States of Consciousness Sleep Sleep is just one of many types of consciousness we experience, and sleep itself comprises several states of consciousness. Even when we’re sleeping, our brains and bodies continue to work. Biological Rhythms Sleep is affected by biological rhythms or periodic physiological changes. Biological rhythms are regular, periodic changes 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.
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This note was uploaded on 01/23/2012 for the course PSY PSY2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Winter '09 term at Broward College.