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Sleep is defined as a regular, recurrent, easily reversible state of an organism characterized by relative quiescence and by a great increase in the

threshold of response to external stimuli. (TURPIN 1986) Sleep is not a period of mere physiological quiescence, but a complex phenomena which results from numerous different physiological processes. (TURPIN 1986)


is the physically inactive path of the circadian sleep wake activity cycle and is characterized by cyclical changes in the electroencephalogram (EEG) and other physiological parameters. The circadian sleep wake activity cycle refers to type of cyclical rhythm that regulates a variety of physiological functions. The most familiar rhythm is the 24 hrs day night cycle known as circadian or diurnal rhythm. It is affected by the light and temperature.

is influenced by work schedules and social activities.

Sleep consists of five main stages. Four of non-rapid eye movement sleep. One of rapid eye movement sleep. Movement between these stage is indicated by specific change on an EEG. The five stages are :-

subject becomes drowsy and begins to fall asleep. The EEG shows alpha waves that are associated with the waking state.


subject is now asleep, although sleeping lightly . An unusual sound will disturb and arouse the subject quite easily. Breathing is regular and slow. The EEG shows the appearance of slow waves called Kcomplexes and bursts of rapid waves known as sleep spindles. Stage 2 comprises 45-55% of total sleep time in young adult .


sleep. The subject is more deeply asleep and more difficult to arouse . The EEG shows slow waves that became larger , known as delta waves .

is the beginning of slow waves sleep, which comprises 3-8% of total

is the stage of deepest sleep during which the subject is most difficult to arouse.

EEG shows an increased no. of delta waves. Sleepworking and enuresis occur during this stage of sleep, which comprises 10-15% of the total sleep.

stage is characterized by rapid eye movement . The subject sleeps more lightly , with a change in the EEG two waves more associated with wakefulness. This is the stage of sleep where dreaming is thought to occur. In many people this stage is characterized by sleep paralysis, where they are unable to move. REM sleep comprises 20-25% of total sleep.


people prepare to fall asleep, they enter a presleep period in which they begins to feel drowsy . Once people fall asleep, a normal uninterrupted nights sleep consists of 4-6 cycles. Each consisting of 4 stages of NREM and a period of REM sleep . The sleep cycle usually progresses from stage 1 through stage 4 to 3 to 2 ending with a period of REM. The time spent in NREM and REM sleep changes as the night progresses. During the 1st half of the night, NREM sleep predominates, interspersed with REM episodes. During the 2nd half of the night, NREM sleep disappears, REM sleep predominates, interspersed with short REM episodes. Each sleep cycle lasts about 90 min during first half of the night and decreased to approx 60 min during the 2nd half of the night.


The factors include

- Illness - Drugs - Activity - Diet - Stress - Environment

Physical and psychological illness can cause disruptions in the sleep-wake cycle. Certain illness can result in sleep disturbances. ( 2 )DURGS Sedatives and hypnotics can affect sleep stage cycle and the sleep-wake cycle. Its produce a more rapid sleep onset by reducing the amount of sensory input to the RAS.

Individuals who experience physical stress appear to require less total sleep time, have fewer episodes of light sleep and have fewer interruptions in all stages of sleep. When an individual experiences psychological stress, the amount of sleep and total sleep time appear to increase . High levels of anxiety produce disruptions in the sleepwake cycle by activating the RAS and preventing the onset of sleep.

It is a critical component in initiating the sleep cycle. The environment and environment clues are often part of an individuals sleep rituals that promote sleep onset and sleep efficiency. Alteration in the environment often disrupt the initiation and maintenance of the sleep cycle.

Exercise associated with moderate fatique enhances sleep.