Sleep Stories

Sleep Stories is a three-part podcast series, mixing science with story, which is inspired by the contemporary sleep crisis. It is co-commissioned by Durham Book Festival, Northumbria University and Politecnico di Milano (Italy).

Each episode features an exclusive short story from leading British writers Salena Godden, Andrew McMillan, and Jenn Ashworth, and is introduced by sleep scientists Dr Diletta De Cristofaro, Professor Jason Ellis and Dr Erik Hoel, who explore the science and culture of sleep.

Encroach by Andrew McMillan

This podcast features Jason Ellis, Professor of Sleep Science at Northumbria University, and director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research. Professor Jason Ellis introduces ‘Encroach’, an exclusive short story which dives into the experience of insomnia, written and read by award-winning poet Andrew McMillan.


Episode 1 transcript

The Night Watch by Jenn Ashworth

This podcast features Dr Diletta De Cristofaro, a literary and cultural studies scholar and investigator on the ‘Writing the Sleep Crisis’ research project. Dr Cristofaro introduces ‘The Night Watch’, an exclusive short story which engages with lack of sleep in our 21st century society, written and read by acclaimed author Jenn Ashworth.


Episode 2 transcript

Daffodilly Dreams by Salena Godden

This podcast features Dr Eric Hoel, a neuroscientist and author of the Revelations, who introduces ‘Daffodilly Dreams’, an exclusive short story about the power of dreams, written and read by acclaimed author Salena Godden.


Episode 3 transcript

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement 892459. The Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information the “Sleep Stories” commission contains.