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Evaluate one or more explanations for sleeping disorders

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´╗┐Outline one or more explanations for sleep disorders 4 ________________ A common sleep disorder is primary insomnia, an inability to sleep which cannot be explained by any underlying medical condition. One explanation for primary insomnia is that the body is in a state of hyper arousal. In order to fall asleep the brain and body must enter a state of relaxation. If a person is in a state of extreme anxiety then this is clearly incompatible with the way they need to be in order to sleep. Normally the brain is calmed down by the neurotransmitter GABA which reduces the levels of stress hormones in the brain, however if there is an insufficient production of GABA the brain will be unable to reduce it?s activity and so will be in a constant state of arousal, potentially leading to insomnia. A second explanation for primary insomnia is that certain personality types may be more susceptible to insomnia than others; people who are highly neurotic, meaning they become stressed and anxious easily, leading to a state of constant arousal, could be more likely to suffer from insomnia. ...read more.


This in turn leads to a furthered understanding of primary insomnia and it?s causes which could lead to effective treatments developed for primary insomnia which would alleviate the suffering of many insomniacs and could dramatically improve their quality of life. There seems to be much evidence that there is a genetic predisposition to study from insomnia and the closer the relationship, the more likely those family members will suffer insomnia. For example Watson et al found MZ twins have higher concordance rates than for DZ twins, this suggests that a genetic component is involved. If insomnia was caused by environment both types of twins would have similar concordance rates but as the genetically identical MZ twins have higher levels of concordance it seems that it is more ones genetic make-up than the environment you live in that may cause insomnia. However the concordance rate is not 100%, suggesting that the cause of insomnia is not purely genetic- there must be other factors involved. This research is supported by a study by Battea- Bonneau who found that 35% of insomniacs had a 1st degree relative with insomnia, 20% of these were mothers and 11% sisters; fathers and brothers had far lower concordance rates. ...read more.


If this is the case for humans and insomniacs also have some sort of genetic mutation? However to consider any one of these explanations in isolation is reductionist: to merely consider the role of stress hormones is biologically reductionist and to consider personality type as the only explanation for insomnia is an example of machine reductionism for example. By doing this we risk hindering our understanding of the causes of insomnia; by narrowing the potential cause down to one factor we can learn in great depth the role of G.A.B.A in insomnia for example but we ignore other potential causes such as a gene that makes insomnia more likely. By doing this we could create a completely false picture of the causes of insomnia- it would be surely more constructive to use an interactionalist approach which studies all explanations and the way they link together, for example the way that certain personality types could have higher levels of arousal, in order to create a fuller picture of the causes of primary insomnia. ...read more.

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