What if we could learn in our sleep? And what if we could reduce the amount of time spent sleeping?
Sleep is an enigma. We spend a third of our lives in a state of extended lack of perceptual attention and behavioural reactivity, and we are only beginning to understand the biological functions sleep serves to compensate for these adaptational disadvantages. Despite its important role for health, sleep is often considered a waste of time that could be spent more productively, and average sleep times are decreasing in many countries. We explore different strategies to optimize sleep. In particular, we will focus on how to optimize the role of sleep for cognitive functioning, the possibility to change to polyphasic sleep schedules to reduce total sleep time. Could higher cognitive processes can be enhanced during sleep and dreaming?
Researchers are breaking new ground in potential ways to optimize the role of sleep for cognitive functioning through sleep hacking and dream state manipulation. What if we could learn in our sleep? What if we could reduce the amount of time spent sleeping? Prof. Martin Dresler shares his celebrated institute’s sleep and memory research. To what extent can sleep phases be steered or managed? He provides a tour of strategies to optimize sleep. Prof. Dresler touches upon thorny consequences of such cutting-edge research and the tricky – don’t try this at home – aspects of his work.
About lecture series ‘Effective Sleep’
Some need little; others a lot. Many wish they had more. With so much to do and so much going on, is being asleep wasting our time? What ‘more effective sleep’ could mean for our waking hours is unchartered territory for most. Even though we spend a third of our lives in this state, what do we know about the biological functions sleep serves to compensate for? We explore cutting-edge approaches to understanding sleep as a part of downtime and look at interventions within reach to alter its role in our lives.
About Martin Dresler
Martin Dresler leads the Donders Sleep & Memory Lab. He was trained in biopsychology, philosophy and mathematics at Ruhr University, Bochum; received his PhD from Philipps University, Marburg; and performed postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Oxford University and Stanford University before joining the Donders Institute in 2013. He is elected member of the Young Academy of the German National Academy of Sciences. The research of his group centers on the cognitive neuroscience of sleep, including cognitive processes occurring during sleep and the role of sleep for memory processes, neuroplasticity and general cognitive functioning. Website: https://dreslerlab.org