Jan 26th 2015

The Brain in a Non-Stop Round The World Regatta. Chronobiology and Sleep Management (

The sailors in a round the world regatta, race around the globe from west to east for three months, sailing in watches of four hours. They sail down the Atlantic from north to south, with little variation in longitude, but descending the latitudes of the planet, going from the northern winter to the southern summer. They them round Antarctica, crossing longitudes, gaining a day on the calendar as they go. A situation like this takes its toll on their biological clocks and sleep patterns and their cognitive capacity and physical performance are affected. In this course you will learn the foundations of the biological patterns governing sleep and performance in general, it's application to solo and double-handed ocean sailing.

Students look at how circadian rhythms are disrupted as one sails round the world, after months of environmental changes. Students examine the distribution of the activity-sleep rhythm and what strategies sailors employ to sleep and adapt to the gruelling course.

This course also has projects associated with the Barcelona World Race 2014/15.

The course team will be carrying out a research project called Cognitive Changes Associated With Ocean Sailing in Extreme Conditions, with Aleix Gelabert and Dídac Costa from One Planet One Ocean. Measurements will be taken immediately before and after the regatta, including functional brain imaging, a polisomnography, sleep-wake patterns and cognitive performance and environmental factor measurements. There are very few existing scientific studies and none with the measurement and recording techniques to be used, nor is there any study of a regatta as long as the Barcelona World Race.

To follow this course does not require previous knowledge of chronobiology.

When students finish the course, they may, if they wish, obtain a certificate of completion from the University of Barcelona..

The course is structured around six modules.

You can also follow this course in Spanish and Catalan.