Circadian rhythm

The internal pace make and biological control system: biological processes that repeatedly occurs on roughly a 24-hour cycle (sleep, body temperature etc.).

Circadian rhythm may vary from person to person in terms of its pattern; some like going to sleep early and some late; even during the day some need a midday nap and some do not.

REM: rapid eye movement sleep

Sleep characterized by rapid movement of the eyes. A little more than 20% of an adult’s sleep time is dominated by REM.

Occurs during stage 1 sleep. Sleep is very deep and the major muscles seem as if paralyzed. Difficult to wake up the person during REM sleep. Usually people dream during REM. It is thought that eyes move back and forth during REM because they are following the action taking place in dreams.

REM sleep plays and important part in a person’s life; physical and psychological; as the body needs a certain amount of REM sleep. Experiments have shown that people whose REM sleep was interrupted and disturbed by being awakened, exhibit a rebound effect: they try to avail every change to get REM sleep whenever they get a chance.

How much sleep is required?

The number of hours people need to get to sleep may range from 3-9 hours and even less or more, but on average people sleep for 7-8 hours at night.

Sleep has a cumulative effect. Sleep deprivation in humans as well as animals has adverse effects although temporary. Sleep deprivation affects all faculties, mental and physical: causes fatigue and irritability, concentration and logical thinking are adversely affected.

Reaction time is slowed. Sleep deprivation may have serious consequences in case of academic performance, automobile driving and certain professions requiring sharp alertness of mind and body.

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