Disturbances of sleep and arousal are common among individuals experiencing stressful life events. As Dement (1974) has said, “It is virtually axiomatic that a disturbance of mind will manifest itself in the sleeping state as well as in the waking state” (p. 86). The most profound disturbances of diurnal sleep/arousal patterns known to medical science occur among those whose lives are chronically stressful, like the psychotically depressed patient. Sleep and arousal patterns are sensitive barometers of one’s ability to cope with the vagaries of life. Therefore, understanding the relationships the”Se patterns bear to various psychological and behavioral control systems is essential to the advancement of our understanding of stress itself.
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