- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

Essay on Sleep

Essay by   •  June 10, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,137 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,155 Views

Essay Preview: Essay on Sleep

1 rating(s)
Report this essay
Page 1 of 5

Sleep is essential for our body, we spend a third of our lives sleeping. The lack of sleep

can cause exhaustion, memory loss, stress, and attribute serious problems to growth and

health. Missing out on deep sleep can be damaging to our health because this is when

most of the important repair work for organs and tissues occurs. Evidence suggest that

our brains suffer far more than the rest of our body from lack of sleep.

As we begin to fall asleep, our bodies become far less responsive to everyday stimuli.

Sleep is divided into two main phases known as non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM)

and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). NREM is also referred to as light sleep. The cycle

pauses for longer in the restorative phase earlier in the night, whereas later, more time is

spent dreaming during REM sleep.

However, there are five sub stages of sleep that occur in a recurring cycle lasting 90-110

minutes, and we get through about 5 or 6 cycles each night. These different types of sleep

are characterized by different brain activity and brain chemistry. During the first stage,

which is drowsiness, the state between consciousness and sleep the brain produces alpha

waves. In the second through third stages the brain produces theta waves. The fourth

stage is Delta sleep, named after the delta waves your brain produces which are 75mv or

greater. Finally, the fifth stage is REM sleep in which your brain produces low voltage

waves that are random and fast.

The various brain regions that generate various types of conscious experience and

stages are connected by axons and coordinated by electrical signals that rapidly travel

along axons. These long-distance and rapid signals in the brain are called action

potentials. The sodium potassium pump is particularly important in the chemistry that

makes possible the action potentials that carry rapid long distance signals in the brain.

This enzyme uses available chemical energy inside neurons to move sodium ions out of

cells and push potassium ions inside. Once these imbalances of electrically charged ions

are established across the cell membrane, the energy stored in those trans-membrane ion

gradients is used to produce rapidly transmitting electrical signals and action potentials

that move down axons. During sleep neurons in the brain do not become inactive instead

there are subtle alterations in the pattern of action potentials in cortical neurons. As a

thought and consciousness producing chemical system, the brains rely on action

potentials to bring information from the sense organs.

In the brain, the effects of action potentials are mediated through the complex

chemistry of neurotransmission. The neurotransmitters that are calming and relaxing are

produced by the absence of light. When these nighttime neurotransmitters become more

dominant, the body becomes more relaxed, tired, and falls to sleep. Some of the

neurotransmitters are exciting, produce vital energy and brain function where others are

calming and cause relaxation and sleep.

Monoamine oxidases, which oxidize substances with a single amino group, plays a

crucial role in the transition from light sleep to paradoxical sleep. Serotonin and

noradrenalin are both monoamines involved in the two states of sleep, serotonin in light

sleep and noradrenalin in deep sleep. Serotonin is the on switch to your body it helps you

stay lucid



Download as:   txt (6.9 Kb)   pdf (96.5 Kb)   docx (12.7 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2011, 06). Essay on Sleep. Retrieved 06, 2011, from

"Essay on Sleep" 06 2011. 2011. 06 2011 <>.

"Essay on Sleep.", 06 2011. Web. 06 2011. <>.

"Essay on Sleep." 06, 2011. Accessed 06, 2011.