Sedation can be described as a decrease in a person's physical energy levels which are interpreted as discouraging when it comes to wakefulness, movement, performing tasks, talkativeness, and general exercise. At lower levels, sedation typically results in feelings of general relaxation and a loss of energy. At higher levels, however, sedation typically results in the person passing out into temporary unconsciousness.

This effect is capable of manifesting itself across the 4 different levels of intensity described below:

Level 1

Minimal sedation

At the lowest level, the person will feel subtly lower in energy and alertness. They will likely have an increased desire to sleep or at least relax in a manner which is typically possible to ignore.

Level 2

Moderate sedation

At this level, the person will begin to drift off to sleep. However, they will still respond to noises and physical sensations if they are particularly prominent or above usual noise levels.

Level 3

Deep sedation

At this level, the person will have drifted off into a deep sleep. They will typically be mostly unresponsive unless subjected to repeated or painful stimulation.

Level 4

General anaesthesia

At the highest level, the person will be completely unconscious. They will be completely unarousable even with repeated painful stimulus.

Sedation is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as muscle relaxation, thought deceleration, and sleepiness in a manner which further intensifies the person's feelings of relaxation. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of depressant compounds, such as opioids, GABAergics, and antipsychotics. However, it may also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of other compounds such as antihistamines, deliriants, cannabinoids and certain psychedelics.




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