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The Science of Sleep and Dreams

Delve into sleep science to understand why we sleep and dream, how it affects the mind and body, and how to improve your sleep.

6 hours

Created by Finola Lang, offered on FutureLearn

Description

Explore the importance of sleep and dreams for mental health and wellbeing

We all sleep approximately one-third of our lives – a huge proportion of our time. We also know that sleep is fundamental to our health and wellbeing.

This three-week course from New Scientist will delve into the phenomenon of sleep and dreams to unpack the importance of sleeping and dreaming for cognition, mental health, and wellbeing.

Learn about the stages of sleep, such as Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM sleep)

The sleep cycle is comprised of multiple stages of sleep which help the body and mind to recuperate. Progressing through the cycle multiple times a night allows a person to achieve a high-quality rest, which has positive effects on mental, emotional, and physical health.

On this course, you’ll learn about the stages of sleep and dreaming to understand what happens when we sleep, and how the sleep stages change over the course of a night.

Examine key theories and the latest research in sleep science

Psychologists, scientists, and researchers have examined the phenomenon of sleep and dreams for centuries to understand why we sleep and dream.

With the expertise of Professor Penny Lewis from Cardiff University and Professor Anil Seth from the University of Sussex, you’ll review and discuss key theories and experimental evidence that underpin this exciting area of research. Through an analysis of this research, you’ll expand your understanding of the links between sleep and dreams and the functions of the human brain.

Discover sleep strategies and how sleep can be engineered, with New Scientist

Sleep engineering is a fascinating emerging science based around manipulating sleep in order to improve cognition and health.

With the expertise of the trusted educators on this course, you’ll explore sleep engineering and learn tips and strategies to improve your own sleep.

This course is designed for anyone interested in research into sleep science, or those who wish to improve their sleep.

It will also be useful for healthcare professionals and students of psychology looking to improve their understanding of sleep science.

What you will learn

  • Explain the importance of sleep and dreams
  • Describe what happens when we sleep and the various stages of sleep and dreaming
  • Explain various theories on why we sleep and dream
  • Discuss experimental evidence that support various theories on why we sleep and dream
  • Describe ways we can engineer our sleep to reduce cognitive decline, increase memory reactivation and to decouple emotions from memories
  • Assess various approaches to improve your own sleep

Requirements

  • This course is designed for anyone interested in research into sleep science, or those who wish to improve their sleep.
  • It will also be useful for healthcare professionals and students of psychology looking to improve their understanding of sleep science.
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FutureLearn

FutureLearn is a British digital education platform founded in December 2012. It offers everything from regular online courses to full online degrees, offered in partnership with dozens of universities globally. With close to 5 million monthly visitors, it’s a popular choice for many.

Frequently asked questions

  • Price: $null
  • Platform: FutureLearn
  • Language: English
  • 6 hours
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