The knowledge I already understood as described in the module was the concept of consciousness. From my point of view, consciousness refers to the state where a person is aware of himself and his immediate environment or surroundings. I was also aware that drugs could influence a person’s state of consciousness. Drugs affect consciousness by influencing how neurotransmitters function in the brain. Sleep disorder was not a novel idea within this module, since I understood that changes in sleep cycles or behaviors displayed by a human being may have detrimental effects on their health. I have always used this information to monitor my sleeping patterns and identify any instances when I realize that I might be having a sleep disorder.
What was entirely new to me as was introduced in the module was the behavioral treatment of sleep disorders. I only knew of the existence of sleep disorder but was not aware of any behavioral treatment of the condition. Within the course of the module, I have learned the various lifestyle and behavioral treatments for sleep disorders. Some of these treatment approaches included relaxation exercise, intellectual therapy, and sleep hygiene. Relaxation training approach involves activities such as liberal muscle relaxation and deep breathing. Other activities include imagery and self-hypnosis. All these relaxation training methods could help one deal with their sleeping disorders. Progressive muscle relaxation technique according to the module was identified as a technique that could help a person to sequentially tense and relax their major muscle groups of the body.
Sleep hygiene was also a new concept that I learned from the module. It refers to practices, habit and environmental factors that vital for one to have a good sound sleep. Sleep hygiene involves four major areas, substances, aging, psychological stressors and circadian rhythm. The information that is totally new is the different stages of sleep. I was not aware that sleep has stages. The module indicated that when one sleeps at night, their body goes through several sleep cycles. Each of the steps involves sleep cycle consists of four different stages of sleep. NREM stage 1 is the first stage; it takes place when one decides to sleep and close their eyes. The stage lasts between one to ten minutes, a point when one is slightly asleep and can swiftly return to full awake state. Some of the defining features of this particular stage of sleep include the possibility of waking up feeling like one did not sleep at all. The breathing rate at this stage is usually slow while having a regular heartbeat. There is also a gradual decrease in the brain temperature and blood pressure. NREM stage 2 is the second stage of the sleep cycle, which could last for about 20 minutes. Some of the prevalent features of this stage include a slow heart rate and decreased body temperature. The body at this point reduces its activity to get ready for a deep sleep. Unlike the first stage, at this stage, it is harder to wake up. The brain starts to emit more massive waves. NREM stage 3 is a stage that kicks in after falling asleep for about 30-40 minutes. The most amazing feature about this stage is that one sleeps through most potential sleep disturbances such as noise and movements, without showing any reaction. The last stage is the REM stage 4 that involves first rapid eye movement that lasts for about ten minutes and takes place after being asleep for not less than ninety minutes. At this stage, the body experiences increased heart and respiratory rates, and their pace could eventually become uneven. I could always use this information to know when am having irregular sleeping cycles, which could be due to health complications or other related factors.
The information that is different is on physical and psychological drug dependence. It is different because I previously believed that drug addiction and drug dependence refer to the same thing. However, after studying through the entire module, I came to realize that the two terms have different means. The addition is where an individual lacks the power or ability to stop using a drug. Drug addiction also refers to the failure of a person not meeting social, work or family obligations. Drug dependence is characterized by severe symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal. It is possible for one to have a physical dependence condition without them being addicted. There are very high chances of one becoming an addict by the simple fact that they are dependent. Addition involves changes in behavior which is as a result of biochemical changes within the brain after a prolonged substance abuse. I have learned some of the most effective ways through which physical dependence could be treated. This information is important as I have realized that it is challenging to eliminate any addictive substance or behavior in a person’s life. However, while one decides on pursuing a life recovery, that is free of addiction, they should be committed and also work on their emotional part for them to get full recovery.
The most important thing that I learned from the module was on dependence: physical and psychological on drugs. Physical dependence on drugs according to the module refers to a physical condition triggered by the prolonged use of a tolerance forming drug. A person could confirm that they are physically dependent once they abruptly or gradually withdraw from using the drugs they experience spiteful psychical symptoms. Physical dependence could also be triggered by the use of certain medications resulting in low-dose therapeutic usage. Therefore, physical dependence is a condition of the body on how it reacts about the substance. The symptoms of physical dependence vary from one person to another, the substance used and the severity of the dependence. Despite the fact that addictions are at most a times accompanied by a physical dependence condition, that is not always the case. It is possible for a person to experience physical dependence without them being addicted, for instance, prescription of painkillers. The body overtime develops dependence and tolerance. However, such body changes are not necessarily signs of addiction. There are also other instances when the individual could be considered as addicted for instance the case of gambling addiction or an eating disorder. These are other types of dependence that are physical dependence. The other type of dependence is psychological dependence that explains the emotional attributes of an addict about their behavior or substance. An addict’s body may be willing to withdraw but the individual may be experiencing emotional struggles with the addiction. Such a state is attributed to the behavior’s underpinning nature. That is the brain’s reward system becomes stimulated thus providing a sense of calm.