Sleep Has an Affect Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1457 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Scientists also believe it can run in families (Borbaely 98).

In addition to overwhelming sleepiness during the day, narcolepsy is characterized by several other symptoms including cataplexy. Cataplexy refers to a complete or partial paralysis generated by a strong emotion. The emotions may be ones associated with laughter, excitement, or surprise (Field, McCabe and Schneiderman 84).

Clearly, this disease is unusual, and can have devastating effects on the individual who suffers from it. "After the patient has slept for a brief period, he wakes up again feeling refreshed. Not only the waking state, however, but nighttime sleep as well may be seriously affected" (Borbaely 98).

Because narcolepsy also influences nighttime sleep, just as sleep deprivation does, it can have the same outcome on memory and memory loss, if it continues unchecked. Studies show that forebrain arousal is low in narcolepsy subjects, also pointing to memory function in part of the brain (Field, McCabe and Schneiderman 84). Forebrain arousal or lack of it is also associated with stress and other sleep related problems.

Scientists do not know what causes narcolepsy, but it can be successfully treated with drugs. Continued studies into narcolepsy and its causes continue, as well as studies that discuss the parts of the brain and memory affected by this disease.

AVOIDING SLEEP DEPRIVATION

Most experts agree that the definitive amount of sleep for each person differs greatly. What may be the ideal for one person may cause another to fall asleep during the day, or feel tired and out of sorts during the day. One way to tell if you are getting enough sleep is to gauge your energy during a normal day. If you feel the need to sleep, or fall asleep while watching TV, or working at your computer, you may not be getting enough sleep. As Dr. Meir Kryger said in an ABC News interview, "If you fall asleep at the wrong time or place, you are too sleepy" (Editors). Naturally, the first and foremost way to avoid sleep deprivation is to get enough sleep each night. Some companies are beginning to recognize the benefits of naps during the day, and are providing areas where employees can nap for a few minutes. Most people report they are refreshed and recharged after a short nap.

Most doctors and scientists agree that the best thing anyone can do to improve their sleep is to go to bed at a regular time each evening, and wake up at a regular time each day. For people who work different shifts, this can be difficult, and they are often the people most affected by sleep deprivation and job-related problems.

For people who do work the nighttime shift, you'd like to tell them to keep that schedule seven days a week. For every hour of change in your sleep/wake schedule, it takes a young person 24 hours to adjust. That's jet lag. So what you want to do is say, don't try to adjust on the weekend, don't go watch the movies during the day, don't try and do a lot of daytime activities. Continue to sleep during the day, and stay up at night. That's difficult (Editors).

Experts also agree that sleep must be a priority in your life if you are to avoid sleep deprivation and its related problems. You should also avoid heavy exercise, alcohol, caffeine, and certain drugs in the hours before you go to sleep. If your sleeping problems continue, you may have a sleep disorder, and you need to contact your doctor. Sleep is one of the most important issues we face in our day-to-day health. Lack of sleep can lead to mood swings, memory loss, and general poor health, if it continues. Change your sleeping habits, and you may be able to change the way you feel about life.

Works Cited

Arnold, Magda B. Memory and the Brain. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1984.

Borbaely, Alexander. Secrets of Sleep. Trans. Deborah Schneider. New York: Basic Books, 1986.

DeNoon, Daniel J. "Lack of Sleep Takes Toll on Brain Power." WebMD. 9 Feb. 2000. 26 July 2002. http://my.webmd.com/content/article/1728.54980

Editors. "Getting Enough Shut-Eye." ABCNews.com. 2 April 2002. 26 July 2002. http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/DailyNews/sleep_poll020402.html

Tiffany M. Field, Philip M. McCabe, and Neil Schneiderman, eds. Stress and Coping. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1985.

Wyatt, James K., and Richard R. Bootzin. "Cognitive Processing and Sleep: Implications for Enhancing Job… [END OF PREVIEW]

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