18.05.2014
States of consciousness are a subjective perceptual experience and therefore difficult to define. If states of consciousness were on a continuum, with consciousness at one end and sleep at the other end, hypnosis and meditation would fall in the middle. Meditation is another alternate state of consciousness that consists of deep relaxation in which the individual focuses attention on a single thought, word, or image.
STAGE 1: Person transitions from being awake to being asleep, has increased Theta waves and decreased Alpha and Beta waves.
There are many theories about why we sleep, but the reality is we don't know with certainty. Restorative and Repair: sleep restores our body physiologically and REM restores us mentally. Evolutionary theory: this is an adaptive theory that suggests we need to conserve energy, therefore, we sleep at night because earlier man would have been more vulnerable to predators if they were to sleep during the day. Information consolidation: this theory states that we use sleep to process experiences and information that we learned during the day.
Sleep deprivation is characterized by irritability, exhaustion, impaired immunity, increased stress, and psychotic behaviors (e.g. This device is used to measure the muscle activity that occurs during sleep, and is particularly helpful when attempting to identify REM sleep.
A sleep disorder characterized by "sleep attacks," an immediate entry of a conscious individual into the REM stage of sleep. A person with sleep apnea stops breathing while they sleep due to obstruction to their airway.
Our discussion of conscious and unconscious states would not be complete without mentioning comas.
Freud's contributions to the study of sleep and consciousness involved the importance of dream analysis.


William Dement is a well known sleep researcher who founded the American Sleep Disorders Association. Rather than having just one introduction section followed by key figures and concepts, we're giving you overview sections for numerous topics within Consciousness and Sleep, dive into topics such as altered states of consciousness and the different stages of sleep, then cover some of the key theorists. Hypnosis is a state of consciousness, which is characterized by deep relaxation and high suggestibility.
Whereas in the beginning of sleep, a person spends more time in the first 3 stages of sleep, by the end, he or she spends the most time in REM sleep. In this theory, sleep is also believed to help solidify the transfer of information to long term memory. During REM sleep, humans experience a type of temporary paralysis during which the EMG drops to almost nothing (close to a flat line). A coma is a profound state of unconsciousness in which the person does not awaken or respond normally to pain, light or sound. This idea that experiences were vital to the child's developing personality was central to the field of psychology. Dement used the EEG to monitor individual sleep cycles throughout the night which led to Dement's discovery of the 5 sleep stages. According to the Webster Dictionary, consciousness is defined as the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself. REM sleep generally begins after the first 90 minutes of sleep and then reoccurs throughout the night as we alternate between stages. More specifically, the amount of sleep we need is calculated from 2 factors; basal sleep need, and sleep debt. For example, during slow wave sleep (SWS), we have slow, rolling eye movements, However, during REM sleep, our eye movements are much more rapid and occur in a sharp, back and forth way. There are many causes of comas such as brain damage, stroke, metabolic disorders, intoxication, and other problems with the parts of the brain responsible for sleep regulation.


She stated that individuals who are in a bad mood when they go to sleep often wake up in the morning with a more positive attitude. He also developed the Multiple Latency Sleep Test which is a test used to measure daytime sleepiness. Scientists that monitored patients via EEG and deprived them of REM sleep (waking the individual once they entered REM sleep) found that REM deprived individuals entered REM stage sleep sooner and spent a greater percentage of time in REM sleep than non-REM deprived individuals.
The EOG is a vital tool for identifying REM sleep since the EEG in REM, wake and stage look so similar. She stated if people were not awaking refreshed and feeling better emotionally, their dreams would reveal issues that they were having difficulty processing. In this stage, our heart rate and breathing quickens, our blood pressure rises and our body temperature fluctuates.
Our sleep debt is the amount of sleep we have lost due to various causes such as sickness, awakening in the middle of the night, sleep habits, etc..
Cartwright also found that individuals in crisis who recovered quickly also dreamed longer and sooner in their sleep cycles than individuals who did not recover as rapidly. Alpha waves are correlated with forms of meditation, hypnosis, and light sleep, while both Theta and Delta waves occur in deep sleep states.
Our brain activity is almost the same as when we are awake, however, there is a temporary paralysis to our body so we are unable to move until we move to a different stage of sleep. Current researchers are also beginning to discover that dreaming occurs in other sleep stages but these dreams are not as vivid as REM dreaming. This accounts for why a person will sleep longer after going 24 or more hours without sleep.



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