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.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
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College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
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.)
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.
Professor Heller does a fabulous job with this series of 24 lectures, all of which I found very engaging and easy to understand. There are one or two lectures that get deep into the neurology of sleep, but he clearly has experience teaching college students and knows how to make material understandable. He also is very passionate about his research and the possibilities of improving quality of life through better sleep science and popular information about sleep, and as a fellow professor I appreciate that energy. If you are at all interested in sleep science, or you or your loved ones have any issues with sleep, this is a must!
I listen to audiobooks in the car on my commute to and from work.
The narrator did a superb job. Pace, tone, rapport, comfort with technical terms, etc. This guy knows his stuff and has the gift of being an enjoyable narrator!
The explanations about how sleep and memory and learning are linked, and what experiments they do to pinpoint and deduce where, when, and how this works. I've learnt a great deal.
I listen to audiobooks in my car on my commute to and from work. Each leg is about 40 minutes. I was always a bit disappointed when I arrived at my destination, because I wish could listen just a bit longer!Having said that, listening through the entire thing in one go would be too much. One has to sleep, no. :-)
A bit technical at times, but well worth the effort. Hope to listen to parts of these lectures again. Will definitely try to implement some of suggestions for better "sleep hygiene."
Avid reader with an inability to sit still... thank God for Audible :)
I've loved learning about sleep from the time I understood that my father and I were night owls and my sister and mother were morning birds... and why do my oldest son and I have night terrors (even as an adult I have them) and my other son doesn't... I was always wondering what made us so different!
This is a great book that introduces some concepts I didn't know about (even after all of my reading over the years) but the professor gets into some very technical information on neurochemistry.
of course! I've got many of them already...
yes, the professor was very good - I'd definitely recommend *not* listening to this on 1.5 ;)
This course left me wanting to ask the professor questions - I'll be sending him an email.
Kept Me Awake
The author used a systematized approach, assembling the basics in an amazingly comprehensible way. Then, the lectures shifted to a more granular approach, focusing and refining. There is something here for all mindsets: the casual self-help seeker might benefit in a superficial way but those who are willing to put in some learning effort will reap a bigger harvest. The narration was spot-on perfect too.
Logic, intuition, smooth narration. It's obvious that this is a world-class academic lecturer who won't easily lose his audience's attention.
Finally helping me to understand the fine points of the sleep cycle and the anatomical brain structures involved. I was also stirred by the emphasis on the chronic dangers of sleep deprivation in our modern society
This is a work I'll come back to many times over in the future. With a few easy changes in my life, I've already been able to improve the quality and duration of my sleep.
I applaud the professor. His knowledge, organization and delivery are excellent. BUT....I did not buy this title to learn about the science of sleep. I bought this title to understand the root causes of sleep problems and how they can be addressed. This was a hardcore technical science series of lectures. No offense to the professor but sometimes just listening to them helped me get to sleep. There are a few lectures in the series that are good for the non-scientist/layman like me, who just wants to understand sleep problems and solutions...not the myriad scientific names and concepts of parts of the brain that do this and that.....honestly the dreams chapter was good but didn't go far enough, the pharmacological lecture was somewhat useful, and every so often the professor would offer a bit of advice that had practical benefit. Again, I don't fault Professor Heller, I fault Audible and Great Courses for marketing this as a self-help title.
Dreams and drugs.
The final one.
Most of them and replaced with anecdotes and success stories that may have translated into practical benefit to me.
Remove from self-help and leave under science.
(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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