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.
Sleep disorders Processing the Environment MCAT Khan Academy
Voiceover: I'm sure we'veall had trouble sleeping at one point or another, maybe trouble falling asleep,staying asleep or waking up or maybe you're forcingyourself to sleep less because you have toomuch to do to lie in bed. But sleep deprivationcan be a serious issue. People who don't get enoughsleep are more irritable and perform worse onmemory and detention tasks
than people who do. So all this can be just a minorannoyance in everyday life, imagine the longtermimplications for let's say, airline pilots, firefighters,security officers or the person driving nextto you on the freeway. For example, one studyin Canada showed that the Monday after the Spring time change, so when people lose an hour of sleep,
the number of trafficaccidents increases sharply compared to the Mondayafter the Fall time change when people get an extra hour of sleep, the number of accidents decreases sharply. So that's just one example,but sleep deprivation also makes people more susceptible to obesity. When you're sleep deprived you'rebody produces more cortisol which is a hormone that tellsyour body to make more fat.
You also produce more of thehormone that tells your body you're hungry, so you end upeating more and turning more of what you eat into fat whichcan contribute to weight gain. And finally sleep deprivationcan also increase your risk for depression and one theoryabout this link is that REM sleep helps your brainprocess emotional experiences, which in turn helpsprotect against depression though we're still notentirely sure about this link.
Most people, now most peopleexperience sleep deprivation at some points in their lives, but the good news isthat most people can get back on track by getting afew nights of good sleep, sort of paying back your sleep debt. Your next question might be then, quot;How much sleep is enough sleepéquot; That's kind of a hard question to answer,
but most adults needabout 78 hours of sleep, but the exact number variesby individual and by age. Babies need a lot more sleep,for example, than older adults often sleep less than 10 or 8hours without severe detriments. Again everyone has troublefalling asleep at some point, but people who have persistentproblems in falling or staying asleep have a more seroussleep disorder called insomnia. There are various medicationsthat can help people