The Stage Cycle

Topics: Sleep, Electroencephalography, Dream Pages: 2 (449 words) Published: March 29, 2013
The stage cycle
Stage one is the beginning of the sleep cycle, and is a relatively light stage of sleep. Stage one can be considered a transition period between wakefulness and sleep. In Stage one, the brain produces high amplitude theta waves, which are very slow brain waves. This period of sleep lasts only a brief time (around 5-10 minutes). If you awaken someone during this stage, they might report that they weren't really asleep. Stage two is the second stage of sleep and lasts for approximately twenty minutes. The brain begins to produce bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain wave activity known as sleep spindle. Body temperature starts to decrease and heart rate begins to slow. Deep, slow brain waves known as delta waves begin to emerge during stage three sleeps. Stage three is a transitional period between light sleep and a very deep sleep. Stage four is sometimes referred to as delta sleep because of the slow brain waves known as delta waves that occur during this time. Stage four is a deep sleep that lasts for approximately 30 minutes. Bed-wetting and sleepwalking are most likely to occur at the end of stage four sleeps. Stage five most dreaming occurs during the fifth stage of sleep, known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Eye movement, increased respiration rate and increased brain activity characterize REM sleep. REM sleep is also referred to as paradoxical sleep because while the brain and other body systems become more active, muscles become more relaxed, Dreaming occurs due because of increased brain activity, but voluntary muscles become paralyzed. According to Freud, dreams are spy holes into our unconscious. Fears, desires and emotions that we are usually unaware of make themselves known through dreams. To Freud dreams were fundamentally about wish fulfillment. Even "negative" dreams (punishment dreams and other anxiety dreams) are a form of wish fulfillment; the wish being that certain events do not occur. Very often such dreams are...
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