College students like myself often put off sleep for other activities like studying, doing homework or even just staying up all night with a friend. Our body follows the twenty-four hour cycle of each day and night through a biological clock called the Circadian rhythm. On the weekdays, staying up all night and skipping meals makes it difficult to focus in class. After lunchtime, I become sleepy and have difficulty focusing on my other classes.
In the afternoon, this affects my body because it does not give me energy, but instead it makes me crash earlier in the day. David Myers, the author of Exploring Psychology the eighth edition, says, “Everyone needs to get eight hours of sleep” (Myers, 75). This quote I think is so underrated, because some people in our world today only get six to nine hours of sleep, on a daily basis. If you think about it, going to sleep is not that easy. There are five unique stages to sleeping. In stage one, this cycle is considered to be between being awake and slightly dozing off.
When you are in this cycle, you wake up, but you do not feel like you fell asleep. The brain produces theta waves, which makes the brain waves decrease when you go into other sleep stages. In stage two, the brain begins to relax more. The sleep spindles, which are rapid, rhythmic brain waves, are present in this cycle. Your body temperature starts to decrease and your heart rate starts to slow down. In stage three, this cycle is forwarded to deep sleep. In stage four, you are in a deep sleep, but not enough to dream.
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Also in this cycle, “some children might wet the bed or even sleep walk” according to David Myers. In stage five, also known as the rapid eye movement (REM), the heart rate increases and eyes begin to move under the eyelids. Most dreams occur here because the brain activity was increased. The importance of sleep is a big deal, that if you did not sleep, you would die from sleep deprivation. You need sleep so that your body can restore all its needs for the next day. Not enough sleep can produce a lot of problems like car accidents, memory problems, and sleep disorders.
Two most known sleep disorders are insomnia and sleep apnea. Insomnia is a sleep disorder where you cannot fall asleep. Insomnia can happen to anyone and can be either a short term or a long-term process. Another sleep disorder is called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is caused by irregular pauses in breathing, during sleeping. Both of these disorders, if not treated, can cause heart problems and even death in most cases. There are many reasons why we dream at night. An Austrian Neurologist named Sigmund Freud considered dreams the key to understanding our inner conflicts.
Some researchers believe that the dreams can help sort experiences on a daily basis, while other researchers believe that dreams may also serve a physiological function. Other theories suggest that dreams flow from neural activity moving upward to the brainstem. The first three nights of sleeping in my sleeping journal, my dreams were nightmares. The first night I had a dream that my grandmother passed away and nobody was there to help me through the tragedy. From the feelings of abandonment, I just went psycho. Unfortunately almost two years ago, my grandmother in fact passed away.
It is unclear to me why I dreamt of this memory. My second dream was that my psychology class had visited a local jail and our teacher created an experiment where every other student was a prisoner, and everybody else was a guard. I was one of the prisoners and the guards tortured me to a point where I could no longer think. My psychology professor Mr. Daughtry, told our class about this experiment on actual prisoners, which influenced to dream of this particular subject. My third dream was that I had rented a cabin with my friend.
The owner was a psycho killer with the intention of killing us. We made it out alive. These dreams caused me to wake up with sweat all over my body and my head would spin a little bit. The next four nights of sleeping were fairly decent. The dreams consisted of dreaming about being in a fairytale and going back to high school because in that dream it was mandatory to go back to the high school. The last seven nights of my sleeping journal, I only had one nightmare, because I went camping with my church group and we were in the woods and we had told scary stories.
My sleep patterns on the weekend are very different to my sleep patterns on the weekday because I usually go to bed really late and not wake up until late in the afternoon. During this journal, it was hard for me to get used to waking up on specific times, since I would stay up late to do homework or study for a test coming up. This is one of the reasons why my sleeping habits have not been normal. I have learned that my sleeping habits do have an affect on my daily life. I should try and get enough sleep, so that my body can actually rest and not be so stressed out.
I wish that I would not skip dinner for homework, because when I do wake up, my stomach hurts a lot from not eating. This problem also makes me crash during the day since I do not have enough time to eat, and so my production level decreases. Sleep Journal Entries Jennifer Nguyen Mr. Daughtry Intro to Psychology 09-09-2012 Day 1: I went to sleep at 1:00 am and woke up at 6:11 am. The dream was that my grandmother passed away and that I had nobody to confide in. It got to a point where I just went psycho and was led to a mental house. 09-10-2012 Day 2: I went to sleep at 12:00 am and woke up at 7:30 am.
The dream was that my psychology class went to visit the local jail. My psychology teacher decided to do this experiment, where every other student was a prisoner and the rest were guards. I was unfortunately a prisoner, and the guards tortured me so bad that it broke my spirit. 09-11-2012 Day 3: I went to sleep at 10:00 pm and woke up at 7:00 am. My dream was that I went to go on a vacation on a remote island. I went with a friend and the person who owned the cabin was a strange man. We discovered that the strange man was a killer and he went after us. We called for help and we never saw that guy ever again. 9-12-2012 Day 4: I went to bed at 3:14 am and woke up ate 8:00 am. I could not remember this dream. 09-13-2012 Day 5: I went to bed at 1:20 am and woke up 6:52 am. I could not fall asleep. After twenty minutes had gone by, I dreamt that I was with my boyfriend and we had gotten into this big argument and he dumped me. The next day, he decided to show up to my house with a girl, and I cried. He said that he was just joking and that it was his friend. He wanted to g back out with me and we did. 09-16-2012 Day 6: I went to bed at 9:00 pm and woke up at 6:00 am. My dream was that I was getting married to a famous prince.
Before this all happened, he proposed to me and he had this big secret. He did not tell that he was a prince and I inherited everything. This dream was a total fairytale! 09-17-2012 Day 7: I went to bed at 12:12 am and woke up at 6:32 am. My dream was that I was back in high school and that I had to go back to my high school because it was mandatory for all 2012 graduates. 09-18-2012 Day 8: I went to bed at 9:20 pm and woke up at 5:52 am. My dream was that I was in a theatre play and I was the main lead. I did so well that I was booked in Hollywood as a professional.
I was basically a celebrity. 09-19-2012 Day 9: I went to bed at 1:18 am and woke up at 6:30 am. My dream was that I went to school and our school had won this lottery where we got to see Kate Middleton in person. She was really nice and sweet. 09-20-2012 Day 10: I went to bed at 11:20 pm and woke up at 6:25 am. My dream was that I had grown up and that I had my life all settled. I was a nurse and that I lived comfortably in a house with my husband and two kids. 09-21-12 Day 11: I went to bed at 3:00 am and woke up at 8:00 am. My dream was that I was at camp and I happened to be all alone.
Then all of a sudden, the killer came out and tried to kill me, but I managed to get to safety. 09-22-12 Day 12: I went to bed at 1:00 am and woke up at 7:45 am. I could not remember this dream. 09-23-2012 Day 13: I went to bed at 9:00 pm and woke up at 6:31 am. I could not remember this dream. 09-24-2012 Day 14: I went to bed at 9:00 pm and woke up at 6:15 am. My dream was that I was in a relationship with Ian Heccox and we have been dating for a long time. He got down on one knee after we have a very romantic boat ride in Paris. Of course I said yes. We got married in Paris and it was very magical.
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