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Sleep and Dreaming
Terms in this set (64)
How much sleep do humans get on an average night?
6-9 (near the lower end of the sleep spectrum)
What were the two important discoveries made by early researchers?
1. The brain is quite active during sleep, at certain times showing levels of electrical activity that are equivalent to being awake
2. The brain goes through several discrete stages while sleeping. Sleep is heterogeneous with respect to the brain (as opposed to previous on/off idea)
What machine is used to measure the brains electrical activity?
An electroencephalogram (EEG), using electrodes placed on the skull
What wave pattern is seen when a lot of neurons are firing separately?
Low-amplitude, high-frequency pattern of electroencephalogram waves (beta)
What wave pattern is observed when neurons are firing in a synchronous manner?
The frequency of the electroencephalogram waves(frequency) goes down, but the amplitude goes up
What type of electroencephalogram waves are present when the individual is awake and fully alert?
Beta waves (high-frequency, low amplitude waves)
What type of waves are seen during non-REM sleep (deep sleep)?
Delta waves (low-frequency, high-amplitude)
What type of waves are seen during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep?
- the brain activity looks very similar to how it does while awake
- high-frequency, low-amplitude waves
What are some activities that occur during non-REM sleep (deep sleep)?
- Body temperature decreases
- Growth hormone secretion increases
Can dreaming occur during non-REM sleep?
Yes, but the dreams are reported to be much less vivid than those seen during REM sleep
Dream-like experiences occurring during the transition to sleep
What stage of sleep allows for somniloquy and sonambulism?
What stage of sleep allows for experiencing night-terrors?
- brief, extremely frightening dreams
- often experienced by children
- Several times each night, the brain undergoes an interesting shift from the slow wave sleep (characterized by delta waves) to a state known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep
What pattern occurs during REM sleep?
The brain shows a pattern of EEG waves that closely resembles the beta waves of the awake state
What does the resemblance of beta waves during REM sleep suggest about the brain?
That the cortex is somewhat "awake" during REM sleep
When do most of out vivid dreams take place?
During REM sleep
We do not typically remember our dreams, but people who are woken up in the middle of REM sleep almost always report having been in the midst of a dream (appx. 80% of the time)
What may explain why our muscles are paralyzed during REM sleep?
Presumably to keep us from acting out our dreams
When the dreamer recognizes they are dreaming and can influence the course of the dream
How can lucid dreaming be used therapeutically?
- "control" your dreams (nightmares)
- confront anxieties in your dreams
- boost athletic performance
A night's sleep can be divided into sleep cycles that last about _____ each
What happens during every sleep cycle?
The individual passes through each of the stages of sleep, finally ending in a period of REM sleep
(The cycles repeats itself until the individual wakes up)
How is an individual's ability to wake up affected by the sleep cycle?
Your success depends on which stage of the sleep cycle you happen to awaken during
As the night progresses, the sleep cycle becomes increasingly dominated by ___________
What happens to the amount of overall and REM sleep as people age?
- For unknown reasons, the percentage of time people spend in REM sleep gradually declines into adulthood
- So does the amount of overall sleep
The first 4 hours of sleep are __________-dominant
After the first 4 hours of sleep, ________-sleep is dominant
Dream interpretation is largely a _____________
What are the two theories of dreaming?
- The activation synthesis theory
- The evolutionary theory
The activation synthesis theory of dreaming
- During waking life, the brain spends much of its time on taking in sensory information from the sense organs, and converting that information to a useful form
- The cortex interprets incoming sensory information. It organizes it according to previous experiences
- During sleep, the brain does not receive much in the way of sensory information
- In particular, the brain is not provided with any visual information during sleep. Auditory and olfactory information from the outside world can occasionally make it into dreams
- Random information is produced by the brainstem and sensory regions, and according to the activation synthesis theory, dreams result when the cortex attempts to interpret this information
- Because the cortex uses past experiences and memories to make sense of these signals, dreams have a vague relationship with out waking lives
The evolutionary theory of dreaming
- Negative imagery is a common theme in dreams. Our dreams often center around dealing with threatening situations
- One theory proposes that dreams may serve an adaptive evolutionary purpose by acting as "training simulators", allowing us to practice dealing with real-life threats in a safe environment
- This could explain why the fear expressed during dreams are often very primitive (the sensation of being chased, in danger, etc.) and why they often incorporate ongoing emotional problems
Is sleep deprivation fatal in humans?
No, people have successfully deprived themselves of sleep for weeks at a time
What are the side effects of sleep deprivation in humans?
- drowsiness becomes overwhelming
- people engage in short microsleeps whenever they get the chance
What part of the brain does sleep reduction/deprivation effect most notably? And what else is affected on a smaller scale?
- increase in blood pressure
- decreases in immune function
- changes in metabolism
People who slept between __&__ hours has the lowest rates of all-cause mortality over a 10 year study period
5&7 (7 is best)
What are the two major categories of sleep disorders?
Dyssomnias and parasomnias
What do dyssomnias involve?
Difficulties getting enough sleep, problems with sleeping at appropriate times, and reductions in the quality of sleep
What are some examples of dyssomnias?
- Insomnia (most common)
What do parasomnias involve?
Abnormal behaviour or physiological events that occur during sleep
What are some examples of parasomnias?
- Nightmare disorders
- Sleepwalking disorder
Almost ______% of the population will report some symptoms of insomnia during a given year
Do women or men report insomnia more often?
Women report insomnia twice as often as men
What can insomnia be associated with?
- Anxiety disorders
- Substance use
Note: hypersomnia can also be associated with all of those
How is insomnia often treated?
- with sedative-hypnotic drugs such as Ambien and Xanax, both GABA receptor agonists
- These drugs can be quite effective, it's not practical to take them forever, and they tend to cause rebound insomnia when the individual quits
- Can also be treated with melatonin, a hormone involved in regulating circadian rhythms
- Melatonin secretion normally peaks at night, and nighttime supplementation of melatonin amplifies this effect. However, there is only mixed evidence that is actually helps with sleep in humans
What stage of sleep can parasomnia occur during?
Both REM and NREM, but each stage produces its own symptoms
What is involved in parasomnias that occur in NREM sleep?
- odd or unexpected movements
- sleepwalking is an example of this
What is involved in parasomnias that occur in REM sleep?
- Sleep paralysis
- the individual partly awakens, but remains paralyzed due to REM sleep's suppression of muscle tone
- this is often accompanied by an overwhelming feeling of dread, and the sense of the monstrous presence in the room
What relationship occurs between sleep and memory?
memories become stronger following a night's sleep
What are some possible theories for how sleep improves memory?
- Given that the individual is not exposed to much stimulation during sleep, maybe the only reason sleep helps memories is that it provides a passive, "quiet time" free of distracting stimuli
- Maybe the sleep helps solidify memories, protecting them from interference
- Sleep may selectively promotes certain memories, and dismiss others
What type of memories tend to decay after a night of sleep? Which are stronger? What does this suggest?
- Boring, unemotional memories tend to decay
- Emotionally charged memories become stronger
- This suggests that the brain is somehow able to filter through the day's events, and select out the ones that are most important to remember
Sleep deprivation and Post-traumatic stress disorder
It might be worth recommending that people who have just gone through a traumatic event be subjected to sleep deprivation, to prevent traumatic memories from being "stamped in"
What might the brain be doing during sleep? (particularly REM)
Rehearsing certain memories
The hippocampus contains neurons known as place cells that are involved in _________
How does memory occur?
Memory, as we can best tell, occurs because synapses that frequently participate in useful behaviour or cognition tend to become stronger and more efficient
What may be a reasonable assumption regarding the technicality between sleep and memory?
That the strengthening of memory during sleep
be associated with a strengthening of synapses in the brain
A large fraction of the synapses in the brain occur at sites called __________
Where are dendritic spines found and what do they correspond to?
They are found on dendrites and correspond to the potssynaptic terminal of a synapse
Evidence for weakening of synapses
tend to grow during the day, and recede during sleep. (spines that weren't needed pruned away)
- *AMPA receptors*, a particular variety of *glutamate* receptor, are down-regulated during sleep. Roughly speaking, the number of
determines a synapse's sensitivity to
s*, a particular variety of *glutamate* receptor, are down-regulated during sleep. Roughly speaking, the number of *AMPA receptors* determines a synapse's sensitivity to
, and thus the strength of the synapse (more receptors -> more sensitive)
Sleep is not a passive process, it is a period of __________
Intense neural activity
What are the "waste products" disposed of during sleep?
Un-needed synaptic connections
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