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NEUR455 Sleep

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The physiology of sleep, sleep and circadian rhythms, and sleep and daytime performance.

NEUR 455 Sleep is designed to teach students about the organisation and regulation of sleep and waking, and its role in human health and disease.

Paper title Sleep
Paper code NEUR455
Subject Neuroscience
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,702.01
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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This paper is available to 400-level Neuroscience majors. Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission. View more information about departmental permission.

Professor Barbara Galland (

Teaching staff

Associate Professor Barbara Galland

Paper Structure

The paper covers three main areas:

  • Sleep organisation and regulation
  • Research providing insight into how and why we sleep
  • Sleep in health and disease
Teaching Arrangements

The NEUR 455 course will begin with three introductory sessions from May 17 delivered as e-learning lessons to be completed by students in their own time, prior to meeting for lectures/seminars scheduled beginning Semester 2 on July 12, running through to September 20. More sessions may be scheduled as needed. Students will participate and lead some sessions on particular topics, and as part of the internal assessment.


Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Course outline

The course outline is available from Associate Professor Barbara Galland, Department of Women's & Children's Health.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

The focus is on learning about the scientific underpinnings of sleep research and application to health. Students will gain the ability to understand and critique past and current literature and methodologies in the field, in the form of written assignments, presentations and discussions.

Students who successfully complete this paper will

  • Have a clear understanding of the basic organisation of sleep and sleep across the lifespan, the origins of sleep as a science and medical specialty, and the importance of sleep in health and disease
  • Have a clear understanding of the key elements in the brain where both sleep and wake are generated, the neuronal pathways and neurotransmitters involved and how sleep is quickly turned on and off
  • Understand the fundamental processes regulating sleep and wake in the form of the homeostatic sleep drive and circadian biological rhythms
  • Gain a basic but practical understanding of each of the sleep states, with associated alterations in neurophysiology, and techniques used in research and clinical settings to measure both sleep and functional outcomes
  • Gain a clear understanding of sleep manipulations that have influenced our knowledge of the role of sleep in health and disease
  • Gain a clear understanding of how sleep disorders are classified, and learn about some of the rare disorders that have influenced our understanding of sleep-wake regulation
  • Gain a clear understand of leading theories related to the function of sleep and basic understanding of a number of other contenders
  • Develop skills in combining information from multiple sources to produce a review of a field of sleep science
  • Develop skills in communicating applied neuroscience

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 11:00-12:50 28-34, 36-38