30 Dec 2022


Consciousness and REM/NREM Sleep Stages

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Since research on sleep is a relatively small field, scientists were not able to discover the stages of sleep and the exact things that take place until the real 1953. Subsequently, new facilities have been developed to aid in monitoring the activities and state of the brain during sleep. Recent studies have linked stages of sleep to memory and leaning ( Laszlo, Houston and Dossey, 2016). 

Consciousness refers to the quality or state of awareness. It also represents the ability to feel or experience. Essentially, consciousness entails subjectivity, awareness or being in control of the mind. The understanding of consciousness in modern philosophy is often based on the logical possibility of unconsciousness. According to Graziano (2013), consciousness comprises every thought that goes through the mind of an individual and it is a continuous process, which is always experiencing some sort of changes. 

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Conscious and preconscious are terms that are associated with the mind and the manner in which it arrives at the perception of things before reacting. Consciously refers to a state in which the mind tends to responsive of both external and internal stimuli at any given time. The ability to be conscious is often associated with the ability to relate to being awake or being in existence with the knowledge of the happenings at a particular instance. This also includes the ability of the mental faculties engage in a rational comprehension of things ( Laszlo et. al., 2016). 

On the other hand, Preconscious is a situation that describes the involvement of the mind in the storage of the information that yet to become relevant for normal functioning. In this case, the information remains hidden and is only released when there is a need. During the state of preconscious, the mind remembers thoughts such as identification numbers and other information that may have been stored for use later. Preconscious and conscious are applicable to situations that require the response of the mind to the things in which it is subjected to any given movement. Conscious represents the full knowledge of the happenings whereas preconscious represents the keeping of stimuli in the memory ( Graziano, 2013). 

Non-conscious represents the description of the mental processes that continue to take place without the knowledge of an individual. Such processes do not involve the conscious thinking of an individual. There are two components to the non-conscious comprises of two components which are unconscious and preconscious. On the other hand, the unconscious is the description of a state that takes place following the loss of self-awareness as well as the awareness of the surrounding ( Laszlo et. al., 2016). 

This state involves total or partial loss of the ability to respond to internal and external stimuli. Unconsciousness may result from situations such as brain infarction, severe use of drug, anaesthesia and severe fatigues among other causes affecting the brain. According to the theory of psychoanalytic, the component of the mind that contains psychic elements such as repressed desires and memories often influence conscious thoughts. 

Sleep comprises of two major stages, which are REM, Rapid Eye Movement, and NREM, Non Rapid Eye Movement. During the REM stage of sleep, the state of the mind often stays conscious. However, during the NREM stage of sleep, the state of the mind changes from conscious to non-conscious. The NREM stage of sleep comprises of four further stages. The first one involves a transition from the state relaxation to the state sound sleep ( Graziano, 2013). 

During this stage, drowsiness is experienced which may be accompanied by certain visual images similar to hallucinations. The second one involves waves known as sleep spindles and it consumes about half of the sleep time. The third stage is the delta activity, which represents the transition from the second to the fourth stage. Finally, the fourth stage takes place and it comprises of more than half of the delta activity. This stage is also known as deep sleep and the state of the mind is usually non-conscious. An altered state of consciousness involves a temporal change from the normal state of the mind without becoming unconscious. The alteration of consciousness can take place due to illness or even involvement in an accident that causes damage to the brain ( Laszlo et. al., 2016). 

In conclusion, it is clear that the different states of the mind play a vital role in describing the stages that are involved falling asleep. Notably, sleep is a process that is closely related to the conscious and non-conscious states of the mind. 


Graziano, M. S. A. (2013). Consciousness and the social brain . Oxford University Press 

Laszlo, E., Houston, J., & Dossey, L. (2016). What is consciousness?: Three sages look behind the veil . SelectBooks 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Consciousness and REM/NREM Sleep Stages.


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