Disorders of Sleep

· Explanation of insomnia, including primary and secondary insomnia, and factors influencing insomnia (for example apnoea, personality)

· Explanation for other sleep disorders, including sleepwalking and narcolepsy

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Biological Rhythms & Sleep
Biological Rhythms
Research studies into Circadian, Ultradian &
Infradian rhythms, including the role of
endogenous pacemakers and exogenous
zeitgebers
The consequences of disrupting biological rhythms
(for example shift work, jet lag)
Sleep States
The nature of sleep
Functions of sleep, including evolutionary
explanations & restoration theory
Lifespan changes in sleep
Disorders of sleep
Explanation of insomnia, including primary and
secondary insomnia, and factors influencing
insomnia (for example apnoea, personality)
Explanation for other sleep disorders, including
sleepwalking and narcolepsy

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Disorders of Sleep:
Insomnia:
Insomnia is basically the `inability to sleep' and is widespread. Dement argues that insomnia is not a
disorder but rather a symptom with many different possible causes.
When insomnia is regarded as an illness in itself and isn't the effect of some cause, it is called
PRIMARY INSOMNIA. If the insomnia is a direct result of some other illness then it is called SECONDARY
INSOMNIA.…read more

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Physical & psychiatric causes of Secondary Insomnia
Hormonal changes
Decreased Melatonin production
Medical conditions
Psychiatric conditions
Use of stimulants and alcohol
Shift Work
Environmental factors
Apnoea
Apnoea is defined as the interruption of airflow during sleep, which becomes clinically significant if
these interruptions last longer than 10 seconds & if they occur more than 10 times an hour. This only
happens during sleep because of the lack of muscle tone in the upper airway that causes it to
collapse.…read more

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Genetic explanation
Sleepwalking is 10 xs more likely to occur if a first degree relative has a history of sleepwalking and
is also more likely in identical twins. Therefore it has been concluded that sleepwalking can be
inherited. Bassetti (2002) studies 74 adults with the sleep walking disorder. Of the 16 who had
genetic testing 50% were seen to have a specific gene which has been linked to many sleep
disorders including Narcolepsy.…read more

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Texas that looked at rats that didn't produce Orexin, they showed all the
symptoms of Narcolepsy including Cataplexy. The main research done on Narcolepsy comes from
narcoleptic dogs. They were found to have a faulty receptor for Orexin. It was then found that the
same case was for humans.
Evaluation of Narcolepsy
Advantages
Research Studies- It's clear that there is a genetic
explanation for Narcolepsy and the effects of a lack of
Orexin in people.…read more

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