Nature of Sleep

· The nature of sleep

· Functions of sleep, including evolutionary explanations & restoration theory

· Lifespan changes in sleep

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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
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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The Nature of Sleep
Sleep is found upon all animals in the animal kingdom and therefore must perform some critical
Evolutionary Explanation of Sleep:
According to this theory the function of sleep is similar to hibernation, and that it is to conserve
energy when the environment is hostile. Therefore we can say sleep is a very stable strategy for
survival.…read more

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Many restorative processes like protein synthesis & digestion do occur during sleep but they also
occur during the day too. So Horne concluded that there are only repairs in the brain during sleep.
Horne also said that there were 2 types of sleep: Core Sleep which is essential for brain recovery
and optional sleep which is used for energy conservation.
Sleep Deprivation Studies:
Total Sleep Deprivation- Randy Gardner (1965)
Randy Gardner decided to try to break the world record for wakefulness which was 260 hour.…read more

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This idea is crucial in knowing how much sleep a person needs. Sleep varies by age, quantity &
quality.…read more

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Evaluation of Lifespan Changes in sleep:
Advantages Disadvantages
Objective measurements- This theory Methodological problems- To measure
has been tested and confirmed by many sleep a person must be connected up to
scientists. equipment in laboratory conditions, this
however change the quality of sleep and
so may alter the results.…read more


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