Sleep Patterns and Chronic Pain Page: 1
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Sleep is a phenomenon that has fascinated people for
centuries. It is one activity that every mammal is inexorably
drawn into, thus making it seem very important and
mysterious. Originally, it was believed that sleep was a
time when all activity ceased. However, during the past
century, researchers have discovered that conscious activity
does not cease; it simply shifts to a different plane. Most
researchers have explored variations of one or two hypotheses
about the "purpose" of sleep: 1) Sleep is a period of
restoration which allows the body to metabolically mend all
of the cellular and tissue damage caused by a waking period
of activity; and 2) Sleep is a useful, adaptive response
because it allows an animal to conserve energy during that
part of a 24 hour period that it is unable to hunt and/or
gather food. Carlson (1988) proposed that possibly sleep
evolved, initially as an adaptive energy-saver, and
subsequently the body began to use this period of rest to
mend damaged cells and restore homeostasis. He concluded
that, while the scientific community continues to unravel
some of the functions which accompany the characteristic
changes of consciousness found during sleep, no real
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Kellen, Rebecca Margaret. Sleep Patterns and Chronic Pain, thesis, August 1991; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500658/m1/6/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .