Skip main navigation

The basic neuroscience of sleep

The basic neuroscience of sleep
6.5
Sleep is something that we all do every night. And it was once thought that it was a period of time in which the brain and the body shut down completely. However, we now know that this is in fact, not the case, and that there are many changes in the brain and in our bodies physiology throughout the night while we are asleep. And also that sleep certainly does not represent a state of inactivity for the brain. Indeed, the brain goes through characteristic changes as we fall asleep, and then as asleep continues throughout the night. In 1929, Hans Berger the discovered electroencephalogram, or EEG, which is the tool we use to measure brain activity by placing electrodes on the scalp.
47.8
The EEG was later used in conjunction with electrodes that measure eye movements, or the electrooculargram, and muscle tone or the electromyogram to discover the dramatic changes in brain activity and physiology that occur throughout a night of sleep, revealing that there are two main types of sleep that occur in cycles. The following sections will discuss the basic neurophysiology of sleep, and how this differs at different stages of development until adult hood.
It was once thought that when we sleep our brains and bodies shut down completely, but we now know that this is not the case.
In this video we are introduced to the science of sleep. Over the next few steps we will unpack this science further to learn more about neurophysiology and how sleep differs throughout the lifespan.
This article is from the free online

Preventing Childhood Obesity: an Early Start to Healthy Living

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education