Use bed for sleeping (and sex) and not for other activities—get up if you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed. The relationship between human sleep, level of consciousness and electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns. Draw a graphic showing the usual phases of sleep during a normal night and notate the characteristics of each phase. Sleep researchers have found that sleeping people undergo a fairly consistent pattern of sleep stages, each lasting about 90 minutes.
During a typical night, our sleep cycles move between REM and non-REM sleep, with each cycle repeating at about 90-minute intervals.
Normally, if we are allowed to keep sleeping, we will move from stage N1 to stage N2 sleep. Stage N3, also known as slow wave sleep, is the deepest level of sleep, characterized by an increased proportion of very slow delta waves. After falling initially into a very deep sleep, the brain begins to become more active again, and we normally move into the first period of REM sleep about 90 minutes after falling asleep.
Normally we will go through several cycles of REM and non-REM sleep each night (Figure 5.4 "EEG Recordings of Brain Patterns During Sleep"). As we have seen, we can use EEG to help us determine sleep stages by assessing the electrical patterns the brain is creating. It is possible that this new theory of consciousness will help provide a more complete understanding of brain changes during wakefulness and sleep and allow us to better assess the consciousness of others.
Taking pills to sleep is not recommended unless all other methods of improving sleep have been tried. Keep a sleep diary to identify your sleep habits and patterns that you can share with your doctor. Most sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction of the walls of the throat that occurs when we fall asleep. Narcolepsy can be treated with stimulants, such as amphetamines, to counteract the daytime sleepiness, or with antidepressants to treat a presumed underlying depression. Sleep terrors is a disruptive sleep disorder, most frequently experienced in childhood, that may involve loud screams and intense panic. Sleep has a vital restorative function, and a prolonged lack of sleep results in increased anxiety, diminished performance, and, if severe and extended, may even result in death.
DreamsThe succession of images, thoughts, sounds, and emotions that passes through our minds while sleeping. Each sleep stage is marked by a specific pattern of biological responses and brain wave patterns. Stages of sleep are characterized by differences in the frequency and amplitude of EEG waves.
For instance, in comparison to older adults who are normally more alert in the morning than in the evening, younger people tend to show the opposite pattern. The patterns of sleep have been tracked in thousands of research participants who have spent nights sleeping in research labs while their brain waves were recorded by monitors, such as an electroencephalogram, or EEG. During stage N2, muscular activity is further decreased and conscious awareness of the environment is lost.

This is the stage in which most sleep abnormalities, such as sleepwalking, sleeptalking, nightmares, and bed-wetting occur. REM sleep is accompanied by an increase in heart rate, facial twitches, and the repeated rapid eye movements that give this stage its name. Changes in sleep patterns, such as jet lag, changes in work shift, or even the movement to or from daylight savings time can produce insomnia. Barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and other sedatives are frequently marketed and prescribed as sleep aids, but they may interrupt the natural stages of the sleep cycle, and in the end are likely to do more harm than good. However, since these drugs further disrupt already-abnormal sleep cycles, these approaches may, in the long run, make the problem worse. It is no surprise that we sleep more when we are sick, because sleep works to fight infection. If we are deprived of REM sleep, we quickly become less able to engage in the important tasks of everyday life, until we are finally able to dream again. Sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy, may make it hard for us to sleep well.
In response, the pineal gland secretes melatonin, a powerful hormone that facilitates the onset of sleep.
When we first begin to fall asleep, the waves get longer (alpha waves), and as we move into stage N1 sleep, which is characterized by the experience of drowsiness, the brain begins to produce even slower theta waves. People who are awakened during REM sleep almost always report that they were dreaming, while those awakened in other stages of sleep report dreams much less often. Sometimes the sleep that the insomniac does get is disturbed and nonrestorative, and the lack of quality sleep produces impairment of functioning during the day. Sleep apnea caused by obstructions is usually treated with an air machine that uses a mask to create a continuous pressure that prevents the airway from collapsing, or with mouthpieces that keep the airway open.
Many sufferers find relief by taking a number of planned short naps during the day, and some individuals may find it easier to work in jobs that allow them to sleep during the day and work at night. In extreme cases, sleep terrors may result in bodily harm or property damage as the sufferer moves about abruptly.
When people are awakened from REM sleep, they normally report that they have been dreaming, suggesting that people normally dream several times a night but that most dreams are forgotten on awakening (Dement, 1997).Dement, W.
Stage 2 is characterized by sleep spindles (the higher-frequency waves) and K complexes (not shown). But perhaps the strongest and most important biorhythm is the daily circadian rhythmThe biological cycle that guides the daily waking and sleeping in many animals.
During stage N1 sleep, some muscle tone is lost, as well as most awareness of the environment.
Stage N2 sleep is characterized by theta waves interspersed with bursts of rapid brain activity known as sleep spindles.
Eventually, as the sleep cycle finishes, the brain resumes its faster alpha and beta waves and we awake, normally refreshed.
Most practitioners of sleep medicine today recommend making environmental and scheduling changes first, followed by therapy for underlying problems, with pharmacological remedies used only as a last resort.
If all other treatments have failed, sleep apnea may be treated with surgery to open the airway.

Getting enough sleep is a luxury that many of us seem to be unable or unwilling to afford, and yet sleeping is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Stages 3 and 4 comprise slow-wave sleep (SWS) with high-amplitude waves and a deeper level of unconsciousness.
During REM sleep, our awareness of external events is dramatically reduced, and consciousness is dominated primarily by internally generated images and a lack of overt thinking (Hobson, 2004).Hobson, A. Some people may experience sudden jerks or twitches and even vivid hallucinations during this initial stage of sleep. Activity in the limbic system, including the amygdala, is increased during REM sleep, and the genitals become aroused, even if the content of the dreams we are having is not sexual. These people are suffering from a sleep disorder known as insomniaA sleep disorder that involves persistent difficulty falling or staying asleep., defined as persistent difficulty falling or staying asleep. While most people descend through the sequence of sleep stages, then move back up to REM sleep soon after falling asleep, narcolepsy sufferers move directly into REM and undergo numerous awakenings during the night, often preventing them from getting good sleep.
Sleepwalking is more common in childhood, with the most frequent occurrences around the age of 12 years. As their actions may injure themselves or their sleeping partners, this disorder, thought to be neurological in nature, is normally treated with hypnosis and medications. Dream consciousness: Our understanding of the neurobiology of sleep offers insight into abnormalities in the waking brain. Paradoxical sleep deprivation impairs acquisition, consolidation and retrieval of a discriminative avoidance task in rats. During this sleep stage our muscles shut down, and this is probably a good thing as it protects us from hurting ourselves or trying to act out the scenes that are playing in our dreams. Some people do quite well with fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night, whereas others need 9 hours or more. Comparison of the effects of sleep deprivation, alcohol and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) on simulated steering performance.
A prospective study of change in sleep duration: Associations with mortality in the Whitehall II cohort. The second major sleep type, non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleepA deep sleep, characterized by very slow brain waves, which is further subdivided into three substages, labeled as stages N1, N2, and N3. The most recent study by the National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night (Figure 5.7 "Average Hours of Required Sleep per Night"), and yet Americans now average fewer than 7 hours.
According to this approach, the signals from the brain stem are sent to the cortex, just as they are when we are awake, but because the pathways from the cortex to skeletal muscles are disconnected during REM sleep, the cortex does not know how to interpret the signals. Moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments in cognitive and motor performance equivalent to legally prescribed levels of alcohol intoxication.

Research sleeping positions

Comments Stages of sleep patterns

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