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AQA A-Level Psychology PYA4: Function of Sleep

AQA A-Level Psychology PYA4: Function of Sleep



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Published by Stephan Amaranath
A-Level Psychology Notes: Function of Sleep
A-Level Psychology Notes: Function of Sleep

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Published by: Stephan Amaranath on Apr 03, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Function Of Sleep
Ecological Accounts
The Ecological Perspective
Energy Conservation (Webb, 1982)
Warm-blooded animals need to use up a lot of energy to maintain aconstant body temp. A problem for small animals with a highmetabolic rate (chemical processes taking place in the body).Animals with a high metabolic rate use much more energy.However… Sleep provides a period of enforced inactivity (using lessenergy) a means of conserving energy, much like hibernation(Webb, 1982) –
Hibernation Theory 
.Sleep varies according to animal size and therefore metabolic rate.Amount of sleep is also changed by other factors: foraging(looking for food) and predator avoidance.
Observations of animals in their environment…
The Ecological Perspective
Foraging (gathering food)
Herbivores spend their time eating plants which are poor innutrients therefore spend a lot of time eating = less timesleeping.Carnivores eat food that are high in nutrients therefore don’tneed to eat continuously = afford to rest, conservingenergy.
Predator Avoidance (Meddis, 1975)
Prey species must remain alert to avoid predator (reducingsleep). Meddis (1975) suggested that sleep help prey tostay out of harms way during parts of the day they are mostvulnerable. For most animals this means sleeping duringthe hours of darkness however there are animals whichhave evolved to be nocturnal.According to Meddis, sleep may just ensure animals stay stillwhen they have nothing better to do with their time.

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