Sleep and Culture
|Course Name||Sleep and Culture|
Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
- Define what is meant by the terms “sleep” and “culture”.
- Identify the Evolutionary, Physiological and Psychological Theories of Sleep.
- Identify how sleep differs from culture to culture.
- Identify the cultural influences on infant sleep.
- Identify pediatric sleep issues encountered in all cultures.
Course InformationFor all that the topic of “sleep” has been studied, researchers do not seem to know exactly why we humans need sleep, but they do know that it is an essential part of life. Missing even a few hours of sleep can affect your emotional well being. Studies in rats have shown that sleep deprivation can actually kill. Rats normally live two or three years, but when they were completely deprived of sleep they only lived for up to five weeks, their immune system weakened, their body temperature changed, and they developed sores. Humans who experience lack of sleep commonly report symptoms such as being delusional and hallucinations.
Understanding the prominent role of sleep in life and learning exactly why people need sleep are topics of much debate and speculation among sleep scientists. Recent animal studies have suggested that sleep is necessary for survival. For example, while rats normally live for two to three years, those deprived of REM sleep survive only about 5 weeks on average, and rats deprived of all sleep stages live only about 3 weeks. Sleep-deprived rats also develop abnormally low body temperatures and sores on their tail and paws. The sores may develop because the rats’ immune systems become impaired. Some studies suggest that sleep deprivation affects the immune system in detrimental ways.