Chapter 7: Altered States of Consciousness

Sleep is:
a state of altered consciousness, characterized by
certain patterns of brain activity and inactivity.
vital to mental health.
restorative – it allows the brain to recover from
exhaustion and stress while the body conserves
Stages of Sleep
Prior to sleep, the body temperature decreases,
pulse rate drops, and breathing becomes slow and
Stage I – pulse becomes even slower, muscles relax,
breathing becomes uneven and brain waves
become irregular.
Stage II – brain waves will shift in amplitude and
frequency, eyes roll from side to side.
Stage III – deeper sleep, large amplitude delta
waves sweep across the brain every second.
Stage IV – deepest sleep and difficult to awaken
a sleeper in this stage, muscles are even more
relaxed, eyes move rapidly (REM), pulse rate
and breathing is irregular, levels of adrenal and
sexual hormones rise.
* cycle repeats about every 90 minutes
**at no point does the brain become totally
Sleep Disorders
Sleep Apnea
Nightmares and Night Tremors
Sleepwalking and Sleep Talking
Dreams are the mental activity that takes place
during sleep.
Because the amounts of time spent in REM
sleep increase during the night, the last dream
is likely to be the longest and the one people
remember when they wake up.
A large percentage of the emotions experienced
in dreams are negative or unpleasant – anxiety,
anger, sadness, etc…
Some dreams are negative enough to be
considered nightmares.
**end of notes**
Hypnosis is a form of altered consciousness in
which people become highly suggestible to
changes in behavior and thought.
Participants are NOT put to sleep – it is a form of
Hypnosis has uses in medical and therapeutic
Memory can be aided or enhanced
Pain can be eliminated or reduced
Problems can be revealed and insight gained
Biofeedback is a technique in which a person
learns to control physiological processes with
the help of feedback.
Can control processes such as heart rate, blood
pressure, skin temperature, and sweat-gland
Meditation is when a person focuses his or her
attention on an image or thought to clear the
mind and produce relaxation.
3 types
Transcendental : involves the mental repetition of a
Mindfulness : focuses on the present moment (a
Buddhist tradition)
Breath : concentration on respiration – inhaling and
Psychoactive Drugs
Interact with the central nervous system to alter a
person’s mood, perception, and behavior.
Range from stimulants (like caffeine in coffee/cola)
to depressants (like alcohol) to hallucinogens (like
marijuana and LSD).
Enter the blood stream and are taken up in target
tissues in various parts of the body
Effects differ from person to person and can be pleasant or
Studies suggest that it is more damaging to the lungs than
cigarette use.
Disrupts memory formation, making it difficult to carry out
mental and physical tasks.
Main effect is the production of hallucinations.
Also called psychedelics because they create a loss of
contact with reality.
The most potent hallucinogen is LSD.
Usually called narcotics
Includes opium, morphine, and heroin
Produce analgesia (pain reduction) and euphoria.
Is the most widely used and abused mind-altering
substance in the U.S.
Effects depend on the amount, frequency, and
body weight of the drinker.
Effects are slurred speech, blurred vision, impaired
judgment and memory.
Drug Abuse and Treatment
Drug abusers are people who regularly use illegal
drugs or excessively use legal drugs.
Risks of abuse are danger of death or injury,
damage to health, legal consequences, destructive
behavior, and loss of control.
Treatment requires the individual to
1) admit they have a problem
2) enter a treatment program or get therapy
3) join a support group to help reduce the possibility of a

similar documents