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Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders | [The Great Courses]

Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders

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?
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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.

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.

©2013 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2013 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 09-07-13
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 09-07-13 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

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    "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.)

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Barnes Connecticut 09-30-13
    N. Barnes Connecticut 09-30-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Fascinating science delivered in compelling manner"

    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!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pieter ATHELSTONE, Australia 01-30-14
    Pieter ATHELSTONE, Australia 01-30-14 Member Since 2012

    I listen to audiobooks in the car on my commute to and from work.

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    "Excellent content, excellent narration"
    What did you love best about Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders?

    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!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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. :-)


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. A. Newton Salt Lake City, UT USA 09-22-13
    E. A. Newton Salt Lake City, UT USA 09-22-13 Member Since 2005

    Avid reader with an inability to sit still... thank God for Audible :)

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    "Great information, *very* technical"
    What did you like best about Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders? What did you like least?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another book from The Great Courses? Why or why not?

    of course! I've got many of them already...


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    yes, the professor was very good - I'd definitely recommend *not* listening to this on 1.5 ;)


    Was Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders worth the listening time?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    This course left me wanting to ask the professor questions - I'll be sending him an email.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos Perry New York, NY United States 10-17-13
    Carlos Perry New York, NY United States 10-17-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Not a SELF HELP selection..."
    What would have made Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders better?

    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.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Dreams and drugs.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The final one.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders?

    Most of them and replaced with anecdotes and success stories that may have translated into practical benefit to me.


    Any additional comments?

    Remove from self-help and leave under science.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Francois 08-18-14
    Francois 08-18-14 Member Since 2007
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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ben 08-01-14
    ben 08-01-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Biological background is a must for this book!"

    I understood very little of this and found myself skipping from chapter to chapter. I have a technical background in engineering and math, but that didn't help with understanding the biological, neurological and medial terminology used in this coarse.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Los Osos, CA, United States 07-21-14
    Richard Los Osos, CA, United States 07-21-14 Listener Since 2010
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    "Thorough and Compelling"
    If you could sum up Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders in three words, what would they be?

    Kept Me Awake


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What does Professor Craig H. Heller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Logic, intuition, smooth narration. It's obvious that this is a world-class academic lecturer who won't easily lose his audience's attention.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Edgar Portland, OR 11-16-13
    Mark Edgar Portland, OR 11-16-13
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    "Clear Concise info for Healthy Sleep"

    Great book for the health conscious. If you're driving tired know that most deaths from car accidents are not from alcohol but from sleep deprivation!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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