Sleep disturbances and sleep deprivation are common in modern society and therefore sleep medicine is a rapidly growing specialty. It is proposed that this course will therefore be of interest to a wide range of public health specialists.
The course will explore both basic scientific studies, such as chronobiology and the physical biology of light receptors, as well as consideration of some of the social aspects of sleep and the public health implications. Students will have the opportunity to consider the role of sleep in psychiatry, child health, pregnancy and diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. A strong focus will be on the epidemiology of sleep as a model for understanding causality in many metabolic conditions and students will engage with the public health aspects of sleep deprivation in accidents, shift working or child health. By the end of the course students will be aware of strategies to enable patients to mitigate the potential harm of sleep deprivation to psychological or physical health.