There was a time when I was not getting sleep; it affected almost every aspect of my being and definitely my personality. Reading the text written by Pinel, I realize many of the descriptions of sleeplessness fit those very memorable, yet miserable days. My opinion on my reaction to sleeplessness concurred fairly well with the text, though I did not consider myself to have any sleep disorders, nor did I feel that I needed edication for it.
Almost six years ago I gave birth to my daughter. Of course, what followed were endless sleep interruptions during the night. Eventually I started getting used to the waking every two hours, breast feeding approximately 45 minutes and reverting back to sleep with the knowledge I would be awakened within the hour. After conforming fairly well to the intermittent sleep, my neighbors adopted a dog that would not stop barking, day or night. Much of the text coincided with my experience. My mood would be deemed as xtremely bad and similar to a low for depressed individuals.
My behavior was lethargic, not similar to the behavioral personality of whom I once was. My cognitive skills plummeted, especially in the memory, comprehension, and speech portions. My motor skills lacked the precision, swiftness, and attention they once provided. Oh, and the dog if you were wondering, drove me to absolute wits end. l, mentally crazed, drove over to neighbor’s house as if I were in a NASCAR race, and rang the doorbell repeatedly until the owner answered the door. I yelled as loud as I could, Should I believe you can hear your doorbell but not your damn barking dog! Ultimately, I was an unrecognizable person to everyone around me, including myself. Now and prior to the above sleepless episode, my experience with the circadian sleep theory was not dead on, mostly because I was a night owl. I did; however, tend to fall asleep while it was dark outside. I did fall under the recuperation theory a little, I felt tired after an active wakefulness but it may have been a biological clock issue. I also would have slept for many hours having not been awakened.
I do not gree with the sleep restriction theory, I love to sleep and have no problem doing so, taking away what I would see as precious sleeping time I would turn into the crazy individual I once was; lacking in any normal function, positive personality and behaviors. No chance would I be efficient with four to six hours of sleep, much less, one and one half. Polyphonic sleep cycle is when sleep is distributed throughout a 24 hour period with a minimum of two distributions, generally more. Each of these consists of short periods of sleep or naps, which are theorized to find sleep deprivation quite nsignificant.
One must stay on this schedule for a period of time to feel the effects term sleep reduction are: individuals find they are better able to fall asleep, more efficient sleep bouts, often have few night time awakenings, and more stage four sleeping sessions. Some sleep disorders can be controlled by use of pharmaceutical drugs. Insomnia is where an individual has difficulty falling asleep, wakes often during the night with trouble falling back to sleep, waking early, and feeling tired upon waking (WebMD, LLC. , 2005-2009).
Benzodiazepines such as Valium and Librium; though eveloped for anxiety, can be prescribed to help an individual sleep. Most sleeping disorder medications are hypnotics; effective by slowing down the central nervous system, thus inducing sleep. Most lose effectiveness after approximately two to three weeks because of tolerance issues and because these prescribed medications can cause dependency (SleepDisorderRemedy. Net, 2006-2009). There are two classes of anti-hypnotic drugs: stimulants (amphetamines and cocaine) and tricyclic antidepressants (Vivactil and Norpramin).
Pinel (2007) stated, both “increase the ctivity of catecholamine (norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine) by either increasing their release or blocking their reuptake from the synapse, or both. ” (p. 389). Though not a drug, melatonin has been used as a sleep aid. Evidence is mixed on the synthetic use of this natural hormone; however, the theory behind melatonin is the pineal gland produces melatonin at night (during darkness) when the body needs rest. The melatonin helps the body determine night time, lending a hand with circadian timing and sleep cycles (Sparks, 1992-2009).
This may also prove to be ffective for blind individuals whom are unable to determine light-dark cycles. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) has become a cause for loss of sleep to some individuals it is a neurological disorder while sleeping having unpleasant sensations in the legs, having uncontrollable urges as an effort to relieve sensations such as: burning, creeping, tugging, crawling feelings inside the legs (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, n. d. ).
As a remedy many physicians will suggest an increase in physical activity; reduce caffeine, alcohol and tobacco intake; hot aths, massage, heating pads; supplements of magnesium, iron, or foliate. In the instances that these do not help enough to allow the individual to sleep a physician can prescribe Ropinirole. According to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (n. d. ), “In 2005, Ropinirole became the only drug approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration specifically for the treatment of moderate to severe RLS. The drug was first approved in 1997 for patients with Parkinson’s disease. (‘l 20). As you can see, there are many situations that can cause individuals to become leep deprived. Many in which are correctable by merely knocking on a neighbors door, finding the right cycle of sleep or speaking with a physician who can suggest practices or prescribe medication proven efficient for promoting sleep.