Outline and Evaluate One or More Explanations for Sleep Disorders

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Outline and evaluate one or more explanations for sleep disorders (24 marks) Insomnia can be defined as problems with sleep patterns and in particular difficulties falling asleep or maintaining sleep. Some people who have very little sleep suffer no ill consequences and so a diagnosis of insomnia is not based on the number of hours slept but when the resulting daytime fatigue causes severe distress of impairs work, social or personal functioning for more than one month. Insomnia may be either secondary or primary. Secondary insomnia is when insomnia is caused by a psychiatric or medical disorder and is therefore often a symptom instead of another disorder. Some physical and psychiatric causes of secondary insomnia include depression, anxiety disorders, heart disease or Parkinson’s disease. Primary insomnia describes cases where insomnia simply occurs on its own, with no known cause, for more than one month. Primary insomnia may be caused by the developments of bad sleeping habits. An example of primary insomnia might be shift work insomnia where a person may well be attempting to sleep at times when their body clock tells them they should be awake. There are numerous subtypes of primary insomnia including; psychophysiological insomnia which is a form of anxiety-induced insomnia caused by a worry about getting a lack of sleep, idiopathic insomnia which is a lifelong sleeplessness and sleep state misinterpretation where people sleep adequately but feel they do not. The diathesis-stress model is a psychological theory explaining behaviour as a result of genetic vulnerability together with stress from life experiences. It assumes that the onset of a disorder such as insomnia results from a combination of one’s biological disposition towards the given disorder and stressful events that bring about the onset of a disorder. Other supporting evidence include Smith et al’s

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