Episode 128: Why Do We Need Sleep?

Meet the Expert: Dr. Nancy Cowdin/Hennessy, neuroscientist and teacher

Dr. Nancy Cowdin Hennesy

Dr. Nancy Cowdin Hennessy earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Georgetown
University in Washington, D.C. (2015). Her research included a study of trauma, PTSD, and mindfulness training in battered women; she also conducted research with Howard University studying the effects of trauma on sleep patterns of young inner-city African Americans. In 2012, her proposal, “The Relationships between Memory, Sleep and Circadian Rhythms in School Children,” earned a National Science Foundation Honorable Mention award. She presented “Sleep and the Teenage Brain,” for the speaker series, Women Who Make a Difference (2017), and was a faculty member of the Mind-Brain Educational Academy Program
Design Team at the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning in Potomac, MD (2016- 2019). Nancy is a national leader in the development of secondary neuroscience curriculum, work that has highlighted the need for an accessible book about neuroscience for readers of all ages. Her neuroscience class was profiled for their research studies by Backyard Brains and was recently featured in the book, Spark: The Life of Electricity and the Electricity of Life by Dr. Timothy Jorgenson. She currently teaches courses in Neuroscience and AP Biology at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School where she uses drawing and digital illustration as a teaching tool in all of her classes.


Here is a cool link to watch what happens in your brain while you sleep!   click HERE






Keep a sleep journal, like the one pasted below. Notice patterns that might help you sleep better.

sleep journal

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Brain Games book by Jennifer Swanson


Featured book for this episode!

National Geographic Kids Brain Games: The Mind-Blowing Science of Your Amazing Brain
by Jennifer Swanson (Author), Hank Green (Foreword)







Book List: 

Big Brain Book: How It Works and All Its Quirks by Leanne Boucher Gill

A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist: The brain made easy by Mike Tranter PhD (Author), Jodi Barnard (Author)

So You Want to Be a Neuroscientist? by Ashley Juavinett

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