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During slow or deep sleep parasympathetic activation is dominant, with decreased sweating and loss of psychogalvanic responses. Decreased mean heart rate, blood pressure and cardiac output are observed as well. The core temperature decreases slightly, but the thermoregulatory mechanisms work similarly … Ler Mais

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Endogenous circadian rhythmicity is a property common to many organisms, from fungi to animals. Although there is some variability, the operation of the biological clocks of the various species is done through a mechanism well conserved throughout evolution. Therefore, the … Ler Mais

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Endogenous clocks are usually synchronized with the outside day, by means of environmental stimulation. The ability of behavioural adaptation to environmental conditions confer selective advantages to the organisms that posses it, because it allows them to anticipate environmental events, such … Ler Mais

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The most frequent sign of sleep disorders is undoubtedly excessive sleepiness. Patients complaining of insomnia, non-restorative sleep, hypersomnia or those with poor sleep hygiene or excessive medication often show poor memory and performance, attention deficit and irritability. These cognitive-emotional changes … Ler Mais

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Rhythmic myoclonic jerks arising during sleep in the arms and legs of infants start on the first day of life and disappear by six months of age in most cases. In some cases, though, they may persist in the first … Ler Mais

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The elderly have increased sleep problems. First, there is the belief that one should sleep. Older adults need less hours of sleep, i.e. five to seven hours, so their expectations get frustrated if they keep trying to sleep eight hours. … Ler Mais

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Sunlight is our main sleep synchronizer. Therefore exposure to ultra bright light is successfully used in sleep disorders that are caused or accompanied by a dysfunction of the circadian system. Phototherapy has concrete indication in cases of sleep phase delay, … Ler Mais

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Night eating may occur in two syndromes, which partly overlap but are distinct from one another. In the night eating syndrome, the patient gets up to eat and does it unconsciously, with confusional components, having no recollection of the episode. … Ler Mais

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Nocturnal cramps are pains caused by spasms or muscle contractions in the muscles of the leg and foot, which may persist as residual discomfort. They cause the patient to wake up and are relieved with massage, after which it takes … Ler Mais

Teresa Paiva explains…

Nightmares in children are in principle normal, but if they are frequent or very distressing, there may be the need for psychotherapeutic support and for evaluating possible tensions in the family environment. For instance, children start to dream of animals … Ler Mais