Sleep is a complex cycle generated by the brain that consists of 24 hours of regulated wake and sleep stages. This cycle is called the circadian rhythm which is mostly stable, but can be altered by light and individual differences; the individual differences are classified as an either/or dichotomy: you’re a morning person, or you are a not a morning person (Kalat 2013). In normal individuals, sleep is an automatic process; we can fight against it for a while, but eventually the sleep cycle will restore itself, causing the individual to fall asleep at inappropriate times, like during the middle of a lecture, driving down the highway, or while operating heavy machinery. To understand why the circadian rhythm works so hard to stay regulated requires knowledge about the way sleep works and its adaptive
The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) serves as the biological clock for the human body. It controls the melatonin production of the body, depending of the amount of light that fall into the eye causing the sleep-wake cycle. The human body goes through 5 ultradian sleep cycles, each approximately 90 minutes long. Each cycle consist of a number of stages going up to four; that then again reverse up to the second stage. Instead of going back to stage one, the body then enters a stage of active sleep with increased blood pressure, oxygen consumption and neural firing, as well as eye movement that resembles that of a waking person, called rapid eye movement sleep (REM). The less active stages are called non rapid eye movement (NREM) or slow-wave sleep.
“Why do we sleep?” is a very popular questions that many humans ask today. Sleep is very sufficient to the human body. If it was not important, then God would not have designed for a third of our life to be occupied by sleep. During this time period, many people are interested to know what is a good amount of sleep and what are the harmful effects to not getting enough sleep.
Circadian rhythms occur every 24 hours; an example of a circadian rhythm is the sleep-waking cycle. We are diurnal animals who are active during the daytime and asleep at night, other animals are nocturnal they are active at night but asleep during the day. The circadian rhythm depends on the interaction of physiological and psychological processes to be tuned into the sleep-waking cycle so energy is provided when needed. As diurnal humans we have a fairly stable sleep pattern with the time we go to sleep and the time we wake up, this consistency suggests an internal mechanism controls sleep, endogenous pacemaker. However, this can be overridden by external factors, exogenous zeitgebers.
The average human spends about 25 years of their life sleeping. That is equal to one-third of a person’s life. So if sleep is vital and common among every single human, what do you know about it? What happens when we sleep (Attention Grabber)? Before the 1950s, scientists believed that the brain would just “shut off” when we would go to sleep. It wasn’t until the discovery of the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) state that scientists really looked into what happens in the brain while we are asleep. Studies have found that we go through a cycle of stages during sleep, and it is important for our health (Orientation to Topic). Today, I am going to inform you about what really happens when we sleep, and some issues that are found among it (Specific Purpose). In order to really understand this worldwide commonality, you need to know some background on sleep, the stages in the cycle, and some common disorders (Central Idea). I have taken a year long psychology course that went into depth on sleep psychology, and I have done extensive research on the topic to better grasp it (Statement of Credibility). I want to inform you on sleep so you can understand what happens when you close your eyes every night, and so you can detect any irregularities in your sleep pattern (Statement of Goodwill). First, I will give a background of why and how we know to sleep, then I will explain the stages in the sleep cycle, and finally I will tell you about some common disorders (Preview).
The human body has a plethora of rhythms that regulate activity such as behavioral processes, physiological functions, moods, and performance. Sleep is a major action that falls into this category of
Humans have a natural rhythm of 25 hours of sleep and wakefulness, in order to reset this the brain plays an important role with the suprachiasmatic nucleus which is a cluster of neurons in the medial hypothalamus of the brain. The SCN
It is no secret that, similar to other animals, sleep is one of the most important things for a human being’s overall health. According to Watson and Breedlove, there are four main biological/neurological functions of sleep: energy conservation—the body uses less energy when it is asleep through what is called slow-wave sleep (SWS) by doing things such as reducing body temperature and slowing respiration; niche adaptation—the environmental happenings to which organisms are adapted to; body restoration—it restores materials used during awake hours; and memory consolidation—SWS and REM sleep help the brain consolidate memories from the previous day (2012).
In life, we all encounter those night where we can’t seem to get to sleep. This can be due to insomnia or having a lot of things to do and little time to do them. During college and afterwards people will begin to deal with a lack of sleep more and more as they gain more responsibilities. I’ve always heard it’s not good to go without sleep and I agree with this thought. This was confirmed when we had a lecture on consciousness. We discussed how our sleep and wake schedule, biological clocks, bodily functions, etc., are controlled by circadian rhythms (Truelove, 2017).
For humans, sleep patterns are regulated by human circadian clocks on a 24-hour time schedule. This regulator is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the human brain. Our human circadian clock notifies us that we should be sleepy at night and awake and alert during the day. It is when this clock doesn't function well we must add supplements such as Melatonin (Golombek DA). The human body is naturally programmed to sleep at a certain time and wake up at a certain time. Several people have trouble sleeping at night due to various problems. These problems range "from sleeping illnesses including but not limited to insomnia, stress and sleep deprivation due to studying, partying and caffeine. Human bodies are designed in such a way that we release Melatonin naturally in certain amounts varying upon the time of day. It has been seen that recently more and more individuals are suffering from not being able to sleep properly at night due to their circadian clocks failing to regulate their sleep-wake patterns.
The in-depth quality of the “Sleep-Wake” paper may be linked to the qualifications of its authors. All three sources were written by some level of expert within the field. Keith J. Anderson, the writer of the article “College Students try to Cheat Sleep Needs” for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has a Ph D., yet is only a counselor for Gallagher Health Center. The four authors of the Biological Rhythm Research study are all very highly specialized in this area. As workers and researchers for the Physiology Department for the Chronobiological Laboratory in Natal, Brazil, they deal with the intricacies of sleep and its effects on the human body daily. The people who wrote the “Sleep-Wake” pattern are also very well educated and conditioned to address the topic of sleep and its effect on college students. Two of these authors are professors with the Department of the Sciences of Education at an international university, while the third author works directly with the Sleep Disorders Unit inside of the
Circadian rhythm refers to the twenty-four-hour cycle that results in physical, mental and behavioral changes in living things. Animals and plants respond differently to the lightness and darkness depending on the circadian rhythm or the internal biological clock. The body clock works responsibly in making sure that the pattern of mental alertness of a person is enhanced. A DNA molecule is transmitted to pass the message for opening up of the RNA, and the mRNA is transformed into a protein which takes some time for the DNA to be turned into a molecule. The time of conversion is determined and kept by the body’s biological clock (Alice, 2012). If the clock fails to work the level of alertness can be affected, and this can make a person to cause traffic accidents or even cause injuries at the place of work. Also, some people can suffer from chronic diseases if the biological clock is altered with.
Thesis: The circadian rhythm of sleep plays a more important role in your life than you think.
The evolutionary or adaptive theory of sleep is one of the oldest theories of sleep. This theory proposes that active and inactive periods are means of conserving energy. It suggests that sleep evolved to protect an organism by making them inactive in hazardous situations. When the organism has completed all their basic survival functions such as eating, drinking, reproducing and looking after the young, it spends the rest of its’ time conserving energy by being inactive and protected from