Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders : The Great Courses: Better Living

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Craig H. Heller
  • Series: The Great Courses: Better Living
  • 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Sleep is the subject of intense scientific debate among biologists and neuroscientists. Why must we spend about one-third of our lives asleep? What exactly is sleep? Why does a lack of sleep impair our cognitive abilities and leave us vulnerable to a host of medical issues ranging from obesity to reduced resistance to infectious disease?
These 24 engrossing lectures take you to the forefront of the field to reveal what happens in the sleeping brain right down to the cellular and molecular level. You'll investigate what biological changes occur during wakefulness that are reversed during sleep - and why your brain forces you to fall asleep to repay an accumulated sleep deficit, no matter how dangerous the circumstances.
The science of sleep encompasses basic concepts of electricity, neuroanatomy, and neurochemistry, which are responsible for the "architecture of sleep." Professor Heller explains the science behind our circadian rhythms, REM and non-REM sleep, the physiology of dreaming, and more.
Sleep pathologies and disorders are among the most fascinating topics of the course. From disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome to parasomnias such as sleepwalking and night terrors, the most up-to-date findings in the science of sleep are truly riveting.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

This Course Appealed To Me...

on several different levels. As a lifelong insomniac, the section on sleep disorders had a very personal draw for me. As someone with a deep interest in neurology and brain science, the physiological and neurological aspects of sleep held a further fascination. As someone who has also studied psychology at length, the psychological and mental health aspects of sleep were of great interest to me as well. As always with the Great Courses, I was not disappointed, but rather found a rich and rewarding experience here. Craig Heller is a knowledgeable and entertaining lecturer and presents this series in a way accessible to the layman but also interesting to someone who has already done considerable research in this area. I have been listening to many of the Great Courses on the mind, the brain, personality and perception of late, and I am impressed with how current and up-to-date they are and how complete they are in presenting theories and ideas in the psychological and neurological realm. I highly recommend other Great Courses in this area to complement Heller's talks on sleep, dreams and sleep disorders. (See my other reviews of same.)
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- Douglas "College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey."

This is what to listen to BEFORE you see a doctor!

(or after) ;)

The very first lecture had me hesitant, it seems a bit fluffy- but the later lectures were deliciously efficient with communicating the many details of sleep and what is actually going on in your brain.

The speaker does an excellent job keeping the listener engaged and interested along with having a voice that has the personality and excitement of a Ph.D talking about his own field/dedication (which he is!). I suddenly started suffering from a sleep disorder after meningitis which was later exacerbated by a major concussion. Medical doctors have a tendency to try to diagnose you as quickly as possible, but not as 'well' as possible. If you go to a doctor with the knowledge you obtain here - your suggestions and ideas will hold substantial weight and you may be able to more accurately relay your symptoms (if you are having sleep issues).

Prof. Heller goes over all the possibilities/sources of sleep pathologies from the level of protein signalling to the macromolecular results. He does an excellent job relaying how sleep is structured and what the different parts of sleep may be doing. He even touches on how to optimize sleep for enhanced learning. Occasionally, I've had to re-listen to lectures that were information-dense or take notes but he explains how/why all the ingredients in common (and less common) sleep aids work. I was inspired to delve deeper, still, because of these lectures- looking up more information on the parts of the brain involved in sleep and memory as well as how sleep differs in those with learning disabilities.

I've researched sleep due to my issues with it and even with my biological background (current phd student in molecular biology- proteomics) I've taken notes and learned plenty of things I didn't know before!

I HIGHLY recommend this audiobook, whether or not you have sleep problems. You may find yourself sleeping better, learning better and coping better in addition to understanding your own body better.
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- DaemonZeiro

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses