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Biological Rhythms & Sleep

Biological Rhythms
Research studies into Circadian, Ultradian &
Infradian rhythms, including the role of
endogenous pacemakers and exogenous
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…

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Disorders of Sleep:


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…

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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 is defined as the interruption of airflow during sleep, which becomes clinically significant if
these interruptions last longer than 10 seconds & if…

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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…

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reported on a facility in 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


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