Outline and Evaluate One or More Explanations for Sleep Disorders (24 Marks)

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Outline and evaluate one or more explanations for sleep disorders (24 marks) Some sleep disorders are serious enough to interfere with normal physical, mental, social and emotional functioning. Insomnia can cause 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 etc. 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. Supporting evidence include Smith’s study where patients with insomnia were studies, as well as a control group of normal sleepers and they were studied for 3 nights with whole brain scans conducted on the third night. Patients with insomnia showed consistent and significant decreases in blood flow compared to good

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