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To Sleep Perchance to Dream Crash Course Psychology 9
Comedian Mike Birbiglia was having troublewith sleep. Though not with the actual sleeping part onenight, while staying in a hotel, he dreamed that a guided missile was on its way to hisbed, and in his dream, he jumped out the window to escape it. Unfortunately, he also did this not in hisdream. From the second floor. And the window wasnot open. This little episode cost him 33 stitches anda trip to a sleep specialist. Mike now sleeps in zippedup mummy bags forhis own safety.
The lesson hereé Sleep is not some break timewhen your brain, or your body, just goes dormant. Far from it. In truth, sleep is just anotherstate of consciousness. And only in the past few decades have we begun to really plumbits depths from why we sleep in the first place, to what goes on in our brains whenwe do, to what happens when we can't sleep. And there is a lot that science has to sayabout your dreams! Talk about weird! It's like Sigmund Freudmeets Neil Gaiman. So, even though it may seem like you'redead to the world, when you sleep, your perceptual window remains slightly open.
And kinda like Mike Birbiglia's hotel roomwindow, a trip through it can make for a pretty wild ride. But for your safety and enjoyment, I'm hereto guide you through this state of consciousness, where you'll learn more than a few thingsabout human mind, including your own. And here's hoping you won't need any stitcheswhen we're through. INTRO Technically speaking, sleep is a periodic,natural, reversible and near total loss of consciousness, meaning it's different thanhibernation, being in a coma, or in say, an
anesthetic oblivion. Although we spend about a third of our livessleeping, and we know that it's essential to our health and survival, there still isn'ta scientific consensus for why we do it. Part of it probably has to do with simplerecuperation, allowing our neurons and other cells to rest and repair themselves. Sleepalso supports growth, because that's when our pituitary glands release growth hormones,which is why babies sleep all the time. Plus, sleep has all kinds of benefits for mentalfunction, like improving memory, giving our brains time to process the events of the day,and boosting our creativity.
But even if we're not quite sure of allthe reasons why we sleep, technology has given us great insight into how we sleep. And for that we can thank little Armond Aserinsky.One night in early 1950s Chicago, eightyearold Armond was tucked into his bed by his father.But this night, instead of getting a kiss on the forehead, little Armond got some electrodestaped to his face. Armond's dad was Eugene Aserinsky, a gradstudent looking to test out a new electroencephalograph, or EEG machine, that measures the brain'selectrical activity. That night, as his son slept peacefully, hewatched the machine go bonkers with brain
wave patterns, and after making sure thathis machine wasn't somehow broken discovered that the brain doesn't just quot;power downquot;during sleep, as most scientists thought. Instead, he had discovered the sleep stagewe now call REM or rapid eye movement, a perplexing period when the sleeping brain is buzzingwith activity, even though the body is in a deep slumber. Aserinsky and his colleague Nathaniel Kleitmanwent on to become pioneers of sleep research. Since then, sleep specialists armed with similartechnology have shown that we experience four distinct stages of sleep, each defined byunique brainwave patterns.
What would happen if you didnt sleep Claudia Aguirre
In 1965, 17yearold high school student,Randy Gardner stayed award for 264 hours. That's 11 days to see howhe'd cope without sleep. On the second day, his eyes stopped focusing. Next, he lost the abilityto identify objects by touch. By day three, Gardner was moodyand uncoordinated. At the end of the experiment,he was struggling to concentrate, had trouble with shortterm memory,
became paranoid, and started hallucinating. Although Gardner recovered withoutlongterm psychological or physical damage, for others, losing shuteye can resultin hormonal imbalance, illness, and, in extreme cases, death. We're only beginning to understandwhy we sleep to begin with,
but we do know it's essential. Adults need seven to eight hoursof sleep a night, and adolescents need about ten. We grow sleepy due to signalsfrom our body telling our brain we are tired, and signals from the environmenttelling us it's dark outside. The rise in sleepinducing chemicals, like adenosine and melatonin,
send us into a light doze that grows deeper, making our breathing and heart rate slow down and our muscles relax. This nonREM sleep is when DNA is repaired and our bodies replenish themselvesfor the day ahead. In the United States, it's estimated that 30% of adultsand 66% of adolescents are regularly sleepdeprived.
This isn't just a minor inconvenience. Staying awake can cause serious bodily harm. When we lose sleep, learning, memory, mood, and reaction time are affected. Sleeplessness may also cause inflammation,
halluciations, high blood pressure, and it's even been linkedto diabetes and obesity. In 2014, a devoted soccer fan died after staying awake for 48 hours to watch the World Cup. While his untimely death was due to a stroke, studies show that chronically sleepingfewer than six hours a night increases stroke risk by four and half times