Sleep Problems and Disorders

Critical Thinking Questions

One of the recommendations that therapists will make to people who suffer from insomnia is to spend less waking time in bed. Why do you think spending waking time in bed might interfere with the ability to fall asleep later?


Answers will vary. One possible explanation might invoke principles of associative learning. If the bed represents a place for socializing, studying, eating, and so on, then it is possible that it will become a place that elicits higher levels of arousal, which would make falling asleep at the appropriate time more difficult. Answers could also consider self-perpetuating cycle referred to when describing insomnia. If an individual is having trouble falling asleep and that generates anxiety, it might make sense to remove him from the context where sleep would normally take place to try to avoid anxiety being associated with that context.

How is narcolepsy with cataplexy similar to and different from REM sleep?


Similarities include muscle atony and the hypnagogic hallucinations associated with narcoleptic episodes. The differences involve the uncontrollable nature of narcoleptic attacks and the fact that these come on in situations that would normally not be associated with sleep of any kind (e.g., instances of heightened arousal or emotionality).