Effects Of Psychology On Sleep

The body is conditioned to receive at least 8 hours of sleep per day. However, because of certain psychological problems, people may find it difficult to do so. Find out more.

Sleep is a basic human need. People sleep in order to rejuvenate their bodies and give it some rest before they can work for another day. However, one of the most common problems that psychiatrists and doctors get approached with is lack of sleep, also known as insomnia. People may not be able to sleep for a number of reasons, and surprisingly, most of the reasons why people are unable to get a good night’s rest is psychological.

Reasons For Insomnia

The psychology of the mind is a complex thing, and just as there are people who suffer from lack of sleep, there are as many people who suffer from psychological disorders, in equal measure, and the two are related to a large extent. Out studies have found that certain psychological problems can lead to effects, which may lead to lack of sleep at night.

  • Stress- this is one of the most common psychological problems that people suffer from. Because of stress in the workplace, stress in inter-personal relationships and other stresses, people are unable to sleep or concentrate on their work when they awake, leading to them being stuck in a deeply disturbing lingo.
  • Depressions- this is another common [psychiatric problems which affects people of all ages. Depression is momentary, or it may also be clinical depression, which is an actual medical condition, and one of its effects is certainly insomnia.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder- this is a mental problem, which in mild terms can be described as a situation where the patient aims for perfection in every sphere of life. One thing out of place can turn them into a neurotic mess. Simple things might keep them awake at night, which is basically insomnia. 

The Relationship Between Sleep Disorders And Psychological Disorders

Sleeping disorder is surprisingly common among most people, no matter what country they belong to. However, there is an intimate connection between that and psychological disorders, which is also a common ailment.

Most people in the world are unable to sleep peacefully at night. This problem is called insomnia. Several social and mainly psychological problems and concerns may lead to the occurrence of such a problem. Psychological disorders like depression, loneliness, lack of self-confidence, etc. may lead to not being able to sleep at night. However, our studies have revealed that sometimes, insomnia is not an effect, but a cause of psychological problems. Oftentimes, lack of sleep may lead to psychological problems such as nervousness, depression, and other psychiatric disorders.

Treating Insomnia Heals Psychiatric Problems

When you are trying to establish the relationship between the two, it is important to constantly refer back to the reverse. Just like treating psychological problems such as depression can reduce its effects and symptoms like insomnia, similarly, it is also quite possible, that you are experiencing psychiatric problems because of insomnia. These too can be solved when you treat the real problems, which will automatically benefit your mind. Treatment of insomnia has been found to cure problems like-

  • bipolarity,
  • depression,
  • stress,
  • seizures

All these are common psychological problems that specialists get approached with almost every day, and inadvertently, insomnia is a side effect of all of the above, and more. Hence, the two are related more than people previously believed, and treatment of one, can certainly lead to the solution of the other. Before doing any treatment you need to know the exact problem. Visit our official website to get more information. Our research work can help you to get more information and also our studies at here (psychology news website) can get you more information with helpful solution.

Effects On Sleeping Disorders On The Body And Mind

Sleeping disorder is one of the most common problems that people suffer from. It also has several physical and mental affects, which can damage the body permanently. Read on to find out more.

After conducting an extensive research on the subject, we at news pychology has discovered that there is an inadvertent connection between sleeping disorders and the problems of the body and the mind. Sleeping disorders may lead to deficiency diseases, lack of proper nutrition intake, faster ageing, among other things. However, when you are not able to sleep well, if you are frequently disturbed by nightmares, then it is likely to have a greater and more adverse mental impact on you. Mental health, peace and stability are very important to have a good night’s sleep. However, when you are unable to sleep properly, it can affect your mood and your psychology even when you are awake and working during daytime.

Common Mental Effects Of Sleep Disorders

After observing several victims of sleeping disorders and monitoring them over a period of time, we have come to the conclusion that there are some common mental (and of course psychological) problems that people suffer from. These include:

  • Lack of concentration is a symptom, or rather an effect that kept cropping up among all those who complained of not being able to sleep at night.
  • Anger and being jittery was also seen to prevail among insomniacs.
  • It even led to impaired memory, where they were not able to remember simple things like what they were doing half an hour ago.

In addition to that, lack of sleep also led to inconsiderate and obnoxious eating habits, and all those who were approached were on the threshold of having a nervous breakdown, because of stress regarding something or the other problem.

Shocking realities about sleep

Sleep for many of us is the sweet relief that pacifies and restores us after a long day of work and play. Sleep is a state of unconsciousness in which the brain is relatively more responsive to internal than external stimuli. Humans spend about one-third of their lives asleep, yet most individuals know little about sleep. Normal sleep is divided into non–rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Waking usually transitions into light NREM sleep.

Sleep studies are something shocking. Here are some shocking realities about sleep:

-People can take cat naps with their eyes open without even being aware of it.

– The ideal to fall asleep is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you're still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you feel sleepy by day.

– A new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year.

– One of the best predictors of insomnia later in life is the progress of bad habits from having sleep disturbed by young children.

– studies showed that people getting only 6 to 7 hours of sleep every night have a longer life expectancy than those who sleep 8 hours.

– The continuous brain recordings that led to the discovery of REM (rapid eye-movement) sleep were not done until 1953, partly because the scientists involved were concerned about wasting paper.

– Dreams, once thought to occur only during REM sleep, also occur in non-REM sleep phases. It's possible there may not be a single moment of our sleep when we are actually dreamless.

– Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but lie down for REM sleep.

-Both whales and dolphins literally fall half asleep. Their brain hemispheres take turns so they can continue surfacing to breathe.

-The world record for not sleeping was set by 17-year-old Randy Gardner in 1964 when he was awake for 264 hours and 12 minutes.

– No-one knows for sure if other species dream but some do have sleep cycles similar to humans.

-In 2004 more than 35 million sleeping pill prescriptions were filled in America, a number that more than doubled from the previous four years.

– Some scientists believe we dream to fix experiences in long-term memory, that is, we dream about things worth remembering. Others reckon we dream about things worth forgetting – to eliminate overlapping memories that would otherwise clog up our brains.

– Dreams may not serve any purpose at all but be merely a meaningless byproduct of two evolutionary adaptations – sleep and consciousness.

The average person wakes up about six times per night.

– REM sleep may help developing brains mature. Premature babies have 75 per cent REM sleep, 10 per cent more than full-term bubs. Similarly, a newborn kitten puppy rat or hamster experiences only REM sleep, while a newborn guinea pig (which is much more developed at birth) has almost no REM sleep at all.

– Scientists have not been able to explain a 1998 study showing a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain's sleep-wake clock.

– British Ministry of Defense researchers has been able to reset soldiers' body clocks so they can go without sleep for up to 36 hrs. Tiny optical fibers embedded in special spectacles project a ring of bright white light (with a spectrum identical to a sunrise) around the edge of soldiers' retinas, fooling them into thinking they have just woken up. The system was first used on US pilots during the bombing of Kosovo.

– Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.

– The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident have all been attributed to human errors in which sleep-deprivation played a role.

– Exposure to noise at night can suppress immune function even if the sleeper doesn’t wake. Unfamiliar noise, and noise during the first and last two hours of sleep, has the greatest disruptive effect on the sleep cycle.

– The "natural alarm clock" which enables some people to wake up more or less when they want to is caused by a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropic. Researchers say this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up.

– Some sleeping tablets, such as barbiturates suppress REM sleep, which can be harmful over a long period.

– In insomnia following bereavement, sleeping pills can disrupt grieving.

– Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a "neural switch" in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes.

– To drop off we must cool off; body temperature and the brain's sleep-wake cycle are closely linked. That's why hot summer nights can cause a restless sleep. The blood flow mechanism that transfers core body heat to the skin works best between 18 and 30 degrees. But later in life, the comfort zone shrinks to between 23 and 25 degrees – one reason why older people have more sleep disorders.

– A night on the grog will help you get to sleep but it will be a light slumber and you won't dream much.

– After five nights of partial sleep deprivation, three drinks will have the same effect on your body as six would when you've slept enough.

– Humans sleep on average around three hours less than other primates like chimps, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys and baboons, all of whom sleep for 10 hours.

– Ducks at risk of attack by predators are able to balance the need for sleep and survival, keeping one half of the brain awake while the other slips into sleep mode.

– Ten per cent of snorers have sleep apnea, a disorder which causes sufferers to stop breathing up to 300 times a night and significantly increases the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

– Teenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hrs.) while those over 65 needs the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal

– Some studies suggest women need up to an hour's extra sleep a night compared to men, and not getting it may be one reason women are much more susceptible to depression than men.

– Feeling tired can feel normal after a short time. Those deliberately deprived of sleep for research initially noticed greatly the effects on their alertness, mood and physical performance, but the awareness dropped off after the first few days.

– Diaries from the pre-electric-light-globe Victorian era show adults slept nine to 10 hours a night with periods of rest changing with the seasons in line with sunrise and sunsets.

– Most of what we know about sleep we've learned in the past 25 years.

– As a group, 18 to 24 year-olds deprived of sleep suffer more from impaired performance than older adults.

Despite many researches about sleep facts and physiology, still the precise functions of sleep remain a mystery.

Relation of poor sleep quality to resistant hypertension

For people who already have high blood pressure, insomnia can have serious consequences, according to a new study presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Researchers studied the sleeping patterns of 234 people with high blood pressure. Most participants slept six or fewer hours, and those who also reported poor sleep quality were twice as likely to have resistant hypertension as those who slept well.

Your blood pressure is considered resistant if you are taking three or more blood pressure medications but still have a blood pressure reading higher than 140/90 mmHg.

Women were more likely to report lower sleep quality than men. The researchers concluded that those with high blood pressure were more likely to have sleep problems, and poor sleep quality in high blood pressure patients was associated with resistant hypertension. More study is needed to clarify the cause.

The study was funded by the University of Pisa.

Dangerous dreaming: Kicking, screaming and falling out of bed might be more common than reported

A troubling sleep disorder that causes sleepers to physically act out their dreams by kicking, screaming or falling out of bed may be more common than reported, according to Loyola University Medical Center sleep specialist Dr. Nabeela Nasir. The condition is called REM behavior disorder. The sleeper, usually a man, will kick, punch, scream, thrash about or fall out of bed, potentially injuring himself or his partner.

"I don't think we have a clear idea how prevalent it is," Dr. Nasir said. "Patients don't report it, and doctors don't ask about it."

Dr. Nasir would like to raise awareness of the disorder, because sufferers often can be treated successfully with medications. And even when medications don't work, patients can prevent injuries to themselves and their partners by safe-proofing their bedrooms, Dr. Nasir said.

REM behavior disorder occurs during rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, when dreams occur. Normally, a sleeper's muscles don't move during dreams. But this temporary paralysis doesn't occur in patients with REM behavior disorder. They physically act out vivid dreams in which they are, for example, running, fighting, hunting, warding off attackers, etc. REM behavior disorder belongs to a class of sleeping disorders called parasomnias, which also includes sleep walking and eating while sleeping.

REM behavior disorder occurs most often in men, typically after age 60. Many patients eventually develop Parkinson's disease or other neurodegenerative disorders — but this does not happen to everyone.

Many patients can be successfully treated with a class of medications called benzodiazepines. One such drug is clonazepam, which works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain. (Side effects may include daytime drowsiness and dependence.) Melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, also is being studied as a treatment.

Dr. Nasir recommends safe-proofing the bedroom. For example: Sleep on a mattress on the floor; clear the room of furniture and objects that could cause injury, such as glass lamps; and sleep alone, if necessary.

Not all dream enactments are caused by REM behavior disorder. In some people, alcohol or antidepressants can trigger dream enactments, Dr. Nasir said. A patient who acts out his or her dreams, or experiences other sleep disorders, should see a sleep specialist, Dr. Nasir said.

Dr. Nasir is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She is board certified in Neurology and Sleep Medicine and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine.

COPD patients experience poorer sleep quality and lower blood oxygen levels

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience poorer sleep quality than people of a similar age without COPD, according to research published in the journal Respirology.

Researchers also found an independent relationship between how well patients with COPD slept and the oxygen levels in their arterial blood.

"Patients with COPD frequently report fatigue, sleepiness and impaired quality of life," says Professor Walter McNicholas from the Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.

"The study carried out by our group, which has been researching sleep and breathing for more than 25 years, showed that such patients experience poor sleep quality, which may contribute to these debilitating symptoms."

COPD is the name for a collection of lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. People with COPD have trouble breathing in and out because of long-term damage to their lungs, usually because of smoking. COPD is now the fourth leading cause of chronic death and ill health in the USA and is projected to rank fifth in the burden of disease worldwide.

The current study provides a secondary analysis of two previously published trials investigating the impact of long-acting bronchodilators on night-time oxygen saturation in 106 patients with established, moderate to severe COPD. Bronchodilators make breathing easier by relaxing the muscles in the lungs and widening the airways.

Poor sleep quality was measured in a number of ways, including a reduced percentage of rapid eye movements (REM), which occur during the deepest level of sleep.

The patients covered by the study had an average age of just over 66 years, 67 per cent were male and all were current or former smokers, with a smoking history of ten or more years. Strict clinical criteria were applied to the subjects, which are outlined in full in the paper.

Key findings of the study included:

  • Patients with severe COPD experienced poorer sleep quality than people without COPD of a similar age.
  • Daytime hypoxemia (low arterial blood oxygen levels) is associated with sleep efficiency, but airflow obstruction is not. Hypoxemia is thought to impact on certain neurotransmitter levels and these mechanisms can contribute to poor sleep efficiency.
  • COPD patients took longer to fall asleep than the age-matched controls after the lights had been turned off (sleep latency) and spent less of their time in bed sleeping (sleep efficiency). They also experienced greater differences in the way they slept, with more sleep at the lightest level (stage one) and less at REM (stage five, the deepest level). Slow wave sleep (stages three and four) was reasonably well preserved.

"Our study highlights poor sleep quality in patients with COPD and demonstrates an association between daytime hypoxemia and sleep efficiency," concludes Professor McNicholas.

"However, sleep quality in COPD is determined by several factors and further studies on this topic are necessary to fully evaluate the relationship. This may identify therapeutic interventions that might improve the overall quality of life in COPD patients."

Journal Reference:

  1. David G McSharry, Silke Ryan, Peter Calverley, J Colin Edwards, Walter T McNicholas. Sleep quality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respirology, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2012.02217.x

Cannabis withdrawal symptoms might have clinical importance

NewsPsychology (Sep. 26, 2012) — Cannabis users have a greater chance of relapse to cannabis use when they experience certain withdrawal symptoms, according to research published Sep. 26 in the open access journal PLOS ONE led by David Allsop of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) at the University of New South Wales.

The authors tested a group of dependent cannabis users over a two week period of abstinence for impairment related to their withdrawal symptoms. Findings were correlated with the probability of relapse to cannabis use during the abstinence period, and the level of use one month later.

They found that in more dependent users, certain withdrawal symptoms, such as physical tension, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, mood swings and loss of appetite, were more strongly associated with relapse than other symptoms, such as hot flashes, fatigue, or night sweats. Participants with greater dependence before the abstinence attempt reported more severe impairment from the withdrawal. Participants with greater impairment from cannabis withdrawal consumed more cannabis during the month following the abstinence attempt.

If these results extend to treatment seeking cannabis users seeking treatment for withdrawal, the research may help improve counseling and treatment strategies for those looking for support.

“Tailoring treatments to target withdrawal symptoms contributing to functional impairment during a quit attempt may improve treatment outcomes” says Allsop.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Public Library of Science.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. David J. Allsop, Jan Copeland, Melissa M. Norberg, Shanlin Fu, Anna Molnar, John Lewis, Alan J. Budney. Quantifying the Clinical Significance of Cannabis Withdrawal. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (9): e44864 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044864

Persistent and loud snoring in young children linked to problem behaviors

Persistent and loud snoring in young children is associated with problem behaviors, according to a new study published online in Pediatrics.

These behaviors include hyperactivity, depression and inattention, according to Dean Beebe, PhD, director of the neuropsychology program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and lead author of the study.

"The strongest predictors of persistent snoring were lower socioeconomic status and the absence or shorter duration of breastfeeding," says Dr. Beebe. "This would suggest that doctors routinely screen for and track snoring, especially in children from poorer families, and refer loudly-snoring children for follow-up care. Failing to screen, or taking a 'wait and see' approach on snoring, could make preschool behavior problems worse. The findings also support the encouragement and facilitation of infant breastfeeding."

The study is believed to be the first to examine the relationship between the persistence of snoring and behavior problems in preschool-age children. Persistent, loud snoring occurs in approximately one of every 10 children.

Dr. Beebe and colleagues at Cincinnati Children's studied 249 children. The researchers surveyed the children's moms about their kids' sleep and behaviors. The study showed that children who snored loudly at least twice a week at the age of 2 and 3 had more behavior problems than children who either don't snore or who snored at 2 or 3 but not at both ages.

"A lot of kids snore every so often, and cartoons make snoring look cute or funny. But loud snoring that lasts for months is not normal, and anything that puts young kids at that much risk for behavioral problems is neither cute nor funny," says Dr. Beebe. "That kind of snoring can be a sign of real breathing problems at night that are treatable. I encourage parents to talk to their child's doctor about loud snoring, especially if it happens a lot and persists over time."

Infant breastfeeding, especially over longer periods of time, seemed to protect children against persistent snoring, even after taking into account other factors, including family income.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (R01 ES015517-01A1, P01 ES11261).


How we create false memories: Assessing memory performance in older adults

A new study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, published online October 26 addresses the influence of age-related stereotypes on memory performance and memory errors in older adults.

Ayanna Thomas, assistant professor of psychology and director of the Cognitive Aging and Memory Lab at Tufts University, and co-author Stacey J. Dubois, a former graduate student at Tufts, set out to investigate how implicitly held negative stereotypes about aging could influence memory performance in older adults.

Thomas and Dubois presented a group of older and younger adults with a list of semantically related words. A sample list participants would be presented with would be words associated with "sleep," such as "bed," "rest," "awake," "tired" and "night." Though the word "sleep" itself was not actually presented, both the older and younger adults falsely indicated that they thought it had been included in the list, older adults more so than younger adults.

"Older adults are more likely to falsely recall these unrepresented words than younger adults. We investigated whether we could reduce this age-difference in false memory susceptibility by reducing the influence of negative stereotypes of aging," said Thomas.

According to Thomas and Dubois, older adults may implicitly believe that their memory is impaired because of their age. To test this theory, Thomas and Dubois informed a certain group of participants (which included both older and younger adults) that their memory would be tested and that it was typical for older adults to do much more poorly on memory tests than younger adults. Another group of participants were told to identify words that had already been presented and the memory part of this test was deemphasized. Those participants were led to believe that this was more of a language based test than a memory test.

Thomas and Dubois found that older adults who were told they would perform as well as younger adults were less likely to demonstrate false memory susceptibility than older adults who were informed about age differences in memory performance before testing.

"This study is particularly relevant today as the population of older adults in the United States and around the world increases," said Thomas. "As medical science has progressed to combat biological illness, psychological science must also progress to combat cognitive deficits."

Thomas plans to continue her research in finding ways to improve older adult memory performance when learning new information and retrieving information.

Journal Reference:

  1. Ayanna Thomas and Stacey J. Dubois. Reducing the Burden of Stereotype Threat Eliminates Age Differences in Memory Distortion. Psychological Science, 2011