Public Speaker Sara Mednick, Ph.D. with Speaking Matters, a speakers bureau

our speakers:

Sara Mednick, Ph.D.


  • Sound Sleep, Sound Business: How Improved Sleep and Even Workplace Napping Makes Employees Smarter and More Productive
  • Take a Nap! Change Your Life: The Scientific Plan to Make You Smarter, Happier, and Healthier

Travel from: San Diego, CA

Dr. Sara C. Mednick is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside and author of the book, Take a Nap! Change your Life.

Mednick's research investigates how sleep supports brain function and overall health, and discovers ways that thinking, learning, memory, and creativity can be stimulated during sleep, optimizing waking experience. Her work has been continuously federally funded (National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense Office of Naval Research, DARPA). She was awarded the Office Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 2015. Mednick's research findings have been published in such leading scientific journals as Nature Neuroscience and The Proceedings from the National Academy of Science, and covered by all major media outlets.

The main questions that inspire her work include:

  • How does the brain learn?
  • Can we get smarter?
  • What is the role of sleep in learning and memory?
  • What brain mechanisms underlie memory improvements during sleep?
  • Why are naps so powerful?
  • Does everyone benefit from napping?
  • Can you train yourself to nap?
  • What happens to sleep across the lifespan?
  • How do lifespan developmental changes in sleep affect our memory?
  • Do women and men experience different sleep and memory (role of sex hormones)?
  • Can we engineer sleep to improve our memory?
  • What interventions can be used to make us smarter (e.g., pharmacology, rehearsal during sleep, electrical stimulation)?

Mednick received a Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University, completed a postdoc at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and UC San Diego. She received a BA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, in Drama/Dance, and worked in New York as an actress (read – waitress) until she became inspired to study the brain and how to make humans smarter through better sleep, much to the joy of her psychologist parents Birgitte and Sarnoff Mednick.

She resides in San Diego, CA.

Preview Videos:


How Sleep Deprived Are You?


The benefits of napping
by Doug Williams, The Sand Diego Union-Tribune

A Sleep Researcher's 4 Scientific Ways To Nap Better
by Lisa Capretto, Huffington Post

Speaking Matters