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Sleep Psychology Essay

1046 words - 5 pages

INTRODUCTION
Dalai Lama once said “ Sleep is the best meditation”. Sleep is just like a medicine; it can perform wonders, only if it’s given an adequate amount of time. Science has proved that sleep deprivation can cause sleepiness, malaise and a depression of the immune system. The quality and quantity of sleep often go hand in hand. Through this paper I will be evaluating the role of adenosine and melatonin on sleep and will discuss the human sleep stages, in particular, the REM phase, using the sleep log.
ROLE OF ADENOSINE
Adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter believed to play a role in promoting sleep and suppressing arousal, with levels increasing with each hour when an ...view middle of the document...

ROLE OF MELATONIN
Melatonin on the other hand is closely linked with the visual system i.e. it responds to light and focuses on a persons ability to sleep. Melatonin is produces by the SCN (Supra Chiasmic Nucleus) during the night, which contributes to sleepiness and coordinates the biological sleep clock. In the presence of light the body inhibits the production of melatonin, which explains why people sleep during the dark rather than during the day. On evaluating my sleep log I noticed that during several instances I woke up at night due to my roommate switching on the room lights or even his bed lamp. After understanding the effect of melatonin I realized why that was happening to me. Melatonin helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body's circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is an internal 24-hour “clock” that plays a critical role when we fall asleep and wake up. When it is dark, your body produces more melatonin; when it is light, the production of melatonin drops. Being exposed to bright lights in the evening or too little light during the day can disrupt the body' s normal melatonin cycles. The light when switched on by my roommate was exposed to my retina, forcing me to open my eyes. After waking up, with the intensity of the light, I asked my friend to switch it off. After which, it was difficult for me to fall back asleep, I waited in bed for another couple of minutes for my eyes to adapt to the darkness before falling asleep.
REM PHASE
Human sleep is divided into 4 stages and one REM phase. During this REM ( Rapid Eye Movement) phase, also known as the paradoxical sleep stage, the body muscles are inactive but the brain is extremely active. It is during this phase that the brain’s psychological restoration takes place through the projection of dreams. There are many people around the world who do not...

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