Circadian Rhythms Essay

1070 words - 5 pages

Every person, animal, living creature has body functions that are controlled by internal cycles. Many of their functions are controlled differently than others. Most that function on circadian rhythms tend to be less active during the night and more active during the day. For example, many “species are remarkably diverse and flexible in their daily activity patterns, including a spectrum of diurnal, day-active, to nocturnal, night-active” (Phillips 2013). Birds fly, eat, etc. during the day and sleep at night. Then again there is the owl which is the opposite. They sleep during the day and perform actively during the night.
Likewise, humans function on circadian rhythms like many animals. “Our bodies are verified to have a regulatory mechanism to adjust the circadian rhythm” (Guo 2013). They perform daily activities like work during the day and rest/sleep at night. But there are some people who perform oppositely. They tend to sleep/rest during the day and work at night. These people tend to have some sleeping disorders due to their circadian rhythms being shifted. Until they readjust circadian rhythms they will continue to have sleep problems and impaired performance while being awake.
During the winter quarter of 2014, biology 155 students examined for one week circadian body rhythms during “normal” activity and rest periods. The students had to go to sleep between 10 and 12 o’clock, wake up around 6 and 8 in the morning and had to do usual activities for it to be considered a “normal” day in a week’s period. During a 24 hour period students had to interrupt their “normal” sleep period in order to collect some data. Every 2 hours, 12 times in total, three function tests were conducted in the same order and had to be written down. This caused them to either wake up earlier than usual or may have also interrupted some normal day to day activities.
The first function test was measuring your pulse, which was done by either placing your index and middle finger together near your neck or by placing them on the inside of your wrist counting how many beats in 20 sec. and multiplying by 3. Next was an eye-hand coordination test. This was done by using the dominant hand and touching the index finger with the thumb and rotating fingers while counting from one to twenty-five; with twenty-five landing on the index finger. The test had to be repeated if any mistake occurred. Finally, the last of the function consisted of timing yourself while adding. You had to add a row of numbers, starting with the first and second numbers, second and third numbers, and so on until adding the last two numbers of the row. All these three functions had to be done in order from pulse rate, to motor coordination and finally the cognitive test in order for the experiment to work.
Observations of 22 students in Biology 155 class on the CalState Los Angeles campus showed that the pulse was fastest during the day and lowest during sleep period. This is because during the day...

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