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Lifespan and sleep

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Introduction

´╗┐Lifespan and sleep Sleep differs throughout different stages of life. Babies sleep a lot more than children; they also have very short sleep cycles, meaning that they only sleep for about an hour each time. Infants have more sleep than babies, they have similar sleep patterns to adults, but slightly more immature versions, and with around half of an infant?s sleep is REM sleep. It has been suggested that the amount of REM is related to the immaturity of the brain. This is supported by the fact that premature babies have around 90% REM sleep, which is 40% more than other babies. This shows that there may be a correlation between the immaturity of the brain and REM sleep. ...read more.

Middle

The change in sleep in teenagers may be due to hormone release. These hormones are release at night which would explain why teenagers have trouble getting to sleep at night. Some people have suggested that schools should start later as teenagers have restricted attention spans in a morning. Normal adult sleep is around 8 hours a night with around 25% of this being REM sleep. Although childhood sleep disorders are less common amongst adults other sleep disorders are more common, such as insomnia. It has been found that old aged people find it more difficult to sleep at night, waking up several times thought out the night. This may mean that they have to catch up on sleep thought out the day. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thirdly problems staying asleep may also be due to the reduction of SWS sleep meaning that they are more easily awoken. The reduction of SWS also causes reductions of growth hormones. This shows that the changes in sleep for old aged people are due to a number of different factors. There are critisms of the research conducted on sleep. One critisms is that the figures conducted from the research are averages of the results. This means that the results are not applicable to everyone. Another critism is that the studies do not consider cultural differences. A study was conducted to look at whether or not sleep varied in teenagers from different cultures. They found that the sleep duration amongst teenagers was shorter than the teenagers from Europe. Both these critisms show that the studies on sleep may lack representativeness as they are not applicable to everyone. ...read more.

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