No More Snoozing

November/December 2002

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No More Snoozing

Stanford Medical Center

After 32 years, more than 15,000 students and several narcoleptic dogs, one of Stanford’s most popular courses is turning out the lights. Human Biology 11—better known as Sleep and Dreams—will be offered to Stanford students for the last time winter quarter.

Psychiatry professor William Dement created the course in 1970 for freshmen in Cedro House, where he was resident fellow. Those informal sessions in the dorm lounge soon became a hotbed of sleep research.

“A genuine sleep laboratory we set up in the basement of Wilbur Hall became the world’s first sleep disorders clinic,” recalls Dement, director of the Stanford Sleep Disorders and Research Center. “Today’s robust field of sleep medicine might not exist had those bright and trained Cedro students not been available.”

The course quickly became a campus favorite, attracting up to 1,000 students each year.

Dement is confident his lessons will stick. “Stanford Sleep and Dreams alumni will remember the important principles for the remainder of their lives,” he says. “[They proved] to me that it is possible to achieve every success and still get enough sleep.”

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