Biological Rhythms - Circadian Rhythms AQA Psychology Paper 2.

The inability to sleep is the result of some other known disorder such as apnoea, restless leg syndrome (RLS), depression, anxiety etc. Other possible causes include: Jet lag or shift work resulting in desynchronisation of biological rhythms. Attempting to sleep is in opposition to the sleep-wake cycle.

Sleep and Biological Rhythms is a quarterly peer-reviewed publication dealing with medical treatments relating to sleep. The journal publishies original articles, short papers, commentaries and the occasional reviews. In scope the journal covers mechanisms of sleep and wakefullness from the ranging perspectives of basic science, medicine, dentistry, pharmacology, psychology, engineering.

The Relationship Between Sleep Patterns Psychology Essay.

Circadian rhythm and sleep: An important factor which plays a vital role in everyone’s sleep is circadian rhythm, a 24 hour internal biological clock, which is also known as the circadian pacemaker.In this essay sleep, both rapid-eye movement and slow-wave, will be explored. Also set out will be the main functions of sleep and what can happen when a person is deprived of sleep. Finally the sleep disorder narcolepsy will be discussed as it is an often misunderstood disorder which shows the mal effects when control over when to sleep is lost.The sleep-wake cycle is an example of a circadian rhythm, which dictates when humans and animals should be asleep and awake. Light provides the primary input to this system, acting as the external cue for sleeping or waking. Light is first detected by the eye, which then sends messages concerning the level of brightness to the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN).


Circadian rhythms are a biological rhythm that occurs in a period of about every 24 hours. The best-known rhythm is the sleep-wake cycle. Suprachiasmatic nucleus is located in hypothalamus, and it contains the biological.The best example of a circadian rhythm is the sleep-wake cycle, associated with which are many cyclical changes with active and dormant periods, for example body temperature and urine production. These rhythms allow animals to prepare for predictable daily environmental changes, such as night and day.

In Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Biological Rhythms, Amlaner said, “Sleep is a required activity, not an option” (19). During sleep the human body has an opportunity to recuperate from the activities of the day.

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Most organisms have an internal biological clock called endogenous pacemakers, which are influences by external environmental factors called exogenous zeitgebers, these control periodic changes. The sleep wake cycle is a circadian rhythm that repeats itself every 24 hours.

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Environmental factors influencing biological rhythms tend to change slowly, allowing the internal pacemakers to keep up. However, if the zeitgebers change quickly, problems can occur. Such problems include poor attention, slow reaction time and impaired reasoning skills and can arise from two features of modern life; shift work and jet lag.

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These bodily rhythms have implications for behavior, emotion and mental processes. There are 3 types of bodily rhythms: Circadian rhythms: follow a 24-hour cycle: e.g. the sleep-waking cycle; Ultradian rhythms: occur more than once a day: e.g. the cycles of REM and NREM sleep in a single night’s sleep.

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In Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Biological Rhythms, Amlaner said, “Sleep is a required activity, not an option” (19). During sleep the human body has an opportunity to recuperate from the activities of the day. The recuperation goes beyond that associated with physical activity and also includes mental activities.

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Endogenous pacemakers are internal mechanisms that govern biological rhythms, in particular, the circadian sleep-wake cycle. Although endogenous pacemakers are internal biological clocks, they can be altered and affected by the environment.

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Afterall, dolphins substitute continuous sleep for microsleep — approximately 5-second bursts of sleep interspersed throughout the day — enabling them to remain on alert for hazardous debris in the water (Bear et al, 2007). 7 Unfortunately, this is not an option for humans, whose biological rhythms exist for sound evolutionary reasons.

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The Circadian Rhythm V2 Circadian rhythms are biological rhythms which last around 24 hours. They are controlled by (internal) endogenous pacemakers and entrained by (external) exogenous zeitgebers. The sleep-wake cycle follows an endogenous pacemaker - the suprachiasmatic nucleus - which sets a cycle that lasts around 24-25 hours, although this varies between individuals (chronotype).

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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.

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Sleep is defined as a state of the body when the body and mind are at rest. During this time the consciousness and bodily functions of the body are suspended partially. Sleep is an important essential and universal biological rhythm. In this essay, we examine the types of sleep, how sleep is measured and the changes in sleep patterns as one age.

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