How We Sleep

Online Course: How We Sleep

A review of sleep regulation and its assessment

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Presented by:

Dale Whelehan

Chartered Physiotherapist and PhD candidate in surgical performance and the influence of sleep deprivation

1-1.5 hours

Summarising the latest research & evidence

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The regulation of sleep can be described by the two-process model of sleep. This model shows us that sleep is governed by two independent, yet interrelated processes, the homeostatic sleep drive and the circadian rhythm. Specifically, these processes govern the timing of sleep, the intensity of sleep and the duration of sleep. Various factors have an impact on sleep propensity such as sleep deprivation, the time of day and our age. In this course, we will explore how sleep is regulated and how we measure sleep and the related regulation processes. It is important to be aware of levels of "sleepiness" as healthcare professionals as this may be the first step in promoting effective behavioural changes in ourselves as healthcare professionals, as well as in our patients.


This course aims to provide information on sleep regulation processes as well as the various objective and subjective assessments of sleep.


This course is made up of videos, reading, forum posts and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Video
  2. Reading activity
  3. Quiz

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.

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