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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Part II PS101.docx

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Carolyn Ensley

PS101 Chapter 5 – Variations in Consciousness Week 9 Problems in the Night: Sleep Disorders -There are 78 different types of sleep disorders Insomnia -Insomnia refers to chronic problems in getting adequate sleep -It occurs in three basic patterns: (1) difficulty in falling asleep initially, (2) difficultly in remaining asleep, and (3) persistent early-morning awakening -Insomniacs have to endure the agony of watching their precious sleep time tick away as they toss and turn in restless frustration -Insomnia is associated with daytime fatigue, impaired functioning, and elevated risk of accidents, reduced productivity, absenteeism at work, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, hypertension, and increased health problems -Some people suffer from “pseudo-insomnia” which means that they just think they are getting an inadequate amount of sleep -Some people are predisposed to insomnia because they have a higher level of physiological arousal than the average person -The most common approach in the medical treatment of insomnia is the two drugs: benzodiazepine sedatives, which relieve anxiety, and nonbenzodiazepine sedatives which were primarily designed for sleep problems -They reduce nighttime awakenings and increase total sleep -When people abruptly discontinue heir sleep medication, they can experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and increased insomnia -Relaxation procedures and behavioural interventions can be helpful for many individuals -Behavioural treatments are just as effective as medication in the short term and that behavioural interventions produce more long-lasting benefits than drug therapies -Cognitive therapies can help by generally emphasizing recognizing and changing negative thoughts and maladaptive beliefs Other Sleep Problems -Narcolepsy is a disease marked by sudden and irresistible onsets of sleep during normal waking periods -A person suffering with this goes directly from wakefulness into REM sleep, usually for a short period of time -Some victims fall asleep instantly, even while driving a car -Infrequent – seen in only 0.05% of the population -Stimulant drugs have been used to treat this condition -Sleep apnea involves frequent, reflexive gasping for air that awakens a person and disrupts sleep -Some victims of this are awakened from their sleep hundreds of times a night -Occurs when a person literally stops breathing for a minimum of ten seconds -At least five such events per hour of sleep -This disorder is accompanied by loud snoring -Leads to excessive daytime sleepiness -Leads to hypertension, coronary disease, and stroke -May be treated by lifestyle modifications, drug therapy, special masks and oral devices that improve airflow, and upper airway and craniofacial surgery -Nightmares are anxiety-arousing dreams that lead to awakening, usually from REM sleep -A person who awakens from a nightmare recalls a vivid dream and may have difficulty getting back to PS101 Chapter 5 – Variations in Consciousness Week 9 sleep -Significant stress in one’s life is associated with increased frequency and intensity of nightmares -Night terrors are abrupt awakenings from NREM sleep, accompanied by intense autonomic arousal and feelings of panic -Produce remarkable accelerations of heart rate, and occur during stage 4 sleep early in the night -Victims typically let out a piercing cry, bolt upright, and then stare into space -They do not remember the coherent dream, but they remember a simple frightening image - the panic fades quickly and a return to sleep is fairly easy -Sonmambulism, or sleepwalking, occurs when a person arises and wanders about while remaining asleep -Occurs during the first two hours of sleep -Sleepwalkers may awaken during their journey, or they may return to bed without any recollection of their excursion -Sleepwalkers are prone to accidents -It is safe to awaken people (gently) from a sleepwalking episode – much safer than letting them wander about -REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) is marked by potentially troublesome dream enactments during REM periods -People with this may talk, yell, gesture, flail abut, or leap out of bed during their REM dreams -Their dream enactments can get surprisingly violent and then often hurt themselves or their bed partners The World of Dreams -Dreams are mental experiences during REM sleep that have a story-like quality, include vivid visual imagery, are often bizarre, and are regarded as perceptually real by the dreamer -Dreams are not the exclusive property of REM sleep The Contents of Dreams -Most dreams are relatively mundane -They tend to unfold in familiar settings with a cast of characters dominated by family, friends, and colleagues -We almost always experience dreams from a first-person perspective -The dreams distinctly associated with males tended to be positive in nature, while the ones associated with females tended to be more negative, including dreams related to phobias, performance anxiety, and control -The contents of children’s dreams don’t become adult-like until around ages 11-13 Links Between Dreams and Waking Life -What people dream about is affected by what is going on in their lives -“Dream content in general is continuous with waking conceptions and emotional preoccupations” -The relationship of daily stress to dreams may depend on a variety of factors, including the nature of the stressor -Not all daytime events are equally likely to affect dream content -On occasion, the content of dreams can also be affected by stimuli experiences while one is dreaming – Ex. Your alarm clock not waking you and it being incorporated into your dream -Sometimes people may realize they are dreaming while still in the dream state – “lucid dreams” PS101 Chapter 5 – Variations in Consciousness Week 9 -In some of these dreams, the dreamer may be able to exert some control over the dream Culture and Dreams -Although a small minority of individuals take their dreams seriously, in Western cultures, dreams are largely written off as insignificant, meaningless meanderings of the unconscious -In non-Western cultures, dreams are viewed as important sources of information about oneself, about the future, or about the spiritual world -Some basic dream themes appear to be nearly universal Theories of Dreaming -Sigmund Freud believed that the principal purpose of dreams is wish fulfillment -Rosalind Cartwright proposed that drams provide an opportunity to work through everyday problems -J. Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley argue that dreams are simply the by-product of bursts of activity emanating from subcortical areas in the brain Hypnosis: Altered Consciousness or Role Playing? Hypnotic Induction and Susceptibility -Hypnosis is a systematic procedure that typically produces a heightened state of suggestibility -It may lead to passive relaxation, narrowed attention, and enhanced fantasy -People differ in how well they respond to hypotonic induction -Responsiveness to hypnosis is a stable, measurable trait -People who are highly hypnotizable may even slip in and out of hypnotic-like state spontaneously without being aware of it -High hypnotisability is made up of three components: absorption, dissociation, and suggestibility -Absorption involves the capacity to reduce or block peripheral awareness and narrow the focus of one’s attention -Dissociation involves the ability to separate aspects of perception, memory, or identity, for the mainstream of conscious awareness -Suggestibility involves the tendency to accept direct
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