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Consciousness Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on April 16, 2015
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 563 words

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Below is an essay on "Consciousness" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding states thatwe spend about one-third of our lives in a sleep state of consciousness. Surprisingly, psychologists are still unsure as to why we sleep. Although, there are many important benefits of a good nights sleep that are vital for optimal body functioning and health. Sleep is necessary for storing memories, remembering emotional information, promoting insight, problem solving, neural development, and the immune system.

    According to Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding, Nathaniel Kleitman and William Dement discovered that during sleep we pass repeatedly through five stages of sleep every night. Each sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and can be measured by an electroencephalogram. Stage 1 usually lasts for 5 to 10 minutes and is considered a light stage of sleep because brain activity powers down to 50%, which produces theta waves. This puts us in a relaxed state, but we are still prone to experiencing hypnagogic imagery and myoclonic jerks. About 65% of our sleep cycle can be spent in stage 2. During stage 2, our brain activity and body temperature decreases, our heat rate slows, our muscles relax, and our eye movements cease.   Stages 3 and 4 are especially important in order to feel rested in the morning. These stages last for about 10 to 30 minutes and produce delta waves. Stage 5 is also known as REM sleep because the brain experiences high frequency and low-amplitude waves that are similar to those of wakefulness. REM sleep is extremely important for dreaming and biological functioning.

    If my roommate were to come back to the apartment at all hours of the night, my sleep cycle would be severely disrupted because I would not be able to properly experience all five stages of sleep. I believe that each stage of sleep is very delicate and in order to receive maximum health benefits, one must be able to go through all five stages of sleep uninterrupted. Sleep deprivation can lead to some very...

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