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Sleep and Biological Rhythms

This category contains 8 posts

1) Biological Rhythms

The body will naturally go through ‘Rhythms’, how frequent these rhythms are will determine what type they are. Infradian rhythms – have cycles that occur less than once every day – i.e. the menstrual cycle. Circadian rhythms – have cycles that occur once every 24 hours – i.e. the sleep-waking cycle Ultradian rhythms – have … Continue reading

2) The Disruption of Biological Rhythms – Shift Work

There are two main aspects of modern life that can cause a disruption to our biological rhythms, shift work and jet lag. Shift work Shift work is where the hours of your job change regularly. For example, your employer might make you work 9am until 5pm one week and then 8pm until 4am the next. … Continue reading

3) Disruption of Biological Rhythms – Jet Lag

There are two main aspects of modern life that can cause a disruption to our biological rhythms, shift work and jet lag. Jet Lag This is the term to refer to the physiological effects of disrupting circadian rhythms; however it most commonly used to describe the disruption we experience from flying. It occurs because we … Continue reading

4) Sleep and lifespan changes

Throughout our lives there are major changes in the amount and kind of sleep we experience. Infancy –Babies sleep much more than all other ages, around 16 hours and day. But this sleep is not continuous, it often only last an hour at a time. This is because their cycles are shorter than adults. Also … Continue reading

5) Functions of Sleep: Restoration Theory

The restoration theory says we sleep to restore the body’s ability to function at the end of the day. Oswald said that short-wave sleep (SWS) is for restoring the body in terms of physical activity, whilst REM sleep is for resting the brain functions. Short-wave sleep A strong link has been found between growth hormone … Continue reading

6) Functions of Sleep – Evolutionary Explanations

The evolutionary explanation of sleep tries to explain why we sleep through the benefits it would bring in terms of survival. Energy conservation Mammals expend a lot of energy just staying awake at a certain body temperature. We have a limited supply of energy so sleep acts as a way of reducing the amount of … Continue reading

7) Insomnia

People with insomnia have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or both. They may feel sleepy and irritable during the day, making leading a normal life difficult. Insomnia can be acute, lasting a few nights, or chronic, lasting much longer.  Research suggests that about 10% of adults may suffer from chronic insomnia. There are two different … Continue reading

8) Other Sleep Disorders

Narcolepsy A narcoleptic will fall asleep suddenly without warning throughout the day. They might also experience hallucinations and sleep paralysis. Narcolepsy affect 0.02-0.06% of the population, with most developing the condition in early adulthood. Explanations REM – One of the first explanations of narcolepsy put forward said it is caused by a problem with the … Continue reading