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Sleep Essay, Research Paper

One-third of a person s life is spent sleeping. Sleep restores energy inside the body,especially to the brain and nervous system. People require slow-wave sleep and dreamingsleep. Extra sleep of the either kind does not make up for the lost of the other. When a person is sleeping, his or her EFG waves are different than when he or sheis awake. When a person is awake, their brain makes small, fast waves called alpha waves. When a person is asleep, the waves are bigger and slower and are called Delta-Thetawaves. Waves are made by nerve cells firing in a person s brain. Slow-wave sleep helpsespecially in building protein and restoring control of brain and nervous system overmuscles, glands, and other systems. Hormone secretion is active during sleep, especially important is the release of thegrowth hormones. Hormones are not used for just growing, but also for the help ofrepairing the tissue. A person s sleeping pattern develops as they age. A new born baby sleepsperiodically throughout the day and the night. Sleep periods include dreaming. By theage of two or three months, the baby learns to sleep through the night, even with napsduring the day. Four-year-olds average ten to fourteen hours a night, while a ten-year-oldaverages nine to twelve hours of sleep a night. The amount of sleep a person needs varies among each other. Normal periods ofsleep range from six to nine hours each night. The average amount of time a person sleepsis around seven and a half hours every night. Age generally determines the length andpattern of sleep. As the person ages, the pattern of frequent napping changes to a patternof long naps and sleep during the night. Elderly people may return to sleeping like a childby taking naps and sleeping only a few hours during the night. The length of sleep time in a healthy person does not change from ages twenty-fiveto seventy-five. The incidence of sleep problems do increase. As the body ages, thequality of sleep deteriorates. Sleep becomes less efficient, lighter, and less restful. Little or no time is spent in deeper forms of NREM (non-rapid eye movement)sleep and sleep is easily interrupted by noise, having to go to the bathroom, pain, etc. There is also a tendency for night-time sleep to begin and end earlier, perhaps because thebiological clock beats faster as a person ages. When a person falls asleep, they go through different stages and types of sleep. The first type is NREM. There are four stages to this. The first stage is a twilight

between awake and asleep. Pulse respiration becomes more even, while muscles relax. The second stage is when the breathing and heartbeat slow down. The third stage isalmost the same as the second one, but the person s blood pressure and temperature fall. The fourth stage is when the muscles relax, there is no body movement, and there isdifficulty waking up. Sleepwalking and sleeptalking occur primarily in NREM and it isknown that dreams also occur during NREM sleep. The second type of sleep is REM sleep. During REM sleep, the pupils move backand forth rapidly, dreams occur, the breathing becomes quick and shorter, the blood flowsfaster, and the person is paralyzed except for the toes and fingers. REM sleep only lasts five to ten minutes, though it tends to lengthen twenty totwenty-five percent total sleep time as the night progresses. By morning, the sleep circuithas been completed four or five times. Dreaming sleep is important for maintaininglearning, reasoning, and emotional adjustment. In adult humans REM occurs every one and a half hours throughout the night. The cycles are shorter for children and animals. Most dreams are not recalled in themorning. According to Philip Goldberg, It is assumed REM and NREM sleep serve adistinct function, but it isn t certain. People deprived of sleep lose energy and become quick-tempered. Concentrationbecomes difficult, and confusion and memory lapses occur. This person may become hardto deal with. People who go without sleep for three or more days have difficulty thinking,seeing, and hearing clearly. Some people have hallucinations. Extended loss of sleep canalso cause serious behavior and psychological disturbances. REM loss can also lead tomental breakdowns. Sleep serves as an important physiological function. According to Peter Hauri, Human beings have been able to go without sleep foreleven days. These people lose contact with reality. They become fearful and suspiciousof others. Scientists are still researching answers to many questions about sleep. Theywonder why we can t cannot just rest, like insects do. They also wonder why sleeprestores energy to the body. According to Diane Hales, It has been reported that teenagers sleep time-clocksrun later than any other ages. Scientists have discovered that teenagers that go to bedearly lay awake until midnight. This makes them tired for school. The report also statedthat schools that do not start until later in the morning, get better performance from theteens. Second bell is when everyone usually starts to wake

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