• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss research into the explanation of the function of sleep

Extracts from this document...


Discuss research into the explanation of the function of sleep There are three main theories for the function of sleep: Restorative theories known as homeostatic theories are the most intuitive ones as they suggest that the function of sleep is rest and recuperation in order to restore the body to full working capacity (Horne) During SWS, particularly stage 3 & 4 growth hormone is released into the blood in large quantities which helps to restore bodily tissues, suggesting that sleep serves a restorative function but there are two debates as to the precise nature this might take. Oswald's theory suggests the high levels of brain activity during REM reflect brain recovery while an increase in the body's hormone activity during SWS reflects restoration and recovery in the body. Oswald views REM sleep as essential for the brain repair and restoration, this is supported by the high levels of REM sleep seen in new born babies where it makes up 50-60% of sleep time gradually falling to about 25% as the child grows. ...read more.


very few reported deprivation had an interference with the participants ability to perform physical exercise and there was no evidence of a physiological stress response to the deprivation. There is a flaw to the restoration theory as Horne pointed out, that amino acids are only freely available five hours after meals and most people eat several hours after going to bed, therefore implying not much protein synthesis would go on during sleep. Furthermore the support for this theory comes from animal studies that found prolonged sleep deprivation of rats led them to die within 19days due to the interference with the immune system but to keep them awake they must be constantly stimulated and therefore stressed. This research suggests that sleep provides the only opportunity for restoration in some species. Moreover fatal familial insomnia is a rare inherited defect, preventing people sleeping when they become middle aged leading to death within two years. Autopsies revealed degeneration of the thalamus suggesting patients have brain damage and making it hard to generalise the findings. ...read more.


The simple idea is that new experiences are put into LTM during sleep as the animal is not controlling any behaviour. We can make two direct predictions: some forms of LTM should improve following sleep and LTM should be impaired in the sleep deprived. The main research into brain plasticity is by Hahn, Mehta & Sakmann who found that information is first stored as ST memories in the hippocampus and is transferred to the cerebral cortex where they enter long term memory during deep sleep. Therefore if a person doesn't get enough sleep they become overloaded with new incoming information making them confused, therefore giving this theory face validity. Also the little evidence there is to support this theory is scientific based providing objective quantitative data and is less likely to be subject to researcher bias, therefore giving scientific validity. However the theory is incomplete as it does not explain what happens to the disgarded information and is therefore reductionist. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Miscellaneous essays

  1. Young Children's Symbolic Behaviour: theories of representation.

    Allot (2001) in Matthews (2003p33) said "words and objects are deeply connected in representational systems in the brain" and "it is through play that the child learns to separate words from objects and actions from meaning".

  2. "The European Parliament remains merely a talking shop". Discuss

    Commission (as with Rocco Buttiglione, who was chosen despite his controversial views of women and homosexuals). The Parliament can also censure the Commission by a 2/3 majority, as demonstrated in the events of 1999, when the Parliament came close to dismissing the Commission (only being prevented from doing so when the Commissioners resigned).

  1. Surgical Instruments Left Inside Of Patients after Surgery

    ?nd l?t?r?l film?. R?print?d with p?rmi??ion from D?mbitz?r. Th? ?urgic?l Count: Counting ?pong??, N??dl??, ?nd In?trum?nt? ?lthough th? pr?ctic? of counting i? ? tim?-honor?d ?nd ?impl? pr?v?ntiv? m???ur?, counting it??lf, th?t i? th? ??c?rt?inm?nt of ?n ?ctu?l numb?r of it?m?, i? not l?g?lly m?nd?t?d. L?gi?l?tion do?? not pr??crib? how count?

  2. Investigating The Use of Pectinase

    Therefore, the enzyme had been completely denatured and there were no active sites to occupy the substrate of pectin. Looking at my results, I can clearly see that the total volume of juice produced increases as the temperature of the experiment increases.

  1. Explain the significance of committees to the functioning of congress

    therefore hope to be chair on the committee, so it show they can lead, and maybe run for president. As the chair of a committee has important powers like decide of when the committee will meet, control the committee's budget, influence the membership, meeting and hearing of sun- committees, supervise

  2. Ownership of the T & T industry

    An example could be like a hairdressers or the local shop. Partnership - This is similar to Sole trader but it is 2 or more people. Like above they have unlimited liability and could loose everything.

  1. Outline the main changes and developments in American Stage Music from “Showboat” to “West ...

    He did not stop there, however. He delved into murky subject matter with his scrutiny of alcohol addiction unhappy marriages and also gambling problems. These did cause a stir among audiences, but gained better acceptance than the racial matters. It was Hammerstein's writing technique that made the story flow along so fluidly, as the songs would

  2. Production Process

    You will report to the Stage Manager. Pre-production Period Function Description Director You will be a part of pre-production discussions along with the Administrator and Designers. After this, you will be conducting auditions with the choreographer and Musical Director; who will assist you in your casting.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work