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Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders, Short Course

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Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders is your opportunity to access groundbreaking research on the complex and enigmatic phenomenon of sleep, straight from a scientist at the forefront of the field. In these 24 engrossing lectures, award-winning Stanford University professor and researcher H. Craig Heller reveals how far neuroscientists and biologists have come on their quest to pinpoint the principal functions of sleep—which remain a matter of intense debate.


Understand Why Sleep Debts Must Be Paid

Early on in this course, you’ll learn that your brain forces you to fall asleep to repay an accumulated sleep deficit—no matter how dangerous the circumstances. You’ll also learn the myriad ways sleep loss is associated with increased risk for serious health problems such as

  • obesity,
  • diabetes,
  • depression, and
  • reduced resistance to infectious disease.

Backed by compelling scientific evidence, Professor Heller illuminates what happens in the sleeping brain all the way down to the cellular and molecular level. You’ll investigate what biological changes may be produced by wakefulness and reversed during sleep, in addition to

  • the catastrophic ways our circadian clocks can fail;
  • coping mechanisms for jet lag, shift work, and insomnia;
  • disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome;
  • parasomnias such as sleepwalking, night terrors, and sleep-related eating disorder; and
  • how proper “sleep hygiene” can help you improve your own quality of sleep.

You’ll also examine the critical role sleep plays in our capacity to form memories, and you’ll encounter astounding animal research that ranges from studies of aquatic mammals that sleep with half of their brains at a time to the deep sleep of hibernation in squirrels and bears.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date 24 lectures | 30 minutes per lecture
  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Part-time variant
    • Duration description

      24 lectures | 30 minutes per lecture

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    • Time flexibility
    • Attendance
      No Attendance
    • Teacher support
      No support at all
    • Student interaction
      No interaction at all

Programme Structure

24 Lectures

  1. Sweet Sleep—Essential for a Healthy Life
  2. What Is Sleep?
  3. Sleep across the Night
  4. Sleep across the Lifespan
  5. Who in the World Sleeps?
  6. The Timing of Sleep
  7. The Wheels of the Circadian Clock
  8. The Deep Sleep of Hibernators
  9. The Neuroanatomy and Neurochemistry of Sleep
  10. The Neurophysiology of Sleep
  11. Sleep Disorders—Narcolepsy
  12. The Strange World of Dreams
  13. Functions of Sleep—Fueling the Brain
  14. The Timing and Function of REM Sleep
  15. Sleep and Learning—Procedural Memory
  16. Sleep and Declarative Memory
  17. Sleep and Memory in Animals
  18. Sleep and Learning Disability
  19. When You Cannot Sleep—Insomnia
  20. Sleep Apnea
  21. Behavior during Sleep—Parasomnias
  22. Sleep and the Rest of the Body
  23. Improving Sleep
  24. Sleep in the Future and the Future of Sleep


Ph.D. H. Craig Heller
Stanford UniversityDr. H. Craig Heller is the Lorry I. Lokey/Business Wire Professor of Biological Sciences and Human Biology at Stanford University. He earned his Ph.D. in Biology from Yale University. Over the past three to four decades, virtually all biology undergraduates at Stanford have learned physiology from Professor Heller. In recognition of his outstanding performance, he received the Walter J. Gores Award for excellence in teaching and the Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award for exceptional contributions to Stanford University. The coauthor of more than 200 peer-reviewed research papers, Professor Heller incorporates a wide range of topics into his research, including thermoregulation, hibernation, circadian rhythms, sleep, learning and memory, and human physical performance. His current focus is on the role of sleep and circadian rhythms in learning and memory as applied to the development of therapies for the learning disabilities associated with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Heller's laboratory is also dedicated to developing technologies for the efficient regulation of heat into and out of the body. Professor Heller is a coauthor of a leading college textbook, Life: The Science of Biology, now in its 10th edition, and the new biology textbook, Principles of Life.

English Language Requirements

This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    214 USD/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 214 USD per module and a duration of  .
  • National Applies to you

    214 USD/module
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 214 USD per module and a duration of  .
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
  • Video - $214.95
  • Audio - $129.95
  • DVD - $254.95
  • CD - $179.95


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