Santa Monica College Consciousness and Sleep Discussion




Hi, please answer these questions in a paragraph or two. Discuss what you have learned this week about consciousness and sleep. What makes meditation difficult despite its health benefits? What stood out about the psychological and social factors that influence drug use and addiction identified in the lecture and Dr. Hart’s Ted Talk? What can you do to improve your sleep?

Use these examples to answer the questions above but change the words so there is so plagiarism.

This week’s reading and video materials covered sleep, consciousness, and substance use. I learned that sleep can be divided into two main categories of NREM and REM sleep. NREM sleep can further be divided into 4 stages, each with their types of brain waves (including alpha waves, theta waves, sleep spindles, and K-complexes, and delta waves). Dreams and memory consolidation occur during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep (section 4.3). In psychology, consciousness is the awareness of internal and external processes (‘internal awareness’ being the experience of thoughts and feelings and ‘external awareness’ referring to one’s sensations of their environment) (section 4.1). Despite its health benefits, meditation may be difficult for those with attention issues (like ADHD), as it may be difficult to focus and reach a meditative state. In his Ted Talk, Dr. Hart explains how the villainization of drugs and the non-uniform enforcement of drug laws have resulted in increased poverty, mass incarceration, police brutality, and institutionalized racism. It was interesting to learn how 80-90% of drug users are not addicts. To improve sleep, avoid screen use an hour before sleeping (light inhibits melatonin production) and keep a consistent sleep schedule to maintain your circadian rhythm.

Consciousness is the awareness of ourselves and the environment around us. I learned that there are multiple states of consciousness ranging from alertness to sleep. The two states in between are daydreaming and drowsiness. Daydreaming is induced with light meditation, while drowsiness is induced through deep meditation or while in a state of falling asleep. Lastly, our bodies are not aware of our shift in and out of consciousness, but our brain is. Next, meditation is difficult, because it is hard to stop focusing on the worries we are faced with to just relax and activate the meditative state. Next, the social factor that influences drug use and addiction is poverty. We are taught that crime happens because people are addicted to drugs, however, when Dr. Hart conducted an experiment with drug addicts, a majority of the people chose a nominal amount of money over a hit. About 90% of drug users are not addicted and conduct normal lifestyles. This shows that we are unaware that social situations encourage drug use, but people are not born with the need to abuse drugs. Lastly, one way we can improve our sleep is by maintaining a natural sleep-wake cycle, in which we do not sleep in, we are smart about napping, and we go to sleep around the same time every night.

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