Psychology of Sleep

The field of sleep and sleep disorders has been an integral part of psychological investigations: a number of scientists find it necessary to contribute sleep education and offer the ideas which help people improve their sleep. In this paper, the article by Meltzer, Phillips, and Mindell about clinical psychology and sleep disorder will be taken into consideration to understand the importance of empirical research and theoretical aspects of the chosen issue.

It is a well-known fact that people spend about 1/3 of their lives sleeping (Meltzer, Phillips, & Mindell, 2009), and if some problems take place while a person sleeps, more problems may appear when a person is awake. This is why it seems to be rational and crucially important to investigate the field of sleep.

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With the help of several educative articles, it is clarified that sleep is a very important natural state during which human consciousness is reduced considerably that promotes improvement of immune, nervous, and other systems in the human body; and if some disorders are observed, people have to take the necessary treatment and gain control over their possibilities and demand.

Ryan (2011) admits that it is natural that almost all people in the world may have some difficulties with sleep; and this condition is also known as insomnia. The investigations of MacDonald, Linton, and Jansson-Frojmark (2010) clear up the fact that human pain and poor sleep are related, but still, it is not the only reason of why people may sleep badly. The reasons of insomnia vary considerably, and much depends on person’s style of life, emotions, living conditions, etc.

Due to the fact that reasons of sleep disorders are hard to identify and investigate (Meltzer, Phillips, & Mindell, 2009), some scientists try to conduct empirical research to rely on their personal experience and observations to introduce a clear picture of sleep and its problems.

Alfano et al. (2009) make an attempt to observe sleep problems among youth who is anxiety-disordered, and the results are rather helpful: anxiety-disordered youth may have sleep problems because of cultural norms or even some developmental changes, this is why it is useless to define a true nature of insomnia but try to focus on the severity of the problem and the necessity of treatment.

The ideas of Reid, Hong, and Wade (2009) make the field of children sleep clearer as they define emotional and behavioral problems as the main reason for insomnia.

The point is that it is rather problematic to treat children under the age of 2 to 3 as they can hardly express their thoughts and help professionals diagnose accordingly, this is why risk factors should be better used to identify true reasons of sleep disorders. Each stage of life as well as each stage of sleep has its own peculiarities, and the main task of the scientists is to predict the factors which influence the quality of sleep (Meltzer, Phillips, & Mindell, 2009) as well as treatment that may help people.

In general, sleep is a very important condition in human lives, and if some problems appear while a person is sleeping, it is necessary to identify the problems and solve them within a short period of time. There are a number of peculiar features of this condition, and this is why professional help should be used.

The articles discussed in this paper prove that empirical research in the field of sleep based on personal observations is useful indeed. Real life examples, personal challenges, and living conditions turn out to be serious contributions to sleep education, and they are frequently used in different investigations.

Reference List

Alfano, C.A., Pina, A.A., Zerr, A.A., Villalta, I.K. (2010, April). Pre-sleep arousal and sleep problems of anxiety-disordered youth. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 41(2), 156-167.

MacDonald, S., Linton, S.J., & Jansson-Frojmark, M. (2010, May). Cognitive vulnerability in the development of concomitant pain and sleep disturbances. British Journal of Health Psychology, 15(2), 417-434.

Meltzer, L.J., Phillips, C., Mindell, J.A. (2009, March). Clinical psychology training in sleep and sleep disorders. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65(3), 305-318.

Reid, G.J., Hong, R.Y., & Wade, T.J. (2009, March). The relation between common sleep problems and emotional and behavioral problems among 2- and 3-year-olds in the context of known risk factors for psychopathology. Journal of Sleep Research, 18(1), 49-49.

Ryan, M. (2011). Psychsmart. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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