Lecture #4: 
The science and benefits of sleep
by Darcy A. Santor

All organisms sleep – people, animals, insects and even bacteria.  In fact, sleep is over 500 million years old. Sleep is how your body restores the energy it uses and how it consolidates what you learn throughout the day.  Despite being essential to almost everything that we do, most people report getting far less sleep than they need. And it is costing us, in terms of poorer health, more frequent and severe mental health difficulties, and reduced performance at school and work. 

This fourth seminar introduces you to the science and importance of sleep. In this seminar, you will learn about the mechanisms that govern how sleep works and how it affects our health and most of what we do.  In this seminar, you will also learn how to improve your sleep, with a number of evidence-based tips and strategies.    

Improving the quality of your sleep is one of the important things that you can do.  Better sleep will improve your moods, the quality of your relationships, as well as the efficiency of your learning.  Getting there can be difficult but doesn’t need to be.  Still, you will need to know about the large number of factors that can threaten your ability to fall and stay asleep, as well as about the wide range of strategies that have been shown to improve your sleep.  

We will cover the basics in this fourth seminar and can get you started on getting more sleep and getting a more restful sleep.    

Resources:  Please complete the worksheet and surveys before the next lecture.

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