The Physiology of Sleep


What does sleep look like to the people who study it? How does the sleep cycle change with age? Here you'll learn why your newborn sleeps only two hours at a time (if you're lucky!) and why your grandparents wake up before dawn.


Podcast Lecture: The Somniloquy, Episode 3



Dement, The Promise of Sleep: Ch. 1, 5

Lavie, The Enchanted World of Sleep: Ch. 2 (p. 11-17), Ch. 4



1. According to Dement, what are the criteria for sleep?

2. Explain the typical sleep cycle. What are the characteristics of each stage?

3. When in life does sleep begin?

4. Describe the sleep of children. What happens to sleep at the onset of puberty?

5. How does the sleep of adults change after ages 65-70?



Start a Sleep Log: For 1-2 weeks, note down what time you go to sleep and what time you wake up. Include naps, both planned and unplanned. How many hours of sleep do you average?