States of Consciousness

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Introduction to Psychology:

Introduction to Psychology Chapter: 3 States of Consciousness Ms Rubab Afzal Lecturer (Psychology Department) Preston University, Islamabad. rubabafzal@hotmail.com

Consciousness:

Consciousness The awareness of the sensations, thoughts and feelings being experienced at a given moment. Ability to perceive a relationship between oneself and one's environment.

Two Types of Consciousness:

Two Types of Consciousness Active State In active state we do mental activities, attention is focused and we percieve the world. Passive State In passive state our thoughts and images are much more spontaneous (activated without control).

Sleep:

Sleep Sleep is a natural state of bodily rest observed throughout the animal kingdom. Regular sleep is essential for survival. Sleep is considered as a time of tranquility (calm experience) and we put our all day tensions aside during night.

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When we sleep our electrical activity within the brain can be measured when EEG (Electro-encephalogram) machine. These activities of the brain are systematic and wavelike patterns that change its speed and height. Muscles and eye movement also shows physical activity.

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The measurement of eye movement during sleep is used to divide sleep into the two broad types: Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep.

Stages of Sleep:

Stages of Sleep Stage 1 Eyes are relaxed and closed. Brain waves are rapid and low-voltage. Sometime images can be appeared during stage one. True dreams do not occur during this initial stage because a person is changing his state from wakefulness to sleepiness.

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Stage 2: In stage two sleep becomes deeper. The brain waves are slower and regular. There is a momentary interruption of sharply pointed waves called “sleep spindles” because of their shape. It is difficult to awake a sleeping person.

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Stage 3: The brain waves become slower, like appearance of higher peaks and lower valleys in the wave pattern. Stage 4: Patterns is even slower and more regular. People are least responsive to the outside stimulation.

REM Sleep: The Paradox of Sleep::

REM Sleep: The Paradox of Sleep: During rapid eye movement which normally occurs in first stage of sleep. Heart rate increases and become irregular, blood pressure rises, breathing rate increases. Back and forth movement of eyes occurs as watching an action movie.

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The major muscles of the body become paralyzed. It is hard to awake a person who is sleeping. Dreams can be seen during REM sleep which can be recalled and sometime unable to recall. Everyone experience dreams during some part of night.

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REM sleep is very important in everyday human functioning. People who have lack of REM sleep can suffer from rebound effect in which they rest undisturbed. With this effect when they were not disturbed they were able to sleep for a longer period of time.

How Much Sleep is Necessary?:

How Much Sleep is Necessary? Sleep is a requirement for normal human functioning but we are unable to identify the exact amount of sleep people require. Sleep is required to rest and relax. Sleep deprivation (lack of sleep) can lead to death.

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Sleep requirement differs with the increase in age as well. People get older they need less and less sleep. Sleep deprivation can damage our health. Sleep deprivation can cause accidents. People’s reaction time becomes slower.

The Function and Meaning of Dreaming::

The Function and Meaning of Dreaming: Dreams are the images, sounds, thoughts and feelings experienced while sleeping, particularly strongly associated with rapid eye movement sleep. Nightmares are dreams which are frightening.

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1. Unconscious Wish Fulfillment Sigmund Freud viewed dreams as royal road towards unconsciousness. Dreams represent unconscious wishes that the person needs to be fulfilled. Their wishes become disguised which is known as latent content of dreams. When they view a meaningful dream then it is known as manifest content of dreams.

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2. Dreams-for-Survival Theory: Dreams permit information that is critical for our survival that needs to be reconsidered during sleep. Dreams do have meanings they represents our concern about daily life. Dreams permit people to focus and consolidate memories. Dreams enhance our motor skills.

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Activation-Synthesis Theory: Dreams are the product of biological activity. Brain produces random electrical energy during REM sleep due to the changes in the production of particular neurotransmitters. This electrical energy stimulates memories present in the various parts of the brain. Brain after collecting memories from different portions of the brain makes a logical story.

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Sleep Disturbances: 1. Insomnia is a symptom of a sleeping disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity. 2. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep.

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3. Narcolepsy is a neurological condition most characterized by Excessive Daytime Sleepiness. 4. Sleep walking and sleep talking

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Daydreams: Dreams without Sleep: Fantasies that people construct while they are awake. Ease the boredom of boring jobs.

Hypnosis and Meditation::

Hypnosis and Meditation: Hypnosis is a state of heightened susceptibility to the suggestions of others. Meditation is a learned technique for focusing our attention that can bring about an altered state of consciousness.

Drug Use: :

Drug Use: A drug, broadly speaking, is any chemical substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function.

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A chemical substance used in treatment, cure, prevention or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being. We use vitamins, aspirin, cold-relief and other medicines throughout life.

Stimulants::

Stimulants: Drugs that temporarily increase the alertness and awareness. Increase the side-effects and increase the effectiveness. These are very powerful variants ad also illegal drugs.

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Functions: Increase activity of sympathetic nervous system. Produce sense of euphoria. Maintain alertness. Reduce fatigue and decrease sleep. Weight loss. Enhance the ability to concentrate.

Caffeine:

Caffeine Caffeine is bitter in taste and it is in white crystal form. Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the beans, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants.

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It is most commonly consumed by humans in infusions extracted from the cherries of the coffee plant and the leaves.

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Functions: Decrease drowsiness and increase alertness. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks enjoy great popularity.

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Caffeine is found in plants and coffee beans. Tea, chocolate and cocoa. Energy drinks – red bull (80 mg) Dark-roasted coffee contain less caffeine. Tea contains more caffeine than coffee. Soft drinks like cola (10-50 mg)

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Used in soaps and shampoo as well. Make caffeine tablets. Because: It increases mental alertness. Decrease fatigue. Increase attention. Reduces sense of tiredness.

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Side-Effects: Dependency Nervousness. Anxiety. Headaches. Insomnia. Muscle twitching

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Nicotine: It is found in tobacco. In cigarettes it is found in 1 mg quantity. According to APA nicotine addiction has been the hardest addiction to break.

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It is a hygroscopic oily liquid. It penetrates easily in skin. Brief History:

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Effects: Mood altering effect. Release Glucose and adrenaline from adrenal medulla. Reduce appetite and weight loss. Enhance concentration. Relief in pain.

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Cigarette usage: Quick puff Deep puff High dose Nicotine is used in different forms: Nicotine gum Nicotine patches

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Amphetamines Increase heart rate, blood pressure. Dilate pupils. Decrease appetite. Elevate mood and euphoria. Blurred vision, insomnia and dizziness. Increase alertness and concentration. Reduces Narcolepsy and used for depression

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Methamphetamines: It is a drug that comes in tablet or capsule form and it is in powder or crystal form. It increases heart rate. Loss appetite. Rapid sweating. Dry mouth and throat.

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Cocaine: It is made up of leaves of coca shrub which grows in South America. It is made up in the form of crystals.

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Acute: Hyperactivity. Restlessness. Increase blood pressure. Heart rate and euphoria. Depression. Craving for drug.

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Chronic: Runny nose. Insomnia and anxiety. Hunger. Aches. Depression and suicidal ideations. Physical withdrawal. Unpleasant dreams.

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Depressants: It is a chemical substance that slow down the activity or function of the body. It promote sleep and produce drowsy and calm feelings. Relieve anxiety and insomnia.

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Alcohol: An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol (commonly called alcohol ). Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits.

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Side-Effects: Slurred speech. Delayed reflexes. Appetite loss. Muscle cramp. Depression Bone fracture.

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Barbiturates: It is used for sedation to anesthesia. Barbiturates are classified as ultrashort-, short-, intermediate-, and long-acting, depending on how quickly they act and how long their effects last.

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It is used for two purposes: Physician-assisted suicide. Truth – serum.

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Side-Effects: Ataxia. Slurred speech. Intoxication. Relaxation. Reduce pain. Too much relaxation of muscles.

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Rohypnol: It is also known as date-rape drug, become when it is mixed with alcohol. short-term treatment of chronic, or severe insomnias that are not responsive to other hypnotics, especially in inpatients. It is considered to be one of the most effective benzodiazepine hypnotics on a dose basis.

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Side-Effects: Sleepiness and impairment in balance. Depression and anxiety. Addiction or physical dependence. Insomnia. Impaired psychomotor activity. Violent and criminal behavior

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Narcotics: Drugs that increases relaxation and relieve pain and anxiety. There are two main narcotics known as heroin and morphine. Heroin user inject the drug directly into their veins.

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Side-Effects: Euphoria. Drowsiness. Itching. Lack of sleep, concentration and attention. Vomiting. Lack of motor coordination.

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Hallucinogens: drug that makes manifest a hidden but real aspect of the mind. It is commonly applied to any drug with perception-altering effects.

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Hallucinogenic substances are among the oldest drugs used by humankind, as hallucinogenic substances naturally occur in mushrooms, cacti and a variety of other plants. Numerous cultures worldwide have endorsed the use of hallucinogens in medicine, religion and recreation, to varying extents, while some cultures have regulated or outright prohibited their use.

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LSD Side-Effects: Goose Bumps. Jaw clenching. Decrease heart rate. Lack of sleep. Tremors. Mucus production.

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