Advantages Of The Cognitive Approach To Sleep

1464 Words 6 Pages
Psychology Assessment
1a) The Cognitive Approach
The Cognitive Approach to Sleep and Dreams can be defined simply by the computer analogy. The key purpose of sleep is to store, input and output information collected throughout the day and process that information into some kind of order, this could explain why our dream content is mostly based on issues faced during the day. While we are asleep our mind processes information and then consolidates important memories and also discards useless information. Sleep has been proven to be directly linked with memory. Studies such as Tucker at al 2006 have found that slow wave sleep may be important in strengthening declarative memories. Declarative memories refer to the memory of facts, events and
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One Strength of the Cognitive Approach is that it is supported by a vast amount of evidence. This can be represented by studies such as Wolfson and Clarkson’s 1998 study where they observed the relationship between the sleep patterns of Adolescents and how it affected their educational performance. It was proven that students that were receiving lower level grades obtained less sleep that students who were getting A’s this supports the Cognitive Approaches idea that memory and cognition are influenced by sleep.

One Weakness of the Cognitive Approach is that dreams sometimes have elements that are bizarre and have no connection to real life. The Continuity Hypothesis of dreams cannot explain these types of dreams. Other theory’s such as Wish Fulfilment would be more effective in explaining these types of
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Restoration theory’s suggest that the function of sleep is to repair the body and replenish the mind. While in the stages of slow wave sleep growth hormones are released into the body in particularly large doses. Growth hormones serve in important purpose in restoring bodily tissues. This suggests that sleep has a ‘restorative’ function (Psychology A2 for AQA A Fourth Edition Textbook). Oswald’s Restoration Theory of sleep aims to discover why people and/or animals sleep. Oswald suggests that sleep is the ideal time for the body to replenish itself in addition the repair of damaged cells. Oswald also believes that during REM sleep the high levels of brain activity could indicate brain recovery and the increased levels of growth hormones during Slow Wave Sleep indicates the recovery of the body. This supports the idea that REM stages of sleep are important in restoring the body to its optimal state. New-born babies exhibit a vast amount of REM sleep. REM Sleep takes up about 60% of total time asleep in new-borns the decreases to about 25% as the child ages. This again supports the argument that sleeps primary function is to restore the body and mind as REM Sleep is the optimal time for body restoration it makes sense that babies show increased amounts of REM

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