This page is about the website I started for Stanford Sleep and Dreams in 2010. A bit of a novel approach to spreading knowledge about sleep science and sleep health, it features fun and informative student-written articles, videos, e-books, etc. that are great for learning the science of sleep without the technical barriers that can sometime limit scientific exposure.

Within the first several months of its existence, the site was attracting an average of 20,000 visitors/month and had been referenced by sources including the AmeriMed Corp, the Houston Press, Salon.com, eHow.com, and HelpGuide.org.

I’m continuing to expand the site pretty quickly today, and you can read more about the story behind it below.

It’s amazing. We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping and yet most of us know very little about this state of our existence.

End Your Sleep Deprivation picture by Kevin Morton

Sure we know what it’s like to be asleep as we experience it (at least somewhat, that is…). We lay down on our bed–sometimes falling asleep easily, sometimes struggling with insomnia–occasionally we wake up and regain consciousness a few times throughout the course of the night, and then we wake up a final time in the morning, sometimes refreshed and sometimes still tired. But this tells us very little about what is actually going on while we sleep. To this end, we turn to science, which has actually just recently (relatively) begun to aid our understanding in this thanks in large part to the pioneering efforts of Dr. William Dement, considered the father of sleep medicine.

End Your Sleep Deprivation is a culmination of my three years spent under the tutelage of Dr. Dement, as a student in 2009, a teaching assistant in 2010, and the lead organizer of his class–Stanford’s legendary Sleep and Dreams–in 2011. It’s a condensation of his vast wealth of materials from over 40 years of teaching Sleep and Dreams, all brought together in one place.

But perhaps the best part is that it’s all told from the perspective of the students in his class, so you, the visitor, can learn about the science of sleep from someone who’s just learned about it herself, in rhetoric that’s easy to grasp hold of. And nothing like a little quirky college-student humor to spice that learning up a bit too. Entertaining and comical sleep education videos litter the site as well.

It’s valuable, health-empowering sleep science, delivered in a pill that tastes like candy.

You can visit www.End-Your-Sleep-Deprivation.com here.

Or read on below to hear more of the story of how this site came to be.

A Brief Background Story

In my second quarter as a student at Stanford I took a class called Sleep and Dreams from the renowned sleep scientist Dr. William Dement. The class itself is legendary at Stanford–Dr. Dement has taught it for over 40 years and its enrollment fills with hundreds and hundreds of students each year (it’s pretty rare at Stanford for a class to have much more than 100 students in it). I really dug the class–from lucid dreaming to sleep paralysis and narcolepsy, the topics were fascinating and it opened my eyes to a mysterious new world that I lived in every night but didn’t really know much about. That was soon to change.

That year as my big project for the class I created the website DrowsinessIsRedAlert.com as a place to preserve and display the projects of other students. It was a valuable success and managed even to find the eyes of an international sleep center who used the videos as fun educational material for their younger patients. But my intentions were modest with it, and it was

But I knew there was potential here. Dr. Dement had spent the better part of his life spreading the science and sleep health insights he had discovered, but his mediums included mostly everything except a strong web effort. The outreach projects of his thousands of students were performed, turned in and then gone; his lectures resonating in the air for but one class period and then only surviving through word of mouth; his textbook, the first and only of its kind, unpublished and unavailable to the masses. There was so much material just waiting to be given a global audience. So I made that my job and created End Your Sleep Deprivation.

The approach to the site is somewhat unique in that it is nearly entirely student-made. We have a board of advisers consisting of sleep professionals in the field, and I reach out and draw from the insights of other pros, but other than that everything comes from a student perspective. This has its limitations, yes, but more than anything else it makes it an extremely easy and fun place to learn about sleep science and health. The writing relates to the everyday visitor and the content often takes the form of quirky videos or fun stories. This, in addition to having such a close connection with Dr. Dement, is in my opinion what will set it apart from other informational sites about sleep.

As of writing this, the site contains many dozens of student-created articles on the science of sleep and dreams, as well as hundreds of visitor-submitted stories. It is currently seen by over 20,000 unique visitors every month from all over the world.