Thursday, April 18, 2024

What Is Sleep In Psychology

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Consequences Of Lack Of Sleep And Coexisting Conditions

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream: Crash Course Psychology #9

Sleep helps your brain function properly. Not getting enough sleep or poor quality sleep has many potential consequences. The most obvious concerns are fatigue and decreased energy, irritability and problems focusing. The ability to make decisions and your mood can also be affected. Sleep problems often coexist with symptoms of depression or anxiety. Sleep problems can exacerbate depression or anxiety, and depression or anxiety can lead to sleep problems.

Lack of sleep and too much sleep are linked to many chronic health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Sleep disturbances can also be a warning sign for medical and neurological problems, such as congestive heart failure, osteoarthritis and Parkinsons disease.

In Mythology And Literature

manuscript illuminationMenologion of Basil IISeven Sleepers of Ephesus

Sleep has been seen in culture as similar to death since antiquity in Greek mythology, Hypnos and Thanatos were both said to be the children of Nyx .John Donne, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats and other poets have all written poems about the relationship between sleep and death. Shelley describes them as “both so passing, strange and wonderful!” Keats similarly poses the question: “Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream”. Many people consider dying in one’s sleep is the most peaceful way to die. Phrases such as “big sleep” and “rest in peace” are often used in reference to death, possibly in an effort to lessen its finality. Sleep and dreaming have sometimes been seen as providing the potential for visionary experiences. In medieval Irish tradition, in order to become a filÃ, the poet was required to undergo a ritual called the imbas forosnai, in which they would enter a mantic, trancelike sleep.

What Is The Purpose Of Dreams

Researchers still arent entirely sure, but theories abound. Some experts hypothesize that dreams and nightmareswhich often consist, at least in part, of real people, places, and life eventshelp the brain consolidate memories accumulated over the course of the day, identifying which ones to retain for long-term memory and allowing the rest to fade. Others argue that dream scenarios allow us to process emotions, mull over problems, or act out fantasies in a safe environment. Regardless of their purpose, what is known about dreams is that they appear to be universaleven if some people almost never remember having them.

For more about dreams, see Understanding Dreams or Managing Nightmares.

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Effect Of Sex Hormones On Sleep

Studies on the effects of sex hormones on sleep have found that a significant association exists between sex hormone levels and poor sleep. These associations were confirmed in population and patient-based studies. Moreover, they showed that sex hormone levels are correlated with the amount of time spent in REM sleep. The findings point to a possible role for these hormones in the regulation of sleep.

However, despite the potential effects of sex hormones on sleep, more research is required to find out the exact mechanism. A number of factors contribute to disturbed sleep, including the amount of sex hormones in the body. Sex hormone levels are strongly associated with sleep quality, and women have higher risk of insomnia than men. Sex hormones in women are also linked with depression, with women experiencing more severe depression around puberty and menopause than men. It is unknown whether sex hormones may play a role in sleep disorders, but it is believed that the sex hormones are related to sleeping quality. A systematic review of studies on the relationship between sex hormones and sleep was conducted.

Why Do We Sleep

stages of sleep infographic

Despite the universal need for sleep, there remains much about it that scientists dont understand. It is known that sleep allows for the body and brain to replenish energy and repair themselves in critical ways. Memory consolidation, information processing, physical growth, muscle repair, and countless other processes are theorized to occur during sleep sleep is also critical for strengthening the immune system and allowing the body to fight off disease.

To learn more about the benefits of sleep, see Sleep and Mental Health or Sleep and Physical Health.

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Impact Of Rem Sleep On Memory

A growing body of research indicates that rapid eye-movement sleep can modulate and strengthen memory. It also mediates the integration of previously consolidated neocortical memory traces. These studies suggest that REM sleep may affect the consolidation and recollection of emotion memories. However, more research is needed to determine the role of REM sleep in the formation and consolidation of memories.

Researchers have used REM sleep to study emotional processing and long-term spontaneous memory recall. Theyve also used involuntary memories of aversive materials as analogues of intrusive traumatic memories. Theyve also used REM sleep to identify vulnerability markers, such as early re-experiencing of traumatic events. In some cases, this process can predict the development of PTSD or other psychological disorders later in life.

Although not all participants reached REM sleep, a significant difference was found between the two groups. The group that REM sleep awakened had longer periods of REM sleep than the group that didnt REM sleep. This difference was not statistically significant, but demonstrates the importance of REM sleep. And while it is still unknown whether REM sleep is essential to cognitive processes, it can be important to consider it.

The Future Of Sleep Science

Sleep research is expanding and attracting more and more attention from scientists. Researchers now know that sleep is an active and dynamic state that greatly influences our waking hours, and they realize that we must understand sleep to fully understand the brain. Innovative techniques, such as brain imaging, can now help researchers understand how different brain regions function during sleep and how different activities and disorders affect sleep. Understanding the factors that affect sleep in health and disease also may lead to revolutionary new therapies for sleep disorders, jet lag, and the problems associated with shift work. This research will allow us to truly understand sleeps impact on our lives and apply new tips for getting a good nights sleep.

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Why Is Sleep Important For Our Health

Sleep and sleep-related problems play a role in a large number of human disorders and affect almost every field of medicine. For example, problems like stroke and asthma attacks tend to occur more frequently during the night and early morning, perhaps due to changes in hormones, heart rate, and other characteristics associated with sleep. Sleep also affects some kinds of epilepsy in complex ways. REM sleep seems to help prevent seizures that begin in one part of the brain from spreading to other brain regions, while deep sleep may promote the spread of these seizures. Sleep deprivation also triggers seizures in people with some types of epilepsy.

Stage : Lightest Sleep

Psychology Of Sleep

Stage 1 is the first stage of non-REM sleep . This stage typically lasts less than 10 minutes and is marked by a slowing of your heartbeat, breathing, and eye movements , as well as the relaxation of your muscles. Your brain waves also begin to slow down as you have entered a stage of light sleep.

In the beginning of stage 1, the brain produces high amplitude alpha waves and begins to produce theta waves as the stage progresses . Put simply, brainwaves are electrical pulses in the brain that change according to what we are doing or how we are feeling .

As the waves slow down , the brain goes into a deeper sleep. Alpha waves are the highest frequency of the three brain waves that characterize sleep, explaining why, when we have just fallen asleep and are not yet in a state of deep sleep, we can be easily awoken.

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What Is Sleep Debt

The term sleep debt refers to the difference between the amount of sleep someone needs and the amount of sleep they actually get someone whose body requires 8 hours of sleep per night, for instance, but only gets 6, would accumulate a 14-hour sleep debt over the course of a week. Accumulating a large sleep debt has been associated with increased risk of certain physical and mental health conditions such as diabetes or anxiety.

For more on tackling insufficient sleep, see Overcoming Insomnia.

What Training Is Needed To Become A Sleep Psychologist

Most Sleep Psychologists have earned their Doctoral Degree in Psychology and completed post-doctoral training in the area of Sleep Psychology. The curriculum for these programs is developed to better understand and treat sleep and sleeprelated disorders. The specialty requires a broad understanding of:

  • Normal and disordered sleep
  • The effects of sleep medications on the brain
  • Sleep changes related to age
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Cognitive, behavioral and nonmedication interventions for sleep disorders
  • Treatment monitoring
  • Sleep measurement procedures, and standard medical and medicationrelated therapies for sleep disorders.

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What Is A Chronotype

The word chronotype refers to an individuals preferred sleep/wake schedule, based on their biologically programmed circadian rhythm. The most well-known chronotypes are night owlsor those who prefer to stay up late into the evening and awaken later in the dayand morning larks, who lean toward an early to bed, early to rise schedule. Chronotypes exist on a spectrum while a few people are at either extreme, the majority of people fall somewhere in the middle.

Column: Sleep Is Getting More Respect

Stress and Sleep

Sleep is finally having its moment. Im a sleep researcher and clinician, and its exhilarating to see broader recognition that sleep is important, yet I am often dismayed about the framing of why sleep is valuable. Messages equating sleep with laziness have long been woven into our cultural consciousness, with aphorisms such as Ill sleep when Im dead and the early bird gets the worm reflecting our fears that sleep is a hindrance to success and accomplishments.

We find inspiration in legends of historical figures such as Leonardo da Vinci whose fantastic achievements supposedly required only a modicum of sleep. These messages characterize sleep as an impediment to productivity it is encouraging that we are increasingly turning away from that mindset and recognizing the importance of sleep. However, in our emerging embrace of sleep, the end goal often remains productivity, and the shift in perspective is only that sleep is now seen as a facilitator of productivity rather than an impediment.

Sleep does often increase productivity as a byproduct of its many benefits including increased energy, focus and mental processing speed. However, we do ourselves a disservice to focus too heavily on productivity especially as it is often narrowly defined by career and financial success as reasons for prioritizing sleep.

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What Age Does Bedwetting Usually Stop

Many children will use the toilet well during the day long before they are dry through the night. It can be many months, even years, before children stay dry overnight. Most children, but not all, stop bedwetting between the ages of 5 and 6 years old. Bedwetting is more common in boys and in deep sleepers.

At what age is bedwetting a problem?

Most kids are fully toilet trained by age 5, but theres really no target date for developing complete bladder control. Between the ages of 5 and 7, bed-wetting remains a problem for some children. After 7 years of age, a small number of children still wet the bed.

Adaptive Function Of Sleep

One popular hypothesis of sleep incorporates the perspective of evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychology is a discipline that studies how universal patterns of behavior and cognitive processes have evolved over time as a result of natural selection. Variations and adaptations in cognition and behavior make individuals more or less successful in reproducing and passing their genes to their offspring. One hypothesis from this perspective might argue that sleep is essential to restore resources that are expended during the day. Just as bears hibernate in the winter when resources are scarce, perhaps people sleep at night to reduce their energy expenditures. While this is an intuitive explanation of sleep, there is little research that supports this explanation. In fact, it has been suggested that there is no reason to think that energetic demands could not be addressed with periods of rest and inactivity , and some research has actually found a negative correlation between energetic demands and the amount of time spent sleeping .

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Stages 3 & : Deep Sleep

Formerly known as stages 3 and 4, stage 3 is the final stage of non-REM sleep. During N3, your heartbeat and breathing slow to their lowest levels, and your muscles are so relaxed that it may be hard to awaken you .

This stage is referred to as âslow wave sleep,â due to the presence of delta waves, or slow brain waves, as the brain is now in a deeper state of sleep as compared to N1 and N2 . Sleepwalking and night terrors are also a unique characteristic of N3 .

Sleepwalking, or somnambulism, occurs when sleeping and waking are combined and the individual wanders around in a dazed and uncoordinated state . Night terrors are a partial waking from sleep during which behaviors such as screaming, kicking, and panic occur .

Both sleepwalking and night terrors more commonly happen with children than adults. Slow wave sleep is also associated with bodily recovery and certain types of learning .

Additionally, it is in this stage that human growth hormone is released. HGH works to restore and rebuild your body and muscles from the stresses of the day . N3 lasts between 20 to 40 minutes long .

Are There Any Professional Organizations For Sleep Psychologists

Sleep stages – Intro to Psychology

The American Board of Sleep Medicine is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides widely recognized board certifications. These certifications serve as the necessary credential to show a high level of competence for sleep medicine physicians, PhDs, behavioral sleep medicine specialists and sleep technologists.

Sleep Psychologists are an important part of professional psychology. Many individuals in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder that either exists on its own or alongside another medical condition or psychological diagnosis. These highly skilled professionals understand both the sleep disorders as well as their underlying causes. Those individuals who are interested in the area of sleep and sleep disorders would make excellent candidates for a career in Sleep Psychology.

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How Much Sleep Do I Need

Sleep needs vary by age, and variation exists even within age groups. But in general, The National Sleep Foundation provides these daily sleep guidelines:

  • Infants : 12-15 hours
  • School-age children : 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers : 8-10 hours
  • Young adults : 7-9 hours
  • Adults : 7-9 hours
  • Older adults : 7-8 hours

To learn more about how sleep needs change over time, seeChildren and Sleep.

What Are The Stages Of Sleep

During sleep, we usually pass through five phases: stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM sleep. These stages of sleep progress in a cycle from stage 1 to REM sleep, then the cycle starts over again with stage 1. Children and adults spend almost 50 percent of their total sleep time in stage 2 sleep, about 20 percent in REM sleep, and the remaining 30 percent in the other stages. Infants, by contrast, spend about half of their sleep time in REM sleep.

Stage 1 Sleep

During stage 1, which is light sleep, we drift in and out of sleep and can be awoken easily. Our eyes move very slowly and muscle activity slows. People awakened from stage 1 sleep often remember fragmented visual images. Many also experience sudden muscle contractions called hypnic myoclonia or hypnic jerks, often preceded by a sensation of starting to fall. These sudden movements are similar to the jump we make when startled. Some people experience a sleep disorder known as Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep , where they experience recurring leg movements.

Stage 2 Sleep

When we enter stage 2 sleep, our eye movements stop and our brain waves become slower, with occasional bursts of rapid waves called sleep spindles.

Stage 3 and Stage 4 Sleep

REM Sleep

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Sleep Hygiene: Healthy Sleep Tips To Address Sleep Problems

  • Stick to a sleep schedule same bed time and wake up time even on the weekends
  • Allow your body to wind down with a calming activity, such as reading away from bright lights avoid electronic devices
  • Avoid naps especially in the afternoon
  • Pay attention to bedroom environment and your mattress and pillow
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and heavy meals in the evening

What Is Sleep: A Dynamic Activity

Pin by Despina Pashalidis on BEAUTIFUL GOOD SAYING

Nerve-signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters control whether we are asleep or awake by acting on different groups of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain. Neurons in the brainstem, which connects the brain with the spinal cord, produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine that keep some parts of the brain active while we are awake. Other neurons at the base of the brain begin signaling when we fall asleep. These neurons appear to switch off the signals that keep us awake. Research also suggests that a chemical called adenosine builds up in our blood while we are awake and causes drowsiness. This chemical gradually breaks down while we sleep.

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What Does Sleep Mean In Psychology

Sleep is a natural state in which your body and mind slow down, your metabolism decreases, and you are relatively insensitive to stimuli. It also has distinct stages and brain wave patterns. Listed below are some of the most important things you should know about sleep. Learn more about REM sleep and its impact on memory. Then, make your next nap. Here are a few benefits of REM sleep.

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