Student Pages
Undergraduate course

Circadian rhythms, sleep and behavior

  • ECTS credits15
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codePSYK115
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageNorwegian (English if requested)
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits




Teaching semester


Place of Instruction

University of Bergen

Objectives and Content

General content

The aim of the course is to provide knowledge in terms of central aspects of sleep and circadian rhythms and their role in performance, behaviour, cognition, mental and physical health. The students will be given insight on how sleep and circadian rhythmicity are measured subjectively and objectively. Development of sleep and circadian rhythms across the age span will be covered. The course will further provide theoretical and practical knowledge concerning the importance of a good night¿s sleep on cognitive and physical performance, development, metabolism, stress and other brain functions. In addition, factors that may impact sleep (such as habits, societal factors, work, exercise, drug abuse and nutrition) will also be emphasized. The course will also provide an overview of sleep disorders, symptoms, causes and treatment. The interplay between mental and physical health and sleep will also be central topic. Inter-individual differences in sleep and circadian rhythms will also comprise a central topic of the course.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge: The student is able to describe and discuss:

  • How sleep and circadian rhythms are regulated and assessed - across species
  • Normal development of and individual differences in circadian rhythms and sleep.
  • Factors that may influence sleep and circadian rhythms
    • Work, nutrition
    • Habits
    • Society
    • Exercise
    • Light
    • Pain
    • Drug abuse
    • Pregnancy
  • The interplay between health, circadian rhythms and sleep
    • How sleep can influence development and course of mental and somatic disorders
    • How mental and somatic disorders can impact sleep and circadian rhythms
  • Sleep and individual differences
  • Sleep and developmental psychology
  • How sleep loss affect cognitive impairment and health
    • Cognitive performance
    • stress response
    • metabolism
    • physical performance
  • Shift work
  • Sleep disorders
    • Insomnia, circadian sleep-wake disorders, hypersomnia, sleep related breathing disorders, parasomnias, sleep related movement disorders; assessment, prevalence, diagnostic criteria, clinical comprehension
    • Causes and consequences
    • Prevention and treatment

Skills: The student is able to

  • Assess sleep and circadian rhythms
  • Plan and conduct simple experiments on sleep and circadian rhythms
  • Give an account of the most common sleep disorders, their symptoms and treatment

General competence: The student is able to

    • describe and discuss central perspectives on aspects that influence sleep and circadian rhythms
  • measure sleep and circadian rhythms and the implications of poor sleep and/or circadian rhythms on performance and behaviour.

Required Previous Knowledge


Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap


Access to the Course

The course is open for students admitted to the University of Bergen.

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

18 x 2 hours of lectures, and group work.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Every student must log in to Inspera and answer 1 Multiple Choice test, where 2/3 of the assignments must be answered correctly in order to be approved.

Obligatory assignments must be approved before assessment.

Forms of Assessment

School exam 4 hours. The students are required to answer 5 out of 7 short essay assignments.

Examination Support Material


Grading Scale


Subject Overlap


Assessment Semester


Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated in accordance with the Faculty of Psychology's routine for participatory evaluation and the University of Bergen's Quality Assurance System.

Course Coordinator

Department of biological and medical psychology


Department of biological and medical psychology

Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written exam

    16.09.2022, 09:00
    4 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination result announcement
    Examination system
    Digital exam