Types of Consciousness

Our level of awareness about ourselves and our environment


When we are aware of our surroundings and are very clear as to what is happening. Different states associate with different brain waves.

Types of Brain WaveCorresponding Mental State

AlphaVery relaxed or meditating

BetaAwake and alert

ThetaLightly asleep

DeltaDeeply asleep


Sleep is affected by biological rhythms. Biological rhythms are regular in a body’s functioning. There are three types of biological rhythms:

  • Circadian rhythms: biological cycles that occur about every twenty-four hours. Sleep follows a circadian rhythm. Hormone secretion, blood pressure, body temperature, and urine production also have circadian rhythms.
  • Infradian rhythms: biological cycles that take longer than twenty-four hours. For example, women’s menstrual cycles occur about every twenty-eight days.
  • Ultradian rhythms: biological cycles that occur more than once a day. Sleep follows an ultradian rhythm of about ninety minutes as well as a circadian rhythm. Alertness and hormone levels also follow ultradian rhythms.

Biological rhythms usually synchronize with environmental events such as changes in daylight. Jet leg can also occur. it occurs when events in their environment are out of sync with their usual time.

The Four Stages of Sleep

Stage 1 - In this stage your heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature drop, and your muscles relax. Your mind then starts to create fantasies or bizarre images.

Stage 2 - Usually lasts about 20 minutes and has short bursts of brain waves called sleep spindles.

Stages 3 & 4 - Together lasts about 30 minutes. In these stages you start to breathe slow and your pulse rates also slow down. You will also have limp muscles.

In stage 4 is where sleep walking mainly occurs. People get up walk around, carry on conversations and in some cases bathe, cook, and even go outside. They are such in a deep sleep that they have no recollection of their actions when they wake up.


There are different theories on why dreams occur some examples are -

  • Dreams are what allow people to express unconscious wishes they find unacceptable in real life.
  • Dreams occur when the cortex of the brain tries to make meaning out of these random neural impulses
  • Dreams express people’s most pressing concerns and might help to solve problems in day-to-day life

Altered States


- a procedure that opens people to the power of suggestion. It puts a person in an altered state by making them relaxed and sleepy and describes different sorts of physical sensations the person should be feeling.


- the practice of focusing attention. People meditate to gain more control of physical and mental process.


- are experiences that happen without any external stimulus. They fool the brain into thinking they are seeing certain sights, hearing random sounds, and tastes that aren't actually there.