🔎 Unit 1: Scientific Foundations of Psychology
1.0Unit 1 Overview: Scientific Foundations of Psychology
1.1Introducing Psychology: The Historical Progression of Psychology
1.2Research Methods in Psychology
1.3The Experimental Method
1.5Statistical Analysis in Psychology
🧠 Unit 2: Biological Bases of Behavior
2.0Unit 2 Overview: Biological Bases of Behavior
2.1Interaction of Heredity and Environment
2.3Overview of the Nervous System and the Neuron
2.7Tools for Examining Brain Structure and Function
2.8The Adaptable Brain: Neural Fluidity
👀 Unit 3: Sensation and Perception
3.0Unit 3 Overview: Sensation and Perception
3.1Principles of Sensation
3.2Principles of Perception
3.5Auditory Sensation and Perception
📚 Unit 4: Learning
4.0Unit 4 Overview: Learning
🤔 Unit 5: Cognitive Psychology
5.0Unit 5 Overview: Cognitive Psychology
5.1Introduction to Memory
5.5Forgetting and Memory Distortion
5.6Biological Bases of Memory
5.7Introduction to Thinking and Problem Solving
5.8Biases and Errors in Thinking
5.9Introduction to Intelligence
5.10Psychometric Principles and Intelligence Testing
👶 Unit 6: Developmental Psychology
6.0Unit 6 Overview: Developmental Psychology
6.1The Lifespan and Physical Development in Childhood
6.2Social Development in Childhood
6.3Cognitive Development in Childhood
6.5Adulthood and Aging
🤪 Unit 7: Motivation, Emotion, & Personality
7.0Unit 7 Overview: Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
7.1Theories of Motivation
7.2Specific Topics in Motivation
7.3Theories of Emotion
7.4Stress and Coping
7.5Introduction to Personality
7.6Psychoanalytic Theories of Personality
7.7Behaviorism and Social Cognitive Theories of Personality
7.8Humanistic Theories of Personality
7.9Trait Theories of Personality
🛋 Unit 8: Clinical Psychology
8.0Unit 8 Overview: Clinical Psychology
8.1Introduction to Psychological Disorders
8.2Psychological Perspectives and Etiology of Disorders
8.3Neurodevelopmental and Schizophrenic Spectrum Disorders
8.4Bipolar, Depressive, Anxiety, and Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
8.5Trauma- and Stressor Related, Dissociative, and Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders
8.6Feeding and Eating, Substance and Addictive, and Personality Disorders
8.7Introduction to Treatment of Psychological Disorders
8.8Psychological Perspectives and Treatment of Disorders
8.9Treatment of Disorders from the Biological Perspective
👫 Unit 9: Social Psychology
9.0Unit 9 Overview: Social Psychology
9.1Attribution Theory and Person Perception
9.2Attitude Formation and Attitude Change
9.3Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
9.4Group Influences on Behavior and Mental Processes
9.5Bias, Prejudice, and Discrimination
9.6Altruism and Aggression
🧐 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
✍️ Free Response Questions (FRQ)
⏱️ 4 min read
November 11, 2020
Sleep and dreaming are within the spontaneous state of consciousness. This means that along with drugs, sleep alters consciousness.
The circadian rhythm is our internal clock🕒, controlling our temperature and wakefulness in 24-hour cycles. This rhythm lets us know when we feel tired and sleepy. Our thinking is sharpest, with memory being the most accurate, when we are at our peak in circadian arousal.
You may not think so, but you are actually very familiar with your circadian rhythm. Remember jet lag✈️? Whenever we travel to a place that is within a different timezone, we feel thrown off and unusually tired. This is because jet-lag disrupts your circadian rhythm, along with night-shift work🌙
The suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus controls this circadian rhythm. In response to light, it causes the pineal gland to adjust melatonin production. In the morning, melatonin levels decrease and in the evening, melatonin levels increase to get you prepared for sleep.
Evolutionary psychologists believe that sleeping became part of our behavior as a result of natural selection. In regards to AP Psychology, sleep is the periodic, natural loss of consciousness. The transition from a relaxed but awake state to sleep is marked by slower breathing and irregular brain waves.
Sleep serves various main functions:
Sleep helps us restore and repair brain tissue (maintaining plasticity) 🧠
Sleep restores and rebuilds our memories of the day 💭
Sleep feeds creative thinking🎨
Sleep promotes growth (NREM-3)🌱
Without sleep, we are unable to concentrate and often feel drowsy. These are all theories as to why we need sleep.
To measure sleep activity, neurologists use electroencephalograms (EEGs). Electrodes are taped to the skull and the EEG produces this image:
Image Courtesy of Tuck
When awake and alert, the EEG shows beta waves. As you become more relaxed, alpha waves are shown.
Eventually, you fall into a dreamlike state, where you are semi-awake and feel relaxed, unable to respond to the environment🌲 and all stimuli. This sleeping stage is called NREM-1, or the hypnagogic state. Theta waves are shown and you may experience images resembling hallucinations, which may be incorporated into memories. A major example of this is when you wake up and think you’re falling; did that ever happen to you?
As sleep continues, you pass into NREM-2 where your EEG shows sleep spindles and K complexes. Sleep spindles are sudden bursts of rapid brain wave activity. In the EEG attached, the sudden burst shown is a sleep spindle.
NREM-3, or deep sleep, follow NREM-2. During this sleep stage, delta waves are emitted and growth hormones are released. Heart rate, respiration, and blood flow are reduced. The further into the night you get, the less deep sleep you have.
Once you pass into REM sleep, vivid dreams occur, brain waves become rapid (beta waves), heart rate and breathing increases and eye movement is rapid (hence REM [Rapid Eye Movement Sleep]). REM is also commonly labeled as paradoxical sleep, where muscles are relaxed while other body systems are active. As a result, waking up during REM sleep can cause sleep paralysis since you’re awake but have limb muscles.
REM sleep is one of the most important things to know for this section! Dreams and nightmares, as well as having relaxed muscles are commonly asked about on the AP Exam. The further into the night you get, the more REM sleep you have.
Summary of Sleep Stages
Falling into unconsciousness, easily awakened.
Deeper into sleep, bursts of brain activity (sleep spindles)
Deepest sleep characterized by deep and slow delta waves.
Dreaming occurs, high brain activity, physical appearance of deep sleep.
Every 90 minutes, we cycle through the four sleep stages: 1-2-3-2-1-REM, then restart.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
While sleep is important to us as humans, sometimes problems can arise in regards to our sleep cycles. Insomnia, the inability to fall or stay asleep, can have detrimental health effects. On the other hand, narcolepsy, sudden uncontrollable sleep attacks😴, can have harmful effects on our ability to function on a day to day basis.
Sleep apnea is another disorder that impacts our quality of sleep. People with sleep apnea randomly stop breathing while they are asleep and are frequently awakened throughout the night. Lastly, night terrors, which typically impact children👶, occur in NREM-3 and thus differ from regular dreams and nightmares. This may be characterized by incoherent chatter or physical movement.
If you’ve ever been sleep deprived, chances are you experienced REM rebound. The night after being sleep deprived, you spend more time in the REM sleep stage.
Sigmund Freud was interested in what dreams could tell us about our inner thoughts and desires. He believed that dreams had two messages. First was the manifest content, which was the actual remembered storyline. The second is referred to as the latent content or the underlying⬇️ meaning of the dream. For example, being chased by an animal🐆 in a dream may actually mean we are worried about a deadline creeping up on us.
Freud’s theory as to why we dream is to satisfy our own wishes and deal with unconscious drives. Other theorists believe that we dream in order to file away memories, or to develop and preserve neural pathways, to make sense of neural static, or to reflect cognitive development. In reality, we are still learning a lot about both sleep and dreaming.
🎥Watch: AP Psychology - Sleep
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