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Sleep disorders
Insomnia, narcolepsy and sleepwalking…read more

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This begins in early adulthood and can range from minor to severe. The symptoms
are experiencing sudden and uncontrollable attacks of sleep that are irregular and
can happen at any time. The person feels tired a lot of the time and has a loss of
muscle control. Other symptoms could be hallucinations and sleep paralysis.
Narcolepsy is often triggered by emotional events.…read more

Slide 3

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Explanation of narcolepsy
· Considered as a result of a malfunction in the systems which maintain REM sleep
which explains some of the symptoms such as loss of muscle tone and
hallucinations which are seen in REM sleep (loss of muscle tone to stop person
acting out dreams and hallucinations the dream)
· Could be linked to a mutation of the immune system as an increased frequency of
the leukocyte antigen HLA was found in people suffering from narcolepsy. HLA
molecules coordinate the immune response and are found on the surface of white
blood cells. To many of these make a person sleep, as sleep can recover the
body.…read more

Slide 4

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Explanations of narcolepsy
A link has been shown between low levels of hypocretin, which is a neurotransmitter and narcolepsy.
This plays a role in maintaining wakefulness. Narcoleptic dogs had a mutation in a gene which
disrupted the way that hypocretin was processed. When hypocretin was given to these dogs, there
narcolepsy disappeared.
This is scientific evidence as empirical evidence has been found however it cannot be applied to
humans as we are a different species (anatomy and physiology) so the way we sleep is completely
different. Humans can think about experiences in a way which animals cannot. However humans with
narcolepsy had low levels of hypocretin which could be due to brain injury, infection, diet, stress or
auto-immune attack however it is not genetic…read more

Slide 5

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Evaluation of narcolepsy
· Explanations take the biological approach as they implicate
abnormalities of genetic factors, the immune system and
biochemistry which is supported by empirical evidence and
this view is good as it could develop medication to stop
· Reductionist -Alternative approach psychoanalytic one
explains the sudden onset of sleep are ways of disguising
sexual fantasies are coping with them and reducing anxiety
and distress they may cause. However this approach is not
· Determinist as if person has low levels of hypocretin they will
get narcolepsy and have no choice over this…read more

Slide 6

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This is a difficulty falling asleep, trouble
remaining asleep or waking up early. This can
either be transient (short term), intermittent
(occasional) or chronic (occurred for a long
period of time)
There are two explanations of insomnia:
· Primary insomnia- a disorder in its own right
with no known medical, psychiatric or
environmental cause
· Secondary insomnia- insomnia is secondary to
another disorder such as a psychiatric or
medical disorder…read more

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