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 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

Wow! I wish I had this courses when I was 20 years

I have listened to dozens of very interesting audiobooks, but I never had a more engaging experience. This basically comes from from the quality of the narration by professor Heller and by the detailed content regarding the processes in the sleep research.

If I had heard such lectures at 20, I would certainly have had a better sleep hygiene.

This courses reminded me of the enthusiasm that I felt from the best science teachers that I got.

This was my first 'Great Course'. I am really looking for more now.
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- Francois

Book Details

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