Course Syllabi

The following course materials were provided by each instructor and is provided here with permission. Most syllabi were designed for undergraduate sleep courses; courses vary across specific disciplines (public health, psychology, etc.).

Mary A. Carskadon, PhD
CLPS0120, 2018

Course Objectives:

  • To provide a basic introduction to the study of sleep and an overview of sleep, including measurement, bioregulation, ontogeny, phylogeny, physiology, psychology, and sleep disorders;
  • To provide a basic introduction to methods of studying behavior using modes of analysis common to experimental psychology, behavioral science, and neuroscience in the context of a weekly “journal club;”
  • To stretch students’ experiences beyond the overview of course material to encourage greater understanding of the interactions of sleep and society through a final project that contains a ‘public service’ component.

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Jodi Mindell
Research Seminar in Psychology: Sleep, 2018

Course Objectives:

  • Learn about normal human sleep and its functions
  • Gain knowledge of the assessment of sleep
  • Recognize the role of intrinsic and extrinsic influences on sleep
  • Understand how sleep differs across the lifespan and across cultures
  • Acquire basic knowledge about common sleep disorders and interventions to improve sleep
  • Develop critical thinking and analytic skills
  • Hone research skills by developing and conducting a research study

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William C. Dement & Rafael Pelayo
Sleep and Dreams, 2019

Course Overview:
Sleep and Dreams is designed to impart essential knowledge of the neuroscience of sleep. The course will cover the science of sleep, dreams, sleep deprivation, biological rhythms, and sleep disorders. Such knowledge should empower the student to make educated decisions concerning sleep and alertness for the rest of his or her life. An equally important goal is to shape students’ attitudes about the importance of sleep. Learning about the science of sleep will provide tangible reason to respect sleep as a member of what we term the triumvirate of health: good nutrition, physical fitness, and healthy sleep. We will include a live demonstration of how sleep is measured with a discussion of modern polysomnography. Students will be required to collect data on their own sleep hours and schedules in the form of a sleep journal and submit their sleep journals with this data each week. Students will also analyze their journal and track changes throughout the course. Finally, students will be required to complete an outreach projects that allows them to share their newly acquired sleep knowledge with their community. PSYC 235 is intended for graduate students only – all undergraduates must be enrolled in PSYC 135.

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Lauren Philbrook
Sleep Psychology, 2019

Course Objectives:

  • Describe the stages of sleep and explain how and why sleep characteristics and duration change across the lifespan.
  • Diagnose individuals’ sleep problems, recommend treatments and sleep hygiene strategies to improve sleep based upon their symptoms, and justify the recommendations made.
  • List the advantages and disadvantages of different methods for measuring sleep quality and quantity.
  • Explain how broader contextual forces such as school, family functioning, occupation, socioeconomic status, and race or ethnicity are associated with sleep.
  • Critically analyze the methods, strengths, and limitations of empirical work regarding how sleep contributes to daily functioning, and discuss how future work could expand on what has been found to-date.
  • Synthesize content and analytic techniques learned in class to write a research proposal concerning how sleep predicts an aspect of daily functioning.

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Alexandria Reynolds, PhD
Psychology of Sleep, 2019

Course Objectives:

  • Acquire knowledge of the basic neurophysiology of human and non-human sleep and sleep-wake mechanisms through studying textbooks, lectures, and journal articles.
  • Gain an appreciation about sleep disorders, their clinical presentation, underlying causes, and possible therapies by reading journal articles and textbooks and watching personal stories of patients with actual sleep disorders.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of sleep methodology by writing journal article summaries.
  • Interpret and integrate your learning in relation to your own sleep habits through subjectively and objectively observing and measuring your own sleep and writing sleep assessment papers.
  • Use your expertise and apply your knowledge by designing a sleep outreach project to promote sleep health.

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Hawley Montgomery-Downs
Psychobiology of Sleep, 2018

Course Objectives:

  • Describe sleep architecture, systems, development, circadian rhythmicity and special populations
  • Explain the benefits of sleep and consequences of poor/disordered sleep
  • Evaluate the credibility of sleep information using empirical support
  • Apply your knowledge using a service-based approach

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Alexandria Reynolds, PhD
Psychology of Sleep, 2017

Course Objectives:

  • Acquire knowledge of the basic neurophysiology of human and non-human sleep and sleep-wake mechanisms.
  • Gain an appreciation about sleep disorders, their clinical presentation, underlying causes, and possible therapies.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of sleep methodology by writing weekly journal article summaries.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in communicating about sleep science by writing a literature review on a sleep science topic.
  • Interpret and integrate your learning in relation to your own sleep habits.
  • Use your expertise and apply your knowledge by designing a sleep outreach project to promote sleep health.

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Sander Gilman, PhD & Ann E. Rogers, PhD, RN
The Science and Culture of Sleep, 2019

Course Objectives:

  • Students will describe the physiological mechanisms underlying sleep.
  • Students will discuss the association between sleep and health.
  • Students will explore the development of theories of dreaming.
  • Students will identify how culture influences when, where and with whom we sleep.

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Sander Gilman, PhD & Ann E. Rogers, PhD, RN
The Science and Culture of Sleep, 2019

Course Objectives:

  • Students will describe the physiological mechanisms underlying sleep.
  • Students will discuss the association between sleep and health.
  • Students will explore the development of theories of dreaming.
  • Students will identify how culture influences when, where and with whom we sleep.

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Andrea M. Spaeth, PhD
Sleep, Health and Performance, 2018

Course Objectives:

  • Display knowledge of the systems underlying sleep and circadian biology
  • Identify and explain the causes and consequences of insufficient sleep
  • Recognize the importance of sleep hygiene for health and optimal performance

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Michael Scullin
Sleep, 2018

Course Objectives:

  • Acquire knowledge of the psychological and neurobiological tenets of sleep.
  • Follow empirically-guided procedures to optimize learning and growth.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of scientific methodologies via online and in-class discussion of articles.

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Jeff Dyche, PhD
Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, 2019

Course Objectives:
The purpose of this course is to survey the contemporary scientific literature on sleep, emphasizing normal functioning, mechanisms involved in sleep, and clinical sleep disorders. Students will gain familiarity with the science of sleep and circadian rhythms as well as the research methods employed in this field of study. Students also will be familiar with sleep assessment to include basic scoring from polysomnography plus know how to evaluate and critically examine sleep science articles.

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Erin Wamsley
The Sleeping Brain, 2019

Course Objectives:

  • To explore and evaluate current theories of the function of sleep
  • To become more informed consumers of scientific literature in general
  • To understand current challenges in the practice of scientific research
  • To develop critical thinking skills as applied to interpreting scientific studies

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Erin Wamsley
EEG and Sleep Research Methods Bootcamp, 2019

Course Objectives:
Learn the fundamentals of EEG data collection and analysis through a mixture of instruction and actually doing it yourself.

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Alexandria M. Reynolds, PhD
PSY 4950: Sleep and Dreaming, 2020

Course Objectives:

  • Have a basic understanding of the neurophysiology of sleep and sleep-wake mechanisms.
  • Compare and contrast the possible theories for the function of sleep.
  • Identify the consequences of sleep deprivation, loss, debt, restriction, and excessive sleeping.
  • Gain an appreciation about sleep disorders, their clinical presentation, underlying causes, and possible therapies.
  • Analyze the relationship between cognition, learning, and psychology of sleep.
  • Compare and contrast the possible theories for the function of dreaming.

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