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Sleep Disorders Notes

This is a sample of our (approximately) 10 page long Sleep Disorders notes, which we sell as part of the AQA Psychology A: Sleep: Sleep Disorders Notes collection, a 80-90% package written at Winstanley College in 2014 that contains (approximately) 10 pages of notes across 1 different document.

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Sleep disorders

Explanation for insomnia




Spielman said there are 3 factors that can lead to insomnia: Predisposing factors - these could give a person vulnerability to insomnia. This means they do not directly cause insomnia put could put the person at risk of developing it. Some risk factors could include genes, age (older people are more at risk), gender (females are more at risk), parasomnias (e.g. snoring) personality (e.g. levels of anxiety). Precipitating factors - this is the trigger needed to make someone suffer from insomnia. Some triggers could include stress, illness, medication or substance use. Usually if these triggers go away so does insomnia Perpetuating factors - if the insomnia carries on it could be because of classical conditioning. They have associated the bedtime routine with stress and this can create over-arousal making it hard for them to sleep. They may continue to worry about not getting enough sleep and that increased alertness makes it even harder to sleep. Another perpetuating factor could be that people with insomnia have developed a habit of sleeping during the day so find it hard to go to sleep at night.

Strengths of the explanation for insomnia

Spielman's explanation for insomnia has practical applications. There are various different strategies to help people tackle insomnia e.g. identifying trigger factors and stress management skills. The fact we understand the causes of insomnia makes it easier to find solutions and help people improve their sleep. It takes several approaches into account. It takes the biological approach into account, saying some people may be more genetically vulnerable to insomnia. It takes the cognitive approach into account by saying some people might not be able to deal with stress very well and it also takes the behavioural approach into account to explain why a person continues to suffer from insomnia because of classical conditioning. This makes it a very full explanation as it covers all the aspects that could cause insomnia. Morin compared insomniacs with good sleepers and found that insomniacs found the same life events more stressful than the good sleepers. This supports the idea that a possible predisposing factor to insomnia is having a more anxious personality. Watson found that concordance rates for insomnia in monozygotic twins were higher than for dizygotic twins. Since monozygotic twins share more genes, this supports the idea that one of the predisposing factors for insomnia could be genetics. However… the concordance rate is never 100% which suggests it's not just genes it's other factors as well that affect it e.g. behavioural factors like classical conditioning.

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