States of Consciousness

Topics: Unconscious mind, Altered state of consciousness, Sleep Pages: 2 (478 words) Published: August 23, 2013
States of Consciousness
June 5, 2013
Elise M. Vandamia, MS, LPC

CheckPoint: States of Consciousness
There are various states of consciousness; the one that people spend the most time in is waking consciousness, the alert state that people are in when they are awake. Other times people are in another or altered state of consciousness. In the following, the four types of altered states of consciousness and their behaviors will be examined. The first and most common type is sleep. This altered state is controlled by the circadian rhythm, which is part of the human body’s biological rhythm. There are two theories of why humans sleep the adaptive theory that states that sleep patterns are evolved to avoid predators. The restorative theory states that sleep is necessary for the body to stay healthy. There are two types of sleep that a person will experience, Rapid Eye Movement (R.E.M.) where dreaming takes place and Non-R.E.M. which is more restful for the mind and body. A behavior that is associated with this altered state is sleep deprivation, which can result in serious health issues and affect mental performance (Pearson Learning Solutions, 2013). The second type, which is tied to sleep, is dreams. This altered state takes place during the R.E.M. type of sleep. A person can be in this altered state four to five times a night. A behavior that can be linked to this state is night terrors or nightmares that causes a person to awake suddenly and very afraid (Pearson Learning Solutions, 2013). The third type of altered state is hypnosis, where a person is susceptible to suggestion. As with sleep there is also two theories that try to explains this altered consciousness, first is disassociation, where the immediate consciousness of the mind is effect and the sub-consciousness is alert and aware. The second is social cognitive where the person is fully aware and is role-playing. An example of the use of hypnosis is pain relief, which the...

References: Pearson Learning Solutions. (2013, June 4). Consciousness: Sleep, Dreams, Hypnosis, and Drugs – Interactive Tutorial . Retrieved from Pearson Learning Solutions:
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