The Course


The Science of Sleep
(PHYL 160)

Instructor: Herve Collin Course PHYL 160
Office: Kokio 202F
Building: KOKIO209
Phone: 734-9388
Office hours: M:11:00-12:00
F :11:00-12:00


  • Basics of Sleep Behavior, WebSciences International and Sleep
    Research Society.
  • PubMED articles


An introduction to the science of sleep, sleep research and medical disorders associated with sleep. This course will include an overview of the anatomy and physiology of the central nervous system as it is related to sleep. This course will also introduce students to the impact of sleep deprivation on individuals. Finally, the student will be introduced to the scientific method triggered to sleep research and will apply this knowledge to conduct their own sleep experiment.


None, but basics of Physiology are suggested.


Upon successful completion of the course, the student should be able to:

1. demonstrate knowledge of how sleep is regarded in different cultures and environments.
2. demonstrate knowledge of the history of sleep research.
3. demonstrate an understanding of how sleep changes from infancy to the elderly.
4. demonstrate an understanding of polysomnography and other methods of analysis of sleep quality.
5. demonstrate knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of sleep centers in the central nervous system.
6. demonstrate knowledge of the neuroendocrines and their effects on sleep.
7. demonstrate an understanding of sleep stages, patterns and other features associated with sleep and sleep disorders.
8. utilize and interpret physiological signals to evaluate sleep quality and sleep disorders.
9. demonstrate an understanding of how researchers evaluate sleep quality and sleep disorders.
10. demonstrate an understanding of current theory of why we sleep and possible causes of sleep disorders.
11. demonstrate an understanding of time series characterization and analysis.
12. record data, analyze data, and extract information from data.
13. Demonstrate understanding of the scientific method.


Articles and book reading will be given to students either in class or via email. The Web will be significant reading source as well as the above book (online). Computer facilities in Campus are located at the Computing Center (Iliahi) and the Library (Lama). Access to KOKIO 202 is available for students to watch required videos.


There will be one midterm, many projects and a final cumulative exam.

Topics - not in order

  • How is sleep measured? PSG
  • Sleep Characterization
  • Stages, hypnogram, Arousals
  • Sleep evolution with age,
  • Arousals, fragmentation
  • Sleepiness level, Phylogeny
  • Circadian Rhythm, workshift, jet
  • Lag, DSP,ASP.
  • Functions of sleep
  • Physiology of sleep
  • Sleep and the ANS, application to
  • HRV
  • Sleep and Brain
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sleep and Drugs
  • Dreams
  • Sleep Disorder

This course is research and project oriented. Students will not be passive recipients of lecture delivery. Rather, students will be expected to act as active learners demonstrating their understanding of acquired through projects. Students will also be tested by one midterm and a cumulative final.


Your grade for this course will be based on three exams, projects and a cumulative final exam.

Midterm - 20%
Projects - 50%
Final Exam - 30%

The letter grade that you will earn in this course is based upon the following scale:

100 % - 90 % A
89 % - 80 % B
79 % - 70 % C
69 % - 60 % D
59 % and below F

Students are able to obtain their current class standing at any time during the semester.

Withdrawals from the Course and Incomplete Grade:

The Math/Science Department policy on Withdrawals from courses and Incomplete Grades is as follows:

1. Withdrawals ("W" Grade): After the "last day for withdrawals", which is found on the calendar in the schedule of courses, the instructor will sign withdrawals only in cases of extreme or unusual circumstances. Grade related excuses are unacceptable. Examples of extreme or unusual circumstances are:

(a) a certified medical reason, or,
(b) a death in the family.

Students who no longer attend class and who DO NOT OFFICIALLY WITHDRAW from the course will receive "F" grades.

2. Incomplete ("I" Grade): Students must present the "Request for Incomplete Grade" form prior to the last day of instruction. "I" grades will be given only to students who are achieving passing grades and are very close to completing the course. In addition, the student must have a very good reason for not being able to complete all of the work on time. Examples of good reasons are the same as those listed under the "withdrawal policy" above.


Attendance is required. No exam make-ups are given except for extreme situations and only if notified to the instructor at least 24 hours in advance. No late assignment is accepted. Projects and exams are primarily based on course content, it is therefore crucial for students to be present. If the instructor is late to class, students may leave after fifteen (15) minutes.


Appropriate student conduct as defined by the Kapi'olani Community College Student Conduct Code will be expected of students at all times.


Extended time in a distraction-free environment is an appropriate accommodation based on a student's disability. If you are a student with a documented disability and have not voluntarily disclosed the nature of your disability and the support you need, you are invited to contact the Disability Support Services Office, OEIlima 103, 734-9552 (V/T), for assistance.


The electronic communications policy adopted in December 2005 establishes the University of Hawai'i Internet service as an official medium for communication among students, faculty, and staff. Every member of the system has a address, and the associated username and password provide access to essential Web announcements and email. You are hereby informed of the need to regularly log in to UH email and Web services for announcements and personal mail. Failing to do so will mean missing critical information from academic and program advisors, instructors, registration and business office staff, classmates, student organizations, and others.

(i) Kapi'olani Community College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution.

(ii) Students are expected to attend all classes for which they are registered. If a student is unable to attend class, he or she should contact the instructor in advance to give notification of the absence and make the necessary arrangements.

(iii) For those students who receive financial aid and fail to attend the first week of classes without making arrangements with the instructor, the instructor will submit the student's name to the Financial Aid Office. The student will be denied financial aid for the class that he/she is not attending. In addition, it is solely the student's responsibility to withdraw from the class or attend the class and pay tuition.

Course Design

Format and Pedagogies:

The PHYL 160 course promotes hands-on learning and guided scientific experimentation to allow students opportunities to assess their own sleep debt using nightly sleep journals, sleep surveys and actigraphy monitoring. Actigraphy is a relatively non-invasive method of monitoring human rest/activity cycles. The unit continually records the movements it undergoes. The data is later read to a computer where it can be analyzed.

Actigraph watch by used by students in PHYL 160

Actigraph Watch

The below diagram shows how the scientific method can be demonstrated using actigraphy as quantitative measurements and sleepiness level surveys (Epworth Sleep Survey) as qualitative measurements. Throughout the semester, students monitor their own sleep pattern and subject themselves to simple, controlled condition (respiration exercise) and record outcomes.

To emphasize and relate the interconnectivity of the topics to the symptoms, evaluation, causes, and solutions to sleep debt, PHYL 160 employs the following learning pedagogy to promotes positive study habits, synthesizes knowledge, demonstrates understanding, and to broaden understanding and opinions.

1) Lectures are based on prior reading assigned to the students (source: book, Internet or articles) and are meant to summarize and clarify the knowledge gained by the students.

2) Course discussions are an integral part of the lectures. Students are provoked to participate, consolidate their understanding and expand their knowledge or point of view on topics covered through the reading material.

3) Hands-on activity are distributed throughout the semester, and provide opportunities to students to gain and/or consolidate their skills using spreadsheets, data tabulation, statistical calculations, tables, graphs, as well as basic word editing when necessary.

4) Short videos are used as part of the learning experience and provide two purposes: consolidate their knowledge, expand their vision, and explore new point of views on covered topics.