The nature of sleep and lifespan changes

Mind Map by , created about 6 years ago

A Levels Psychology (Biological rhythms) Mind Map on The nature of sleep and lifespan changes, created by davieschloe7 on 09/24/2013.

Created by davieschloe7 about 6 years ago
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The nature of sleep and lifespan changes
1 Infancy
1.1 Sleep 16 hours a day
1.1.1 Not continuous
1.1.2 Sleep cycles shorter than 90 minutes
1.2 By 6 months old a circadian rhythm is established
1.3 By 1 year infants sleep mainly at night, with some naps during the day
1.3.1 Periods of deep sleep lengthen and there is reduction in REM sleep
1.4 Evaluation
1.4.1 Daytime sleep adaptive mechanism - makes life easier for parents
1.4.2 REM sleep linked to production of neurotransmitters and consolidation of memories
2 Childhood
2.1 By age 5 children have EEG patterns that look like those of an adult but they sleep more (12 hours a day)
2.2 Still more REM activity than adults (30% of sleep time)
2.3 Boys sleep more than girls
2.4 Not uncommon for children to experience parasomnias such as sleep walking or night terrors
3 Adolescence
3.1 Need for sleep increases slightly from childhood: 9-10 hours a night
3.2 Circadian rhythms change so teenagers feel more awake later at night and have phase delay (more difficulty getting up early)
3.3 Evaluation
3.3.1 Change in sleeping pattern Hormones primarily released at night
3.3.2 Real world application Wolfson and Carskadon (2005) Recommended school should begin later
4 Adulthood
4.1 Sleep 8 hours a night
4.2 25% REM sleep
4.3 Parasomnias less likely but other sleep disorders such as insomnia is more likely
4.4 Older people have more difficulty going to sleep and wake up more frequently
4.5 Evaluation
4.5.1 Kripke et al. (2002)


  • Surveyed over 1 million adult men and women and found that people sleeping for only 6 or 7 hours had a reduced mortality risk, whereas those sleeping 8 had a 15% increase in risk of death, and over 30% for people who slept 10 hours. However, there may be other factors affecting this such as underlying illness
4.5.2 SWS sleep is reduced in old age explaining why older people are more easily woken Van Cauter et al. (2000)


  • Less SWS means less growth hormones which explains lack of energy and lower bone density in older people

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