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general sleep

general sleep



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Published by itux
know more about sleep
know more about sleep

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Published by: itux on Sep 28, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Table of contentsINTRODUCTION3SLEEP4WHAT IS SLEEP?4BRAIN ACTIVITY DURING SLEEP4NREM4REM4SLEEP REQUIREMENTS5Age-related changes in total amount of sleep and REM Sleep5EFFECT ON SLEEP61. Temperature62. Melatonin63. Caffeinated drinks64. Food75. Water76. Stress77. Exercise8SLEEPING DISORDERS8Sleep Apnea(without breathing)8Insomnia9Narcolepsy9Sleep paralysis9Improving sleep9CONCLUSION10 INTRODUCTIONEvery species well except the reptilian species (scientist have not found out yet)goes to sleep. Normally one closes their eyes lies down and goes to sleep, somelike bats sleep with their body facing down, elephants and giraffes sleep standingup. In every kind of way, animals will sleep. After sleep, there is normally asurge in energy levels, ideas come easily, generally one feels refreshed aftersleep. But how does this happen? In fact how does sleep really occur? What happensduring sleep? What and why affects the ability for one to sleep? Are there anysleep disorders?The above questions are attempted to be answered in this article.
SLEEPWhat is sleep?The oxford dictionary defines sleep as a condition of body and mind in which thenervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, andconsciousness practically suspended. This definition gives a broad or generalprocesses that are involved in sleep, this article will then try to explain allthe different process in detail.Brain Activity during sleepThe brain is still active during sleep. The scientist measured the brain waveactivity that occurs during sleep, by means of an electroencephalogram (EEG). Theresults were that sleep can be divided into five different states. The first fourstages fall under the non rapid eye movement (NREM) state whilst the fifth stateis called the rapid eye movement state (REM). The NREM is characterized by theoverall decrease in the body’s processes, whilst during REM, the heart rate,breathing rate increase and there’s also small muscle movement that occurs. Thetwo states are fully explained as follows:NREMStage 1: this stage is normally known as the drowsing off and daydreaming. Duringthis stage the alpha waves (lower brain waves) are measured. These waves are alsocalled the ‘awake waves’ because we are still awake when the waves are measured.In this stage our bodies relax, respiration and heart rate slightly drops and ourminds tend to drift into an altered state of creativity and relaxation. Thisresults in a huge lapse in concentration.Stage 2: during this stage, we experience patterns of brain waves called sleepspindles. These are sudden bursts of brain activity. When a person is woken upduring this stage, they will normally tell you that they are not asleep.Stage 3 and stage 4: these stages exhibit delta waves and theta wavesrespectively. The brain will fluctuate between these two stages. As we enter thisstage, our blood pressure, respiration rate and heart rate reach their lowestpoint of the day. The blood vessels dilate and most of the blood which was storedin the organs is replaced by ‘new’ blood which will nourish and facilitate repairwithin the organs.REMREM sleep is closely related to wakefulness because the brain wave activity duringREM sleep is marked by short, rapid wave patterns similar to those during the wakestate appear. This stage is characterized by high frequency, low amplitude, moreirregular waves in the EEG and the muscle tone is actively inhibited. It isbelieved that we normally dream during this state.SLEEP REQUIREMENTSAmounts of sleep vary significantly with age and even between individuals.Infants sleep the most spending nearly half of that time in REM sleep. The time aperson spends in REM sleep decreases with age and this is clearly illustrated inthe graphs below.Age-related changes in total amount of sleep and REM Sleep 
As you might expect, as children grow, they spend less time sleeping during theday. The graph below illustrates how night-time and daytime sleep time changeswith age. Effect on sleepThe following are investigated to determine their effects on sleep.1. Temperature1.1 Body temperatureOur body temperature determines whether are awake or we feel tired and have tosleep. The body temperature rises and drops as the hours of the day progress, withbody temperature increase we feel more awake and with a decrease we are then proneto sleep. A decrease in body temperature will result in the lowering of the brainwaves, thus we move into stage 1 of sleep. Generally, body temperature rises inthe early hours of the morning, decreases in the afternoon (explains the afternoonnaps) and rises again until the early hours of the evening.1.2 Room temperatureRoom temperature plays important part in body temperature regulation. When theroom temperature is low, it will result in the body increasing the cellularmetabolism thus the body temperature. Now, if the room temperature is higher, thebody will try to decrease its temperature by producing sweat, one can still fallasleep in a high room temperature but the level of sleep will not be as deep as acool temperature room.2. MelatoninMelatonin is synthesized and released by the pineal gland, when a person isexposed to darkness. It promotes sleep, by decreasing cellular activity which inturn decreases body temperature. The levels of melatonin are regulated by theintensity of light, the higher the light intensity the lower the melatonin bloodlevels. Any light can affect the melatonin levels, sunlight is the preferred lightas it also raises the body temperature and promotes wakefulness.3. Caffeinated drinksCaffeine contained within this drinks will influence sleep by acting on receptorsof adenosine. Adenosine is a hormone responsible for decreasing the heart rate andthus overall promotion of sleep. Caffeine acts as an antagonist of adenosinereceptors.Caffeine increases the heart rate. This leads to an increase in cardiac output.This will result in cells having more oxygenated blood available thus increasecellular metabolism. Since cellular metabolism increases, energy production iselevated and this, results in sleep deprivation (impossible to sleep with highenergy).4. FoodThere are basically two important amino acids that determine whether we are sleep(tryptophan), or awake (tyrosine).Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin, which in turn can be converted tomelatonin (promotes sleep at night). Serotonin itself is a relaxing hormone whenpresent in moderate levels. The following foods contain tryptophan: red meat,poultry, fish, dairy products, spirulina, sesame seeds and peanuts.Tyrosine is a precursor of noradrenalin, adrenaline and dopamine. These threehormones promote sleep as they increase heart rate thus cardiac output, and alsobrain functioning. Dopamine also decreases stress, thus it acts to decrease

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