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Sweet dreams

In Greek mythology, Hypnos is the God of Sleep. He fathered many sons, but only three of them were chosen to rule the realm of dreams — Phantasos, who induces dreams of inanimate objects, Phobetor, who elicits images of animals, and Morpheus, the true God of Dreams, who populates our nights with images of humans. This ancient fascination with sleep and dreaming is still present in our times, and we continue to learn more and more about both phenomena as the tools of modern biology bring their strengths to bear on the problem. If you want to get a clear idea of how much we already know about sleep, then you must pay a visit to Basics of Sleep Behavior, a fantastic site where you can get up to speed on what happens in our brain while we are “in the arms of Morpheus”.

Basics of Sleep Behavior is an online tutorial developed by the Sleep Research Society and the Brain Information Service at the University of California, Los Angeles. It includes accessible discussions of different aspects of sleep physiology and pathology that are aimed at a wide audience — from undergraduates to established researchers who might want to learn the basics of the field. It also includes a helpful bibliography (which would benefit from some updating), a dictionary, and links to another very useful resource — the Sleep Home Pages.

The Sleep Home Pages is a portal, also maintained by the Brain Information Service, which provides an almost inexhaustible list of links to numerous organizations, discussion forums, publications and all kinds of pages related to sleep. Together, Basics of Sleep Behavior and the Sleep Home Pages are ideal resources to start exploring the domains of Hypnos and his cohort of children.


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López, J. Sweet dreams. Nat Rev Neurosci 2, 534 (2001).

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