Psychology: Sleep Disorders

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 279

Words: 2043

Pages: 9

Category: Philosophy and Psychology

Date Submitted: 11/14/2012 03:37 PM

Report This Essay

These are behavioural or physiological events that occur during sleep.

These are problems with the amount, quality or timing of sleep.



2 general categories of sleep disorders:

They include insomnia and narcolepsy, and often produce daytime tiredness that affects daily activities

Examples include sleep walking and nightmares. Parasomnias are rarely associated with daytime sleepiness

Disorders of Sleep




Initial insomnia – difficulty getting to sleep

Middle insomnia – waking up in the night

Terminal insomnia – waking up too early

Symptoms are similar to those of sleep deprivation: tiredness, fatigue, inability to concentrate, irritability etc.

A difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed in the morning, despite having enough time for sleep.

What is it?

Many causes of insomnia for external factors such as excessive noise or uncomfortable temperatures, to medications and substance abuse and psychological problems such as depression or anxiety


Primary Insomnia

Sleep problems Not associated with other health conditions (just bad sleeping habits)

Secondary Insomnia

Certain neurological disorders such as epilepsy, brain tumours and Parkinson’s disease can cause insomnia

Sleep problems due to other illness (i.e. cancer, depression, asthma, heartburn, alcohol, substance abuse)

Cardwell et al (2009)

Research supports the idea that Primary insomnia may have a genetic basis

They conducted a study using neurological imaging (brain scanning) during NREM sleep and found clear evidence for physiological abnormalities in insomniacs

Using clinical interview, questionnaires (on family history of insomnia) and a full range of physiological sleep recordings (e.g. EEG [brain waves] EOG [eye movement] EMG [muscle movement])

Smith et al (2002)

9 female patients (5 insomniacs and 4 ‘normal’ controls) were...