Sleep Disorders Essay

1915 words - 8 pages

Sleep disordersby Hassan TariqAssignment presented for the CourseINTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGYTaught by ALEXANDER STIRLINGIn the winter semester, 2007Cegep John Abbott College"One third of North American adults report sleep problems and many children also experience sleep disturbances." (Wood et al. 124)There are many different types of sleep disorders; they vary from light to heavy. Sleep problems are increasing day by day but still most medical schools provide less then two hours' instruction on sleep and sleep disorders. (Wood et al. 124). Some of the sleep problems include sleepwalking, sleep terrors, narcolepsy and insomnia.A TEENAGE girl in London leaves her house and climbs to the top of a 40-metre crane. An Australian woman goes off in the middle of the night to have sex with strangers. A Canadian man drives 22 kilometers to his in-laws' house, murders his mother-in-law and drives back home. Strange behavior, but stranger still when you consider that all these people were asleep at the time. (New Scientist, 2006)You may have seen in cartoons that sleepwalkers walking with eyes closed and their arm extended forwards. Sleep walking is more then that. Sleepwalking is the acting out of complex behavior while sleeping. Usually sleepwalkers have their eyes open with a blank stare. Their coordination is mostly poor. Some times they can also talk but their speech is incomprehensible to listeners. In some strong cases people can do all sorts of things while sleeping; some of actions are driving, doing the laundry and even cooking. (New Scientist, 2006) If someone is a sleepwalker there is some chance that he or she develops a case of sleep-eating. Sleep-eating is basically a side effect of the prescription sleeping pill Ambien. New Scientist (2006) provide us with a good example of what sleep-eating is "One 54-year-old woman had no clue why she had gained 45 kilograms until her husband told her that she was climbing out of bed in the middle of the night, heading for the kitchen and bingeing on junk food." Some sleep-eaters even go so far as to cook a meal.Sleep has several stages, which are defined by the different types of electromagnetic wave produced by the brain. An alert brain produces mostly low-amplitude, high-frequency beta waves. As you relax, alpha waves appear, and once asleep, high-amplitude, low-frequency theta waves take over. The next two stages are dominated by large, slow delta waves. These stages are known as non-REM sleep and are deep and dreamless. REM sleep, when dreams occur, is the last stage, just before you start to waken. (New Scientist, 2006)Sleepwalking usually occurs when a person is roused incompletely. Sleepwalkers are half awake half sleep, but they are awake enough to carry out activities which didn't require enough attention. A sleepwalker has no conscious awareness, so when they walk up they don't have any idea what they were doing. There is a rift between mind and body: the cerebellum, which controls automatic...

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