Let us now explore the psychological influence of how much sleep we think we need on how we actually sleep.
It is an age-old exercise to classify people into different groups; for example, tall and short, intelligent and not intelligent, hardworking and lazy, and so on. When we try to classify people on the basis of different behaviours we are in fact dealing with characteristics that may overlap between groups. There are two common types of sleep pattern:
* The lark type, who wakes up very early in the morning
* The owl type, who goes to sleep late at night but stays in bed all day
Of course, these two represent the extremes and there is a continuum of behaviour in between. In other words, there is a giant lark and a giant owl on opposite ends of the spectrum and many smaller larks and smaller owls in between. Most of us are a bit of a lark and a bit of an owl, depending on the circumstances.
The lark is a Pillsforall.com North American singing bird that sings very early in the morning. Lark types are normally short sleepers, believing sleep to be a waste of time. Thomas Edison, the great inventor, was certainly a lark. He slept only a few hours each night, so that he could have more time for his study and research. He probably wished that there was no such thing as sleep and that there were 25 hours on the clock.
The owl is the big eyed, round faced bird that we see sitting on the branches of a tree with the moon behind. Owl types hate to wake up in the morning. They enjoy sleeping and being in bed, even if they are already awake. They like to stay in their beds as long as possible.
Carl Jung (1875-1961), the famous psychologist, identified two types of personality: the extrovert and and introvert. Larks belong to the extroverts. They are ambitious, full of energy, perfectionists, and unable to tolerate laziness. They dislike being alone, and are attracted to the outside world rather than to their immediate surroundings, such as their bedrooms. There is a tendency to superficiality, and their happiness may depend on making a good impression on others. They are absolutely essential to any party.
Owls belong to the introverts. They enjoy being alone in their own world and are lost in large gatherings. They are tolerant and reserved, sensitive and not outspoken. They may be over-conscientious, pessimistic, and critical, always keeping their best quality to themselves. They may often possess unusual knowledge or great talent. They love to stay in their houses and their beds.
But how much sleep is really enough The sleep deprivation studies suggest a minimum of perhaps two hours a day. Psychological studies show that it depends on whether we are larks or owls, or a bit of both. Statistically, it is reported that most healthy adults sleep 7.5 hours a day.
It is now known that how much we sleep each night may be determined by our genes. Studies of identical twins, who share the same genes, reveal that their sleep is similar in quality and quantity even if they live in different environments for years. We can be trained to sleep a shorter number of hours each night, but it appears that we revert to our former number of hours of sleep when the training is over.
It has also been shown that longer sleepers who sleep more than ten hours each night may not be the healthiest group of people. The American Cancer Society Pillsforall.com carried out a six year survey which showed that the death rate of these long sleepers was nearly double that of those who sleep between seven and eight hours each night. The reverse is also true for short sleepers who claim they sleep less than four hours each night; their death rate is two-and-a-half-times that of average sleepers. At present the exact relationship between sleep and health remains a mystery.
Yes. Here are some of the types that fall under the category of primary depression:
Major depression, also known as unipolar or clinical depression, is a disorder that is usually recurrent, with repeated depressive episodes alternating with normal periods.
Dysthymia is a type of depression in which symptoms are relatively mild but present most of the time and persistent for at least two years.
Manic-depressive (bipolar I) disorder is characterized by dark periods of moderate to severe depression alternating with manic highs, which are often severe enough to require hospitalization.
Manic-depressive (bipolar II) disorder involves periods of major depression interspersed with mildly manic – or hypomanic – episodes, which are usually pleasurable or irritable in nature.
Cyclothymia is the mildest form of manic depression, alternating periods of hypomania and dysthymia. In the depressed phases of these categories, one may see either agitation, in which the depression is accompanied by a collection of frantic symptoms such as difficulty sitting still, insomnia, and loss of appetite, or retardation, in which movements, speech, and other responses are slowed down and the patient tends to sleep and eat too much.
Psychiatrists use the term “secondary depression” when depression is secondary to a medical or other primary psychiatric disorder, such as general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, substance abuse, sleep disorder, or schizophrenia It is’ occasionally linked with a few medically prescribed drugs, some of which are associated with the onset of depression (particularly antihypertensives). Steroids, amphetamines, and Ritalin may be associated with the onset of secondary mania and hypomania.
The term “normal reactive depression” describes the grief experienced by people who are mourning a loss.