IDA Points Sleep

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  • Created by: Rosie
  • Created on: 01-06-15 15:00

Biological Rhythms

Determinist Approach:  Suggests patterns are fixed by internal mechanisms. This view may be misleading as there is some flexibility in cycles, i.e. going to bed a couple of hours later, so other factors can override the internal clock.

Real-world Application: Chronotherapeutics is the study of how timings affect drug treatments. Biological rhythms must be taken into account, e.g. taking drugs acting on a hormone when its levels are high.

Real-world Application: Phototherapy is used to treat SAD. Very strong lights are used to change levels of melatonin and serotonin. It has seen a reduction in symptoms, but this may be a placebo effect.

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Real-world Application: There are enormous health, safety and economic benefits to figuring out how the circadian clock works, as resynchronised body clocks can lead to reduced alertness and major accidents.

Evolutionary Approach: Biological rhythms have adaptive value. They enable tight temporal scheduling and allow the anticipation of daily environmental events.

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Rhythm Disruption

Real-world Application: Using artificial lighting to entrain and reset circadian rhythms helps avoid disasters.

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Nature of Sleep

Developmental Approach: Recognises that sleep patterns are not consistent but change as we age.

Cultural Bias: Most research is from American and British samples as it is assumed that culture does not have an impact on sleeping behaviour. However, much research has found variations between cultures.

Real-world Application: It has been suggested that school should start later to accommodate for delayed sleep phase syndrome in teens.

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Restoration Explanations

Evolutionary Approach: The alternative is evolutionary theory. This is supported by the fact that some animal’s sleep patterns, for example no REM sleep at all in dolphins, are not explained by restoration theory. Environmental pressures may be better explanations.

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Evolutionary Explanations

Evolutionary Approach: Fails to address some key aspects, such as the strong drive for sleep when we are deprived. A combined restoration and evolutionary approach may be a better explanation.

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Sleep Disorders

Real-World Application: A way to treat insomnia where the person is expecting of sleep difficulties is attribution theory. The insomniac learns to attribute their difficulties to ‘insomnia’, therefore they believe their problems lie elsewhere.

Real-World Application: There have been murder cases where sleepwalking has been claimed as a defence, and experts on the disorder have offered research in court.

Real-World Application: Narcolepsy may be treated by giving sufferers a dose of hypocretin. However, this is broken down before it reaches the brain, so scientists are working on an artificial drug.

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