Workshop: introduction into sleep research methods

Saturday, 30 November 2019
@ German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Halle

Sleep is an enigma; we spend a third of our lives asleep, yet know considerably less about this state compared to cognitive and brain functions during wakefulness. In this hands-on workshop, we will give an introduction into the principles and practice of sleep research methdology.


10:00 Introduction lecture – What is sleep, what is it good for, and how can it be measured?

10:30 Hands-on, part I – You want to record a night of sleep? But how? Polysomnographic recording combines measurements from the brain (EEG), eyes (EOG) and muscles (EMG) to decode electrophysiological information on sleep. It is the gold standard method to determine sleep onset and differentiate between different sleep stages. New generation portable devices and EEG caps allow the recording of these essential features at home and in laboratory, in clinical evaluations as well as in highly controlled experimental settings. During this hands‐on session, you will take part in the first steps of an experimental session. We will teach you how to work with electrodes and to visualize and record (sleep) EEG data.

12:00 Lunch

13:00 Hands-on, part II – So you’ve just collected your first sleep EEG dataset. Congratulations! …..Now what? One of the first steps in your data analysis pipeline is scoring your sleep into distinct sleep stages. This session will consist of a lecture covering the history and lived practice of sleep scoring. Next, we will walk you through the main rules of the standardized sleep scoring manual (AASM, 2015). If time permits, we can put the new studied rules into practice.

14:30 Coffee

15:00 Hands-on, part III – You scored your first sleep data. Great, but now what? Here we will kick‐start your sleep analysis skills and perform essential sleep EEG analyses using open‐source solutions like SpiSOP and SleepTrip. This session will also be helpful if you want to get more experience in the analysis of spectral composition of sleep EEG, and characterize corresponding events like sleep spindles, slow waves, rapid eye movements, etc. If you like, bring your own data to try it yourself.

17:00 Ask us anything – now you have some idea how to make and use sleep data. We are sure you have some questions to answer or might need advice etc., so Ask-Us-Anything.

18:00 End

Speakers/trainers: Leonore Bovy, Freddy Weber, Martin Dresler  (Donders Sleep & Memory Lab)


Junge Akademie

The workshop is organized by the Young Academy of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. The hands-on sessions can be visited independently from each other – if you already know how (or are not interested) to apply electrodes, you can join after lunch. If you already know the basics of sleep scoring and are just interested in new analysis tools, join for the third session. Either way, however, please register so we can plan accordingly.

Please also consider attending the symposium“Psychiatry and Sleep” on the following day.

Attendance is free, but please register via

Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina
– National Academy of Sciences –
Jägerberg 1 (formerly Moritzburgring 10)
D-06108 Halle (Saale)


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