Talking Sleep Season 5 | Episode 1

Sleep age

Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, GUEST

As interest in sleep grows, more attention is being paid to how sleep is related to morbidity and mortality. While there is much discussion about obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular health, the EEG may also hold clues about our future health. “Sleep age” is a new term to describe how the EEG may be used to estimate age and predict mortality risk.

Dr. Mignot is the Craig Reynolds Professor of Sleep Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Stanford University. He discovered the cause of the sleep disorder narcolepsy, an autoimmune disease affecting neurons secreting the wake-promoting substance orexin. This discovery is leading to pharmaceuticals for insomnia, hypersomnia, and narcolepsy. His lab uses state of the art techniques to study sleep and sleep disorders. He also studies the role of the immune system in neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. Originally from Paris, he studied at the Ecole Normale Superieure and received his MD and PhD from Paris V and VI University. He joined Stanford in 1993 and became Professor in 2001. Dr. Mignot has received numerous awards for his work, including a 2023 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He is a member of the National Academies of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Episode Resources

  1. Brink-Kjaer A, Leary EB, Sun H, et al. Age estimation from sleep studies using deep learning predicts life expectancy. NPJ Digit Med. 2022 Jul 22;5(1):103.
  2. Bai N. Emmanuel Mignot wins Breakthrough Prize for discovering cause of narcolepsy. Stanford Medicine. News. Sept. 22, 2022.