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Why is sleep good for you?

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  • UserProfessor William Wisden FMedSci, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
  • ClockTuesday 20 October 2020, 18:00-19:30
  • HouseGoogle Meets.

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We have all felt the effects of a poor night’s sleep. If we don’t sleep well, we feel generally groggy. And if we don’t sleep at all, our body takes over and forces us to go to sleep, at least for a while. It seems that regular sleep is needed to maintain the body’s health. But researchers still do not understand why we need to sleep. In this talk, I will outline the current research findings about how sleep may help the brain clear the build-up of waste toxins, stimulate memory, stabilize mood and boost the immune system. I will present our research on the brain’s wiring that controls the drive to sleep.

Speaker profile:

Prof William Wisden studied Natural Sciences (Zoology) at the University of Cambridge, and then did his PhD with Prof Stephen Hunt at the MRC Molecular Neurobiology Unit, Cambridge, followed by a period as postdoc in Prof Peter Seeburg’s lab at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He became Professor at Imperial College London in 2009 and is now the Chair of Molecular Neuroscience there. Prof Wisden has worked extensively on neurotransmitters and the neural circuitry of memory. Most recently, he became interested in sleep. In collaboration with Prof Nick Franks (also at Imperial), he used mouse genetics to investigate how inhibition regulates the sleep-wake circuitry and the actions of sedative drugs. Prof Wisden is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

This talk is part of the SciSoc – Cambridge University Scientific Society series.

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