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Why Do We Sleep and Dream.docx

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Carleton University
PSYC 2800

Why Do We Sleep and DreamOrigins of Biological RhythmsoBiorhythm Inherent timing mechanism that controls or initiates various biological processesInside of us there are neurons that keep track of how time is goingThis is linked to the cycle of days and seasons produced by the Earths rotation around the sunAnimals living near the poles of the Earth are more affected by seasonal than animals living in equatorial regionsHuman behaviour is governed more by daily cycles than by seasonal cycles animalsBiological ClockoBehaviour is not simply driven by external cues from the environment oRhythms are endogenous control comes from withinBiological Clock Endogenous ClockNeural system that times behaviourAllows animals to anticipate events before they happenExample Birds migrate before it gets coldBiological RhythmsoPeriodTime required to complete a cycle of activityoCircannual RhythmYearly eg migratory cycles of birdsAround a YearoInfradian RhythmLess than a year eg human menstruation cycleoCircadian RhythmDaily eg human sleep cycleAround a DayoUltradian RhythmLess than a day eg eating cycleWe measure this by measuring activity level when they are awake nocturnal measure the activity of rat on the running wheel FreeRunning RhythmsoRhythm of the bodys own devising in the absence of all external cues If a human is removed from the external cue we still show a rhythm Without input from external cues our bodies have their own rhythms with periods of 25 to 27 hoursSleepWake cycle shifts an hour or so everydayThis is important and is adaptiveAnimals expand and contract their sleep periods as the sleeprelated lighting period expands or contracts
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