Sleep, Circadian Rhythm, Hypnosis, and Meditation

September 16, 2012
by Pharm Tao

Sleep, Circadian Rhythm, Hypnosis, and Meditation

 

 

Circadian Rhythm

 

Relevant Brain Structures

Locations

Influences

Pineal gland Close to the hypothalamus Rapid eye movement (REM)

Melatonin (low in the morning, high in the evening)

Reticular activating system (RAS) Brain stem
Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) Hypothalamus

 

Sleep Stages

 

Stages

Brain waves

Features

Functions

Stage 1 non-REM (NREM) Alpha -> theta Light, hallucinations  
Stage 2 NREM Theta + sleep spindles, K-complexes Deep  
Stage 3 NREM Theta -> delta (20-50%) Deep  
Stage 4 NREM Delta (50-100%) Deep Needed for growth, healing, learning consolidation, restoration
REM Beta Motor paralysis, dreaming, hallucination Learning consolidation, CNS rest

 

Sleep Disorders

 

Sleep disorders

Symptoms

Associations

Insomnia Not able to sleep or waking up early Stress, depression, fatigue
Narcolepsy Too much daytime sleepiness; sleep attacks Genetic factors
Parasomnias Sleep walking, night terrors, teeth grinding, bruxism More common in children; poly-drug abuse in adults
REM sleep behavior disorder Punching and acting in dreams More common in elderly males; brain stem malfunction
Restless legs syndrome Sudden movements of lower limbs during sleep Stress, depression
Sleep apnea Repeated breathing stop during sleep More common in males older than 50 and overweight people
Sleep paralysis Unable to move for a while after waking Stress

 

 

Hypnosis, Meditation, Daydreaming: Varied States of Consciousness

 

Type

Features

Applications

Daydreaming Turning thoughts inward  
Meditation Refocusing of concentration; alpha brain waves Relaxation
Hypnosis Refocusing of attention Can be used for pain and stress management

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