Understanding sleep: Don’t hit snooze on your health

This Online Learning course has been created in collaboration with Beingwell and supported by Silentnight, official sleep partner of RSPH.

The programme adopts a preventative approach and will provide useful information around the link between sleep and health and wellbeing. 

The course covers:

1 of 3

What are the potential effects of sleep deprivation?

2 of 3

Learn about the potential causes, consequences, demographic and management of sleep apnoea

3 of 3

Learn about the relationship between sleep, exercise and emotional resilience

Aims of this course

Sleep is a vital building block in the foundations of health and wellbeing, and yet it is often overlooked and underestimated.

This Online Learning programme aims to confront this issue by empowering the public with knowledge and understanding on a broad range of sleep issues including: sleep as a public health issue, melatonin, drugs and alcohol, sleep and culture, and sleep disorders. 

Is this course for you?

This course is relevant to all members of the general public, and is particularly useful for Health Champions, Health and Wellbeing Teams, and those with an interest in sleep.

Pricing and options

This CPD accredited course can be purchased for £26.50 and includes a certificate of completion and 3 CPD points to recognise your learning.

Access and duration

The course is accessible through RSPH LearnFree, our LMS platform for free public health courses and resources.

This online course is split into five topics. It can be paused and restarted whenever you like, and you have six months to complete the course. The entire course involves roughly three hours of study.

Sign up to RSPH LearnFree

All free RSPH online courses are accessed through RSPH LearnFree, our online learning platform for free courses, which can be used across all devices.



Purchase the CPD version of the course

Register your My RSPH account to purchase your course and access RSPH Learn.





Course contents

The course is split into four key sections - with interactive elements to maintain your attention and make learning easier.

Topic 1: Introduction to sleep as a public health issue

  • An introduction to the importance of sleep
  • The effects of sleep deprivation
  • The relationship between sleep and diet
  • The relationship between sleep and exercise
  • The relationship between sleep and emotional resilience
  • Stages of sleep
  • Recommended sleep times 

Topic 2: Melatonin, drugs and alcohol

  • An introduction to melatonin
  • The impact of alcohol on sleep
  • The impact of sleep on alcohol dependency recovery
  • The impact of nicotine on sleep
  • The impact of caffeine on sleep 

Topic 3: Sleep and culture

  • An introduction to sleep and 'Western' culture
  • Sleep deprivation in young people
  • Shift work and sleep
  • Case studies 

Topic 4: Sleep disorders

  • Sleep apnoea
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Narcolepsy and narcolepsy-cataplexy 
  • Insomnia

Topic 5: COVID-19 and sleep

  • The relationship between sleep and COVID-19
  • The challenges to sleep during the pandemic
  • Sleep research studies
  • Resources to manage sleep


Once you have completed the CPD accredited version of the course you will receive an electronic RSPH CPD Completion Certificate and 3 CPD points.