The objective of this course is to give students the most up-to-date information on the biological, personal, and societal relevance of sleep. Personal relevance is emphasized by the fact that the single best predictor of daytime performance is the quality of the previous night’s sleep. The brain actively generates sleep, and the first section of the course is an overview of the neurobiological basis of sleep control. The course provides cellular-level understanding of how sleep deprivation, jet lag, and substances such as alcohol, ,caffeine, and nicotine alter sleep and wakefulness. The second section of the course covers sleep-dependent changes in physiology and sleep disorders medicine. Particular emphasis will be placed on disorders of excessive sleepiness, insomnia, and sleep-dependent changes in autonomic control. Chronic sleep deprivation impairs immune function and may promote obesity. Deaths due to all causes are most frequent between 4:00 and 6:00 a.m., and this second section of the class highlights the relevance of sleep for preventive medicine. The societal relevance of sleep will be considered in the final section of the class. In an increasingly complex and technologically oriented society, operator-error by one individual can have a disastrous negative impact on public health and safety. Fatigue-related performance decrements are known to have contributed as causal factors to nuclear power plant failures, transportation disasters, and medical errors.
What you will learn
Unit 01 – Neurobiology Section: Course Introduction & Neurobiology of Sleep and Wakefulness (Part One) – (Standard Track & Honors Track)
This unit begins with a Course Overview video from Ralph Lydic, Ph.D., followed by the first portion of the Neurobiology of Sleep and Wakefulness lecture, delivered by Helen Baghdoyan, Ph.D. PLEASE NOTE: Only the Course Overview video, and the Getting Started and Syllabus readings are required for students who have chosen to engage in the Standard Track portion of the course content. Standard track students may also bypass all content in units 2, 3, and 4, and instead move directly to unit 5 after viewing the Course Overview video.
Unit 02 – Neurobiology Section: Neurobiology of Sleep and Wakefulness (Part Two) – (Honors Track)
Unit 2 continues the lecture from Helen Baghdoyan, Ph.D. on the Neurobiology of Sleep and Wakefulness. PLEASE NOTE: This content is only required for students who have chosen to pursue the Honors Track certification.
Unit 03 – Neurobiology: Mathematical Modeling of Sleep-Wake Regulation – (Honors Track)
Unit 3 continues the Neurobiology section of the content with a lecture from Victoria Booth, Ph.D. on the Mathematical Modeling of Sleep-Wake Regulation. PLEASE NOTE: This content is only required for students who have chosen to pursue the Honors Track certification.
Unit 04 – Neurobiology: Molecular Biology and Genetics of Sleep – (Honors Track)
Unit 4 closes out the Neurobiology section with a lecture from Chiara Cirelli, Ph.D. on Molecular Biology and the Genetics of Sleep. PLEASE NOTE: This content is only required for students who have chosen to pursue the Honors Track certification.