Stages of Sleep

Name: Date:

This week’s individual work explores dreams, and the stages and disorders associated with sleep. You are to describe in detail each sleep stage, three sleep disorders, and why sleep is necessary.

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This lesson provides an explanation of the measurement of brain activity, as well as the presence of different sleep patterns and their respective functions.

Stages of Sleep

Fill in the blanks: Write a brief description of the Characteristic for each sleep stage listed on the table below:



EEG Pattern

Stage 1

In this stage, a person is in very light sleep, and if woken up may report that they were not asleep. The brain produces “theta waves” in this stage. It lasts for 5-10 minutes (Cherry, 2012).

Stage 2

Lasting for 20 minutes, this stage is characterized by decreasing body temperature and bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain activity. (Cherry, 2012)

Stage 3

This is a stage in which the sleep is deeper, as the person moves from light to deep sleep. (Cherry, 2012)

Stage 4

This stage lasts for about 30 minutes and is characterized by the production of “delta waves” (Cherry, 2012)

REM Sleep

A person starts dreaming in this phase. rapid eye movements, an increase in respiration rate, muscle relaxation and an increase in brain activity occurs in this stage. (Cherry, 2012)

Sleep Images:

Part two Your task for this assignment is to write at least one paragraph (3-5 sentences minimum) responding to the following questions:

1. Briefly describe the major sleep disorders:

A healthy sleeping pattern is an evidence of a healthy body and sleep problems may indicate the occurrence of a problem. Several different sleep disorders exist, indicating different problems. Sleep apnea is a disorder caused due to the blockage of airways causing temporary interruption in breathing. Symptoms include tiredness after waking up, loud snoring, snorting etc. (Smith, Robinson, & Segal, 2012). Another sleep disorder that can occur is Restless Legs Syndrome which is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move ones extremities. This occurs because of a tingling, aching or an uncomfortable feeling. (Smith, Robinson, & Segal, 2012) Narcolepsy occurs as excessive sleepiness during the daytime. It occurs because of a neural dysfunction which controls sleeping and talking and is symptomized by sudden feeling of weakness and loss of muscular control, intense dreams or dreams right after going to sleep and a feeling of being paralyzed immediately after waking up or going to sleep (Smith, Robinson, & Segal, 2012).

2. Why do we sleep, and how much sleep is necessary?

Figuratively said, there is a need to sleep so that the body can rest after the day’s activity, however sleep is important to allow for the development of the body and in order to maintain healthy levels of cognitive activity important for the development of the brain (The Science of Sleep, 2012). Given the importance of sleeping, it is important to sleep at least for the minimum duration required as of the different phases in life dictated by the level of mental and physical activity and environmental factors. The average minimum is 8 hours for and may change over the course of one’s life with the younger people requiring more and the older ones requiring lesser. (Peters, 2011)


The Science of Sleep. (2012). Retrieved May 14, 2012, from BBC Home:

Cherry, K. (2012). Stages of Sleep. Retrieved May 13, 2012, from

Peters, B. (2011). How Much Sleep Do I Need? Retrieved May 14, 2012, from

Smith, M., Robinson, L., & Segal, R. (2012, April). Sleep Disorders and Sleeping Problems. Retrieved May 14, 2012, from

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