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1 an alert state of mind.
2 sleeplessness or insomnia.


believed to occur when the tonic flow of impulses from the reticular activating system exceeds the critical level for sustaining consciousness; reduction of reticular activating system activity is the basis of the pharmacological induction of sedation.

Patient discussion about wakefulness

Q. Waking up to the bathroom I'm a 66 years old man and usually healthy, but in the last few months I find myself waking up several times during the night to urinate. It also takes the stream longer than usuall to end. I don't have pain during urinating, and other than that everything is more or less OK. Can that be related to the prostate? I heard that in adult men the prostate grows and obstruct the urine. Does that mean I have cancer in the prostate? Thank you!

A. I uritane every hour on the hour. I feel the problem is my consumption of coffee is causing dehydration. Nevertheless, I should not have such frequency. I am 53 and get up at least 3 times every night. Sure, I can see my Urologist and he will tell me it is my prostate slight enlargement, and prescribe that drug one takes to have a full session, or, a more evasive treatment where he inserts this rod into my pennis to clear away obstruction? I don't know, perhaps there is something I can start, you know, a natural remedy? Your thoughts are welcomed. Oh,not to mention, another related symptom is the innability to sustain an errection for a decent period of time. Ok, your turn, let me know.

Q. migraine headaches that wake you up early morning?

A. Nocturnal headaches, headaches which appear during the night and awaken the patient from sleep, characteristically occur with cluster headaches (another syndrome of chronic headache), but migraine can awaken patients as well.

However, in a patient with the recent onset of nocturnal headaches, brain tumor and glaucoma should be carefully excluded so consulting a doctor may be indicated.

Q. I go to sleep & use to wake up paralyzed in my sleep. I go to sleep & use to wake up paralyzed in my sleep. But not asleep, just laying there, eyes wide open paralyzed. I couldn't breath, I couldn't speak, move anything but my eyes. I could look around but I couldn't even breathe. This has happened a few times in my old house, once in my mother's house (she lived by the side of a graveyard), and then only once in my new house. What is it and what do you think is causing it?

A. I had the same problem but never at night...and it only happened during the day when I take nap. I will wake up and I can't move or talk, I can't open my eyes either. I've never been able to snap out of it though, I just have to lay there until I go back to sleep, and usually it doesn't happen when I wake up the next time. Needless to say I try NOT to take naps anymore, because it happens nearly every time.

More discussions about wakefulness
References in periodicals archive ?
Sex is allowed but watching TV, reading, studying or snacking all condition you for wakefulness and not sleep.
Graduated extinction may then be introduced to reduce nocturnal wakefulness during the night (if needed).
Wakefulness contradicts its reason, proving damaging rather than enhancing productivity.
Their brain activity was also abnormal, more like normal wakefulness than sleep.
These peptides promote wakefulness by activating wake-active neurons (WAN) in the hypothalamus and brain stem.
In individuals with insomnia disorder, it is possible that the orexin system which regulates sleep and wakefulness is not functioning normally.
Orexin neurons release two neuropeptides that interact with downstream receptors that promote wakefulness.
Coauthor Robert Greene, professor of psychiatry and a physician at the Dallas VA Medical Center, indicates the study is unique in showing that the need for sleep (called sleep homeostasis) can be separated from wakefulness both behaviorally and biochemically, meaning the two processes now can be studied individually.
In fact, the restorative nature of sleep appears to be the result of the active clearance of the by-products of neural activity that accumulate during wakefulness.
That has prepared the plant for the production of another drug Merck has in the pipeline, Suvorexant, a sleep aid that works by turning off wakefulness rather than by inducing sleep.
Examining both nocturnal dreams and waking daydreams, we have repeated these findings, and, thus, propose that "far from being a random or meaningless distraction, spontaneous cognition during states of sleep and resting wakefulness appears to serve important functions related to processing past memories and planning for the future.