Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels & guest Dr. Wei-Shin Lai discuss the following:
- Please tell us about your background and what led to your invention of SleepPhones.
- How do SleepPhones work? And what’s the difference between the wireless and wired versions?
- How do SleepPhones improve people’s lives?
- How are SleepPhones better than other sleep aids?
- Who can use SleepPhones?
One night, after a 3 a.m. phone call from the emergency room, Dr. Wei-Shin Lai had so much trouble falling back to sleep that she decided she had to do something.
Her husband suggested she listen to relaxing music, which was a nice idea– but there were no headphones on the market comfortable enough to sleep in. They put their skills to work and designed the first SleepPhones, a comfortable, innovative headphone solution designed to help people fall asleep. Dr. Lai would come home after work to sew headbands while her husband soldered the speakers on the kitchen table. By 2007, they’d created a website and sold the first 500 set of SleepPhones.
Born in Taiwan, Dr. Lai came to the US when she was 7 years old while her father completed a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Tennessee. She grew up under the strict tutelage of a “tiger” mom, competing in piano, learning algebra in 5th grade, and leading numerous science clubs in high school. She went on to earn a B.S. with distinction in Cellular Molecular Biology at the University of Michigan with the intent of studying the Ebola virus. However, her thirst for adventure and travel was tamed when she realized that for her to be truly happy, she had to interact with people instead of staying holed up in a lab. She graduated from the University of Virginia Medical School and went into family medicine.
Dr. Lai loves being a mom and continues to work part-time at Penn State University's Student Health Center as the only Mandarin-speaking physician on staff. Her hobbies include swimming, hunting for wild mushrooms with the Central Pennsylvania Mushroom Club, archery, and gardening. She enjoys eating and cooking spicy international foods and is obsessed with eating healthfully, including at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day. She's one of those moms who hides vegetables in everything she cooks.
She sleeps 7-8 hours a night on average, and her favorite music on her SleepPhones is a hypnosis track by her friend, Dr. Steven Gurgevich who teaches at Dr. Andrew Weil's Center for Integrative Medicine.
Listeners or readers who would like to learn more about Dr. Wei-Shin Lai's SleepPhones, should visit the company's website: www.sleepphones.com.