Sleep School

Several courses for students and health care professionals introduce the basics of sleep physiology and sleep medicine, as well as the many consequences of insufficient sleep.

The 2-year Sleep School organized jointly by the Universities of Helsinki and Turku, in collaboration with all Nordic Sleep Research Societies will provide overview and practical tools for physicians, nurses, psychologists and researchers in the field of sleep medicine and sleep research.

Course contents are in line with the material of the Sleep Medicine Examination and serves as a preparatory course for the Somnologist examination (ESRS)  Sleep Medicine Examintaion (ESRS)

The course combines high quality expertises in sleep research (Sleepwell research program at Helsinki University Medical Faculty) and clinical sleep medicine (Sleep and Breathing Centre at the Turku University Hospital). The teachers are internationally recognized experts on their respective fields, and experienced educators. The curriculum has been created and evaluated in reference with the recommendations of the EACCME.

Aims of the course: The course “Sleep medicine” will provide the participants overview on sleep medicine and practical tools for professionals and students in the field.

Target audience: Medical doctors, nurses, psychologists and other health care professionals working in fields where patients have sleep problems, as well as students and researchers of these fields.

Methods: The course is an e-learning course. The lectures will be offered through Zoom (please, see below).

Schedule: The lectures will be given once a month on Wednesday at 16.00-18.00 EET:

Finland, Estonia, Lithuania  at 16.00-18.00 (Eastern European time)
Sweden, Norway, Denmark  at 15.00-17.00 (Central European time)    
Iceland  at 14.00-15.00 (Greenwich mean time)

  • The lessons during autumn term 2023 will cover the basic aspects of sleep and circadian rhythm physiology. The rest of the course is dedicated to the different aspects of sleep pathologies and  conducts of sleep medicine.
  • Time allocated for each presentation is 60 min. Legal aspects included in presentations when applicaple.
  • This course is part of an electronic theory training management system KOPI. Credits will be applied from the Universities of Helsinki and Turku.
  • Upon request, you will receive a certificate of attendance in the end of the semester if you have attended the lectures. Please rename yourself in Zoom with first name + last name (do not use nickname/user ID/student number/just first name). 
  • The course is free of charge and open to those interested in sleep medicine. There is no need to register for the course and there is no exams.
  • Recordings of the lectures are available until the next lecture.
  • You are able to see recordings by clicking the lecture name. 

If you have further questions, please contact: Tiina Härkönen at

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 694 8325 7796
Passcode: 416707
Course starts a new cycle: Course introduction video

Curriculum Spring Term 2024
Methodology in sleep medicine

January 10th 16.00-18.00 (EET)

9. Measuring sleep in humans: PSG, actigraphy, and beyond, Part I
Assoc. Prof. Morten Engstrøm

10. Measuring sleep in humans: PSG, actigraphy, and beyond, Part II
PhD Hanne Siri A Heglum

February 7th 16.00-18.00 (EET) 

11. Polygraphic sleep evaluation in the pathological sleep: neurodegenerative disorders, states of conciousness and epilepsies
Prof. Poul Jennum

12. Advanced analysis of sleep signals. Quantitative techniques and machine learning methods
PhD Andreas Brink-Kjær

Sleep-disordered breathing

March 20th 16.00-18.00 (EET)

13. Epidemiology, pathophysiology and definitions of obstructive and central sleep apnoea
Assoc. Prof. Harald Hrubos-Strøm

14. Comorbidity of obstructive sleep apnoea
MD Marja Palomäki

April 17th 16.00-18.00 (EEST)

15. Case based teaching of sleep recordings in SDB
Prof. Ludger Grote

16. Management of obstructive and central sleep apnoea syndrome
Assoc. Prof. Jenny Theorell-Haglöw

May 15th 16.00-18.00 (EEST)

17. Treatment of nocturnal respiratory failure in different diseases
MD, PhD Andreas Palm

18. Sleep and the role of dentistry
DDS, PhD Marie Marklund


Thank you for your participation in the spring 2024 Nordic Sleep Medicine Course.
We want to develop the course and hope for your feedback. Your answer will be processed anonymously.

Sleepwell program offers a web course on basic sleep and circadian rhythm mechanism for students at the University of Helsinki

This course offers basic knowledge of sleep and circadian rhythms.  It will address the neurobiological mechanism of brain oscillations during waking and sleep, as well as the brain areas and neurotransmitters that regulate sleep and circadian rhythms. Understanding of these basic features of sleep helps gaining understanding of the multitude of sleep-related physiological changes and conditions. The course also assess questions like why we have to sleep, what are the consequences of sleep deprivation and how sleep affects physiological functions of the body and brain, including learning and memory.

This is a web-based course that students can attend at their convenience, and for examination to obtain credits, prescribe examination at Examinarium facility.

The course consists of 15-20 min videos on twenty topics. Each topic includes a reading recommendation and a quiz of 10 questions.

Information for students:
Course schedule autumn 2023: Course starts 1.8.2023

Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology web course, 2,5 credits (MED-TOU11) consists of teaching videos and a selection of review articles on the nineteen topics of the course. The easiest way is to start with the video, if available, and then study the article, and complete the entity by taking the quiz. The questions are aimed to guide the studies, and to prepare for the final test. 

Course page

Moodle page

Exam visit:

You can take your own university’s exam in another university’s Exam room.

More information:

Henna-Kaisa Wigren

Tiina Härkönen

Interdisciplinary insights into sleep and circadian rhythms

(2,5 study points, period 4) 

An intensive 2 week-hands-on course on sleep and circadian biology for the undergraduate and doctoral students of
  • Medicine&Dentistry

  • Psychology&Logopedics

  • Translational Medicine (Master´s program)

  • Neuroscience (Master´s program)

Selection criteria: accepted MED-TOU11 Moodle course

The course consists of specialist lectures, video problems, hands-on training and small group presentations. The participants will collect data on their own circadian rhythms and sleep using actigraphs and polysomnography to learn the principles of data collection and analysis applicable to both research- and clinical work. Translational aspects will also be introduced. During the course, a small group of specific topic will be prepared and presented in the final seminar.

Learning goals

To understand

  • the impact of insufficient sleep and circadian misalignment to health.
  • the interdisciplinary nature of sleep, both as research topic and as a clinical problem.

    To be familiar with the commonly used experimental approaches in clinical- and basic research (EEG, behavioral tracking, imaging, molecular genetics, epidemiology etc.) and to critically evaluate the selection of the equipment for specific purposes.
  • To be able to apply sleep and circadian knowledge in professional performance both in clinical- and in research settings.
Specialist lecture topics

What epidemiology can and cannot offer for sleep research

Regulation of circadian rhythms

Introduction to sleep medicine

Analysis of EEG data

Polysomnography executed at home environment

Translational sleep research

More information

Sleep in clinical neurosciences, 2 credits -course

Optional course coordinated by KLTO.

Target group
  • The course is part of the discipline-specific training module.
  • Module level: Doctoral level/EQF level 8.
  • The course is available to students of other degree programmes.
  • The course consists of an introduction to sleep disturbances in neurology and psychiatry, and what are the most common methods of measuring sleep in clinical neuroscience. This is followed by group work, where students will write and orally present a draft of a follow-up study based on a previous study (papers are provided).
  • Additionally, student can participate in a voluntary session on career planning regarding sleep research and collaboration opportunities in the field.
Assessment practices and criteria
  • Pass/fail
  • Attendance in seminars. Participation in group work: writing and presenting a study plan.
Learning goals

After the course, the student is familiar with sleep research in clinical neuroscience. In addition, he/she knows how to prepare and present a study plan together with a group. The course encourages for networking and opportunities for future collaborations.

Responsible person

Prof Tiina Paunio, Docent Hanna Harno and doctoral researcher Paavo Laitinen