An Altered State Sleep And Illicit Drug Use Concorde Career College Essay

1339 words - 6 pages

Running head: An Altered State: Sleep and Illicit Drug Use 1
An Altered State: Sleep and Illicit Drug Use
An Altered State: Sleep and Illicit Drug Use
Massimo Delisi
Concorde Career College
Many of us, at one point or later, have realized the importance of sleep when dealing with daily life. Its commonly known that sleeping is one of the essential maintenance activities in every individuals’ life (Tang, Liao, He, Deng, Zhang, Qi, & Lui, 2015). Physical and mental disorders or even social disturbances can arise from lack of sleep or disruptions in your sleeping cycle (Tang, Liao, He, Deng, Zhang, Qi, & Lui, 2015). Well, there are a factor of things that can affect your sleep and/or sleep cycles. My focus today will be on sleep and the effect that illicit drug use has on it and vice versa. Many people are fascinated by the effect of drugs on brain activity and consciousness itself. Its prevalent in all cultures and everyone, at some point in their lives, has either experimented with illicit drugs or has observed the effects of illicit drugs on others. Consciousness is a very mysterious and arbitrary concept. We define consciousness as our awareness of what’s happening around us and what’s happening in our minds (“The Big Picture: States of Consciousness”, 2017). Thoughts, feelings memories, consciousness helps us organize all of this (“The Big Picture: States of Consciousness”, 2017). Altered states of consciousness, such as the product of illicit drug use, causes shifts in the quality of nature of our mental activity. Sleep disturbances, sleep deprivation, and sleep quality can all be effected by illicit drug use as well as illicit drug use effecting our concept of the importance of sleep.
I wanted to begin by describing how sleeping patterns can affect physiological and psychological functions as well as how disruptions in these patterns can affect the mind and body. One theory of that explains why we need to sleep is the circadian theory of sleep which states that adaptive forces have evolved to keep humans out of harm’s way during the dark night (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2013). A sleep cycle can last to about 90 minutes and can include one or more stages of NREM sleep, followed by REM sleep (Wood et al., 2013). We start sleep in the four NREM sleep stage which we then go back down the stages to the most important sleep stage, REM sleep. During REM sleep our brains are highly active. Epinephrine is released into the system and there is increased brain-wave activity that can bring about vivid dreams (Wood et al., 2013). REM sleep deprivation has been studied on rats and has shown negative effects. During this study, animals were deprived of sleep using certain modifications of the disk- over- water method (Jiang, Gan, Li, Zhao, Li, Zheng, & Ke, 2017). Several methods were used to keep the rats awake. After several days of REM sleep deprivation, the rats blood pressures were measured and their aortas were collected for further examination (Jiang et...

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