Sleep - Body Rhythms and Mental States Circadian...

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Body Rhythms and Mental States Circadian Rhythms (approx. 24 hours) sleep-wake cycle Infradian Rhythms (monthly, seasonal) menstrual cycle Ultradian Rhythms (more than once per day) alertness, daydreaming Circadian Rhythms Exist in plants, animals, insects, and human beings. In human beings the circadian rhythm is: o Approximately 24 hours o Easily adapted to external social cues The Body’s Clock o 2 clocks possibly o Suprachiasmatic nucleus (hypothalamus) small band that responds to light/dark. o The SCN regulates the pineal gland’s secretion of melatonin (a hormone) at night. Asleep in the dark: melatonin level falls Awakening in light: melatonin level rises o There are other clocks but we are not sure where or how they work. When the clock is out of sync o When our normal routine changes, our circadian rhythms may be thrown out of sync: Jet lag Shift Work (especially night work) – night shifts have more errors. o How can you reset the clock? Time (natural recovery) Bright light Melatonin Sleep o We sleep about 1/3 of our lives. o Sleep is part of a circadian rhythm of approximately 24 hours. o Sleep deprivation can be a serious problem. o Insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy can cause sleepiness during the day. o The most common cause of sleepiness is not getting enough rest. o
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This note was uploaded on 02/28/2011 for the course PSYCH 001 taught by Professor Benbassi during the Fall '08 term at GWU.

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Sleep - Body Rhythms and Mental States Circadian...

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