Discuss Lifespan Changes In Sleep (24Marks)

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Discuss lifespan changes in sleep (24marks) By Rebecca Cox Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or absent consciousness. The sleep –wake cycle is an example of a circadian rhythm, as we have one main phase of sleeping and waking with takes place over twenty four hours. However within the time that we are asleep there is another cycle; the sleep cycle itself. This is known as an ultradian rhythm since on complete turn of the cycle from slow wave sleep one to the end of REM takes less than twenty for hours. As new born babies grow to adults there are major changes in the amount of sleep and kind of sleep that a human experiences. New born babies tend to sleep for 16 hours but their sleep is not continuous. They display two kinds of sleep: quiet and active sleep which are immature versions of REM and SWS. They are more likely to have active sleep than adults as this is when development takes place, but it slowly decreases. It has been suggested that babies sleep longer as an adaptive measure to make their parents life a lot easier. This is shown as adults are then able to clean, sleep and eat to ensure better survival. This is supported by the fact that premature babies whose brains are very underdeveloped spend about ninety percent in REM. A one year old will now have established a gradual maturation of sleep EEG patterns thus they begin to look more like adults. They are usually able to sleep at night and therefore have fewer naps during the day totalling about 10-12 hours of sleep a day. The period of deep sleep lengths and active/REM sleep shortens but there is consolidation of sleep periods rather than short bursts. By the age of 5 children will have full EEG patterns of sleep but the frequency is still different to those of an adults as children are experiencing 33% of sleep still spent in REM sleep. Most sleep
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