Different people need different amounts of sleep. Some people can function with fewer than six hours of sleep a night, while others can’t manage without at least nine hours. Research shows that getting insufficient sleep can have negative effects on health, etc.
Experiment subjects who are intentionally deprived of REM sleep tend to enter the REM stage of sleep more and more frequently during the night. After an REM-deprivation experiment has ended, subjects usually experience a REM Rebound effect, spending more time in the REM stage on subsequent nights to make up for lost REM time.
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Sleep patterns change as people get older. Newborn babies spend about two-thirds of their time in sleep. As people age, they tend to sleep less. The amount of time spent in REM sleep also changes over time. In very young babies, about half of all sleep is REM sleep. As babies get older, the propo...
Biological rhythms usually synchronize with environmental events such as changes in daylight. However, experiments have shown that many biological rhythms continue to have the same cycle even without cues from the environment. Such biological rhythms are Endogenous, which means that they originat...
Sleep is just one of many types of consciousness we experience, and sleep itself comprises several states of consciousness. Even when we’re sleeping, our brains and bodies continue to work.
Sleep is affected by biological rhythms or periodic physiological changes. Biological rhythms are reg...
Most people in stage 4 sleep are still, quiet, and difficult to rouse. Sleepwalkers, however, sometimes become physically active during stage 4. They may get up and walk around their room or even carry on a conversation, take a bath, cook, or go outside and get in their car. Because they are in a...
Although everyone sleeps, no one really knows why people sleep. Researchers have proposed several theories to explain how sleep evolved to be a necessary behavior:
Endogenous rhythms exist because the body has biological clocks that keep time. Biological clocks can be adjusted by environmental cues, such as changes in temperature.
In humans, the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) is the main biological clock that regulates circadian rhythms of sleep. The S...
Jet lag is the fatigue and disorientation air travelers feel after a long flight. Although traveling itself drains energy, the time change also contributes to fatigue. People experience jet lag when the events in their environment are out of sync with their biological clocks.
EXAMPLE: A tra...
Sleep research has provided a lot of information about what happens to the brain and body during sleep. Researchers study sleep by monitoring subjects who spend the night in labs, and they use various instruments for different purposes:
During one night’s sleep, people pass through several cycles of sleep, each lasting about ninety to one hundred minutes. There are five distinct stages of sleep in each cycle: 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM.
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