As the first of a two-part series, MinnPost interviews Dr Michael Howell, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota, program director of the Clinical Sleep Medicine Fellowship at the Hennepin County Medical Center, and medical director of the Fairview Sleep Centers in Edina. 

A medical student asked me the other day about going into emergency medicine [a field of medicine that typically requires working night shifts]. He wanted to know what would happen if his sleep was bad for a while. Would it cause him any problems? Would it curtail his life? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. … But nobody would say, “You know what. I’ve really eaten well all my life. I take good care of myself, but for the next four years, I’m going to eat crap. Is that going to be a problem?” Of course it’s going to be a problem.