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Sioux Falls Feminists endorse Secrets of Sleep Science for explaining
why sleep is so important to our well-being, how it contributes
to our learning and memory, and how it's lack can lead
to mental disorders both subtle and severe.

Secrets of Sleep Science
From Dreams to Disorders
Lectures by Professor H. Craig Heller

Secrets of Sleep Science (2013)
24 lectures, 12 hours
Secrets of Sleep Science at TheGreatCourses.com

For many of us, sleep is one of life's greatest pleasures. For others, sleep represents a nightly struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, rest comfortably, and even remain safe until morning. But what is sleep exactly, and why must we do it every night?

Despite the fact that we spend about one-third of our lives in slumber, scientists still aren't completely certain. Finding the function of sleep is one of the biggest - and most intriguing - challenges facing biologists today.

What is clear: Sleep is as essential to life as food and water. It impacts virtually every aspect of our lives, from our mood to the functioning of our organs, and it contributes to learning and memory, better performance at work, and a more healthy and productive wakeful life overall.

A lack of sleep impairs your cognitive abilities, exacerbates or leads to psychological problems, and leaves you vulnerable to a long list of chronic medical issues. And the consequences of too little sleep extend beyond the personal. From causing auto accidents to factoring into major disasters such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill, sleep deprivation imposes a heavy toll on society.

Clearly, there's tremendous value in studying sleep that goes far beyond mere fascination. Educating yourself on the subject may, without exaggeration, save your life or the life of someone you love. The frightening reality is that dire consequences can develop after only a few days of inadequate sleep.

Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders is your opportunity to access groundbreaking research on the complex and enigmatic phenomenon of sleep, straight from a scientist at the forefront of the field. In these 24 engrossing lectures, award-winning Stanford University professor and researcher H. Craig Heller reveals how far neuroscientists and biologists have come on their quest to pinpoint the principal functions of sleep - which remain a matter of intense debate.

Professor H. Craig Heller is the Lorry I. Lokey/Business Wire Professor of Biological Sciences and Human Biology at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D in Biology from Yale University. Dr. Heller's wide ranging research includes such topics as hibernation, circadian rhythms, learning and memory, and human physical performance. He has coauthored or edited more than 200 peer-reviewed research papers and tow biology textbooks and has led several biology education projects, including one to develop computer-based instructional modules in physiology. Professor Heller is also a member of the Defense Science Research Council.

24 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: Sweet Sleep - Essential for a Healthy Life 13: Functions of Sleep - Fueling the Brain
2: What Is Sleep? 14: The Timing and Function of REM Sleep
3: Sleep across the Night 15: Sleep and Learning - Procedural Memory
4: Sleep across the Lifespan 16: Sleep and Declarative Memory
5: Who in the World Sleeps? 17: Sleep and Memory in Animals
6: The Timing of Sleep 18: Sleep and Learning Disability
7: The Wheels of the Circadian Clock 19: When You Cannot Sleep - Insomnia
8: The Deep Sleep of Hibernators 20: Sleep Apnea
9: The Neuroanatomy and Neurochemistry of Sleep 21: Behavior during Sleep - Parasomnias
10: The Neurophysiology of Sleep 22: Sleep and the Rest of the Body
11: Sleep Disorders - Narcolepsy 23: Improving Sleep
12: The Strange World of Dreams 24: Sleep in the Future and the Future of Sleep

 

10-22-16 What do our dreams mean?
What do our dreams mean?
The earliest recorded dream is from the Sumerian king Dumuzi of Uruk, who ruled just before Gilgamesh, sometime around 2500 BC. "An eagle seizes a lamb from the sheepfold," a translation reads. "A falcon catches a sparrow on the reed fence … The cup lies on its side; Dumuzi lives no more. The sheepfold is given to the winds." The king was freaked out about his dream, and occasioned the first recorded dream interpretation, care of his sister, who was evidently a professional at these things. Sister's advice: Some bad sh-t is about to go down, so you'd do well to hide. If you've ever been befuddled by a dream, take heart: You're following a 4,000-year tradition of confusion. Over that time, humanity — in the form of religion, philosophy, psychology, neuroscience — has actually come to somewhat understand what exactly the mind is doing in its slumbering states. To that end, here are five of the leading theories for what dreams are and what they do to us:

  • Dreams are pragmatic prophecies.
  • Dreams tell you what to do.
  • Dreams are communications from the unconscious mind.
  • Dreams are data.
  • Dreams are your memories in action.


2-8-16 Sleep deprivation linked to false confession in milestone study
Sleep deprivation linked to false confession in milestone study
The first study to show lack of sleep can lead to false confessions could be used in court to prevent miscarriages of justice, predict legal experts. Although hard to fathom, false confessions happen surprisingly often; they are thought to play a role in up to a quarter of wrongful convictions in the US, according to the campaign group the Innocence Project. In many cases, as in Thibodeaux’s, the suspect was profoundly sleep deprived during their police interviews. Now a study has shed more light on how easily severe exhaustion can lead to this type of false confession. Legal experts are predicting it will be cited in future court cases. “It’s a milestone,” says Lawrence Sherman, head of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge.

12-23-15 Sleep isn't needed to create long-term memories – just time out
Sleep isn't needed to create long-term memories – just time out
Sitting for 10 minutes with no stimulation helps people remember new information, suggesting we consolidate memories without the need to sleep on it. Need to remember something important? Take a break. A proper one – no TV or flicking through your phone messages. It seems that resting in a quiet room for 10 minutes without stimulation can boost our ability to remember new information. The effect is particularly strong in people with amnesia, suggesting that they may not have lost the ability to form new memories after all. “A lot of people think the brain is a muscle that needs to be continually stimulated, but perhaps that’s not the best way,” says Michaela Dewar at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK. New memories are fragile. They need to be consolidated before being committed to long-term storage, a process thought to happen while we sleep. But at least some consolidation may occur while we’re awake, says Dewar – all you need is a timeout.

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Secrets of Sleep Science
From Dreams to Disorders
Lectures by Professor H. Craig Heller

Sioux Falls Feminists endorse Secrets of Sleep Science for explaining
why sleep is so important to our well-being, how it contributes
to our learning and memory, and how it's lack can lead
to mental disorders both subtle and severe.