Supplementary Lecture Notes: Chapter 3: Sleep

  © 2013-19 Imants Barušs

    A note about these "Supplementary Lecture Notes"

Please note that these "Supplementary Lecture Notes" are supplementary in that the textbook itself is actually the "lecture notes" (that happened to get published as a book). So these notes are not meant to replace the textbook. What you will find here is a list of the topices that are covered in each class (usually just a list of the sections of the textbook), a summary of some of the material that is covered in class that is not in the textbook, and some references to the material that is not in the textbook.


"Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You'll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?" (Walker, 2017, p. 107)


How the brain works
Stages of sleep
Sleep mentation
Sleep need
Neurophysiology of sleep
Effects of drugs on sleep
Sleep-wake disorders
Bizarre sleep-walking homicide

    Brain Stuff

The following are some of the slides that were shown during class. Where possible, I have included the actual slides, but, if there were copyright issues with posting slides to this web site, then I have created links to the pages on the which the slides can be found.

    MRI of sagittal transection by Christian R. Linder 2000:

Image:Brain chrischan.jpg




Nerve Cell 




    EEG Associated with Different Sleep Stages:

The link to the sleep stages figure that I showed in class no longer exists. However, here are a couple of alternatives that seem to be ok. The first is more detailed and identifies the leads at which particular waveforms are seen.

    Second Sleep

Before the industrial era, we slept in two bouts of sleep with a period of rest between them. That intervening period is a fragile state marked by pleasant quiet. The relaxing hormone prolactin is released during this period at twice the waking levels of release (from The Head Trip by Jeff Warren).

Shrinking Glial Cells

Beta amyloid is a protein linked to the formation of amyloid plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Studies have shown that the worse someone’s SWS, the greater the number of amyloid deposits in the frontal lobe. During NREM sleep, the glial cells in the brain shrink by up to 60% allowing the cerebrospinal fluid to flush toxins, including amyloid protein, from the brain. In other words, it would appear that the loss of SWS as a person ages could be a contributing factor to the development of Alzheimer’s disease (Walker, 2017, pp. 158–161).

    Sleep-Wake Disorders

When I wrote the textbook, I used the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition text-revision), published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2000, for the classification of Sleep Disorders. In the DSM-5, which was published in the spring of 2013, Sleep Disorders have been renamed "Sleep-Wake Disorders" and reorganized. The following is part of the new classification:

Insomnia Disorder
Hypersomnolence Disorder
Breathing-Related Sleep Disorders
    NREM Sleep Arousal Disorders
        Sleep Terrors
    Nightmare Disorder


American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (fifth edition). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.
Warren, J. (2007). The head trip. New York: Random House.
Walker, M. (2017). Why we sleep: Unlocking the power of sleep and dreams. New York: Scribner.