about the two prominent types of experimentation he and his team engage in: fear extinction and fear conditioning. He explains each in detail with specific examples of how people respond to fear, and what can be done to lessen it or create new inhibitory memories to contend with the ingrained fear responses.
Pace-Schott explains that their testing provides important answers to questions about the brain and body, as well as human emotions. In their research they discovered that most participants perform better immediately following a night of restorative sleep, as there is a high level of retention of their extinction learning. Pace-Schott continues to work in the field and is excited about the possibilities for their research, in hopes that it can assist people to live healthier, happier lives as they embrace the importance of restorative sleep on multiple levels.