Sleep and Digital Health Conference

Online Conference

Sleep and Digital Health: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

27-28 June 2022

DAStU and META, Politecnico di Milano

As a recent article in Nature puts it, we are facing a “data-driven revolution in sleep science and medicine”. This online conference sought to interrogate this “revolution”, in both its promising applications, such as the potential to monitor patients beyond the sleep lab and the ability to give more people access to treatment, and in its possible risks, such as orthosomnia and data-privacy concerns. To explore sleep as a truly multifaceted phenomenon, our speakers came from a range of disciplines. The online conference was hosted by DAStU and META at Politecnico di Milano.

An edited collection that will include extended versions of some of the papers presented at the conference is in the works.


*Please note: all times indicated are CEST*

Monday 27th June 2022

2-2:15pm: Welcome to the conference and Day 1

2:15-4:15pm: Quantifying Sleep: Then and Now | Chair Prof Viola Schiaffonati (Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Philosophy)

  • Prof Hannah Ahlheim (Justus Liebig University Gießen, Germany, History) “Body Movements, Brainwaves, and Rolling Eyes: Assessing Sleep in the 20th Century”
  • Dr Greg Elder (Northumbria University, UK, Psychology of Sleep) “The Quantified Self: Might Consumer Sleep Trackers Inadvertently Negatively Affect Sleep?”
  • Prof Simona Chiodo (Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Philosophy) and Dr Diletta De Cristofaro (Politecnico di Milano, Italy / Northumbria University, UK, Literary and Cultural Studies) “Quantified Sleep: Self-Tracking Technologies and the Reshaping of 21st-Century Subjectivity”

4:15-4:45pm: Break

4:45-6:15pm: Sleep and Digital Health: Opportunities and Challenges | Chair Prof Nicole Zillien (Justus Liebig University Gießen, Germany, Sociology)

  • Prof Andrea Aliverti (Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Bioengineering) and Dr Stefano Canali (Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Philosophy) “Wearable Technology and Sleep: Weighing Promises and Challenges”
  • Dr Nicole Eugene (University of Houston-Victoria, USA, Communication Studies) “Narcolepsy, Sleep Disorders and Digital Health Technologies: Opportunities and Challenges”

Tuesday 28th June 2022

1-1:05pm: Welcome to Day 2

1:05-2:35pm: Sleep Futures | Chair Dr Diletta De Cristofaro (Politecnico di Milano, Italy / Northumbria University, UK, Literary and Cultural Studies)

  • Prof Stuart Murray (University of Leeds, UK, Medical Humanities) “Sleep and the Performance of Posthuman Productivity”
  • Prof Rob Meadows (University of Surrey, UK, Sociology), Dr Catherine Coveney (Loughborough University, UK, Medical Sociology), Prof Simon J. Williams (Warwick University, UK, Sociology), and Dr Michael Greaney (Lancaster University, UK, English) “Stratified Future(s): What Role Do Health/Inequalities Play in Imaginaries of Sleep and Technology?”

2:35-3:15pm: Break

3:15-5:05pm: Managing and Performing Sleep | Chair Dr Aleksandra Kaminska (Université de Montreal, Canada, Media Studies)

  • Dr Ros Holmes (University of St Andrews, UK, Chinese Studies) “Horizontal Happenings: Performing Sleep in Contemporary China”
  • Anna Nolda Nagele (Queen Mary University of London, UK, Media and Arts Technology) “Affective Relationships between Wearable Sleep Trackers and their Users”
  • Dr Sarah Barnes (Cape Breton University, Canada, Experiential Studies in Community and Sport) “Sleep to Win: Critical Approaches to Sleep, Health, and Technology in Sport”
  • Dr Lexie Scherer (University of Portsmouth, UK, Childhood Studies) “Managing Sleep with Children Aged 2-5 : Children’s Voice, Photo Elicitation and Digital Platforms”

5:05-5:30pm Break

5:30-7pm Digital Media and the Writing of Sleep| Chair Prof Martin Willis (Cardiff University, UK, English Literature)

  • Dr Paul Huebener (Athabasca University, Canada, English Literature) “Reading in the Dark: On Trying to Fall Asleep to the Calm Phone App”
  • Dr James Rákóczi  (Durham University, UK, Medical Humanities) “Narcolepsy Online: Life-Writing Beyond the Sleep-Wake Cycle”
  • Devon Bate (Concordia University, Canada, Producer, Composer, Sound Design) “Spectacular Rest: How to Sleep in the Attention Economy”

7-7:10pm Concluding remarks

The conference is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement 892459.