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Proposal - Predictors of Sleep Predictors of sleep...

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Predictors of Sleep 2 Predictors of sleep: Correlations among stress level, gender, and sleep High stress levels often have undesirable effects on health. Lack of sleep has undesirable health consequences. These two statements are generally accepted, yet their potential correlation is often ignored. Exploration of this correlation is relevant to all individuals, as all individuals experience stress and sleep. Brummett, Krystal, Ashely-Koch, Kuhn, Zachner, and Siegler (2007) explored the relationship between sleep and stress with adults who were primary caregivers for a parent with dementia. Also included was a control group of non-caregivers. Sleep quality was measured by use of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, which identifies seven components in describing sleep quality: sleep latency, sleep duration, overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, medications taken for sleep, and problems with daytime functioning. Data was collected on two separate occasions: once at the clinic and once during a home visit. The study concluded that caregivers had significantly poorer sleep quality ratings (Brummett et al., 2007). Lechin and Lechin (2004) addressed the stress-sleep relationship by hypothesizing that acute stress was associated with lower levels of “parasympathetic modulation” during non-Rapid Eye Movement sleep. High parasympathetic modulation results in the promotion of normal nerve function and enhancement of digestion. Thus, low modulation leads to less-than-normal nerve function and digestion. The study’s assessment of the autonomic nervous system measured blood pressure variability, adrenaline, noradrenalin, dopamine, platelet serotonin, plasma serotonin, and plasma tryptophan. The ratio between noradrenalin and adrenaline was found to decrease in
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Predictors of Sleep 3 stressed subjects. However, plasma serotonin values were higher for stressed versus normal subjects. Blood pressure and heart rate increases are associated with these neuro- chemical findings. During REM sleep, blood pressure and heart rate both reached minimal levels, which coincides with absence of neural and adrenal sympathetic activities. The study concluded that the low parasympathetic functioning paired with high adrenal sympathetic activity found in stressed subjects coincided with their frequent waking patterns experience in sleep cycles (Lechin & Lechin, 2004). Essentially, the parasympathetic modulation increase exhibited in the control group may explain their higher quality of sleep. Hall et al. (2004) used electrocardiogram (EKG) readings to observe changes in heart rate related to stress during sleep. The stress and control groups were randomly assigned to 59 healthy men and women. The stress group completed a “standard speech task paradigm used to elicit acute stress in the immediate pre-sleep period” (Hall et al., 2004). Participants’ EKG readings were recorded throughout the night. As in Lechin and
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