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...   Erstellt am 09.05.2005 - 21:32Zum Seitenanfang Beitrag zitieren Beitrag melden Beitrag verändern Beitrag löschen


Nobody knows why we sleep, but we all need to. There are no rules about how much sleep is necessary but the average adult sleeps for 7 hours and 20 minutes. About 8% of adults are happy with five hours or less and 4% want ten hours or more. Babies need between fourteen to eighteen hours whereas the elderly need less than they did when young but often take a nap during the day.

Normal sleep is made up of two alternating phases – orthodox sleep, which involves no dreaming, usually takes place in the early part of the night. Paradoxical sleep or rapid eye-movement (REM) sleep, which is associated with dreaming, occurs mostly in the later part of the night for varying periods of time. If you wake up during an REM phase you will almost certainly remember your dreams.

W hen we are asleep, the bodily functions slow down. Body temperature falls. This is because your body keeps to a regular 24 hour cycle – the circadian rhythm – during which body temperature rises and falls at fixed times. Normally body temperature is lowest in the middle of the night and highest in the afternoon. People who change time zones interfere with the circadian rhythm and get “jet lag”. It takes some time for the circadian rhythm to adjust to the new pattern of day and night.

Everyone at some time has difficulty in sleeping but if you miss a couple of hours of sleep no harm is done. You may feel tired and irritable the next day but the body soon makes up for the loss. If you try to stay awake night after night however, you soon begin to behave strangely. You lose the ability to concentrate and judgment is impaired. You begin to imagine strange things and your behaviour becomes deranged.

A lot of people have serious sleep problems. Some people find that they cannot get to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night or too early in the morning. There are a number of causes. worry and depression are the most common. All kinds of things in the environment can affect sleep – noise, light, heat, cold or new surroundings. Pain in illness can also keep people awake. Most of us can accept temporary sleeplessness without seeking help but millions of people take drugs to help them sleep. Many people become addicted to their sleeping pills but sleeping pills do not deal with the causes of insomnia and it is better to avoid them if you can. It is much better to identify the problem and remove it.

Assignment: Generate a word-field concerning sleep.

I'm curious how many of you will have done the assignment tomorrow

Mr W.


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