Effects of Disrupting Biorhythms

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  • Created by: rhallett
  • Created on: 14-10-15 16:52
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  • Effects of Disrupting Biorhythms
    • Biorhythms are controlled by EPs within the brain i.e. SCN and Pineal Gland
    • Shift Work and Jetlag make a person's EPs to desynchornise with the EZs. This is because EPs take longer to adjust
    • Jetlag
      • Happens due to long distance travel across time zones. A person arrives in New York from London at 6pm - the body will 'feel' it is night and be preparing the body for sleep.
      • I.e. reduced body temp., but the EZs will be telling them to be active
      • Research
        • AR; Davidson; induced jetlag in mice by altering light levels, it had serious effects inc. premature death
          • Can't be extrapolated to humans; smaller, less complex brains, induced stress,  humans aren't stressed by plane travel
        • Recht; compared baseball teams flying across the US to play teams on the other coast. Those who flew East did worse because they experienced worse jet lag
          • Could be because when travelling West the day is 'extended' so people have to stay up later which may be easier to adjust to than sleeping earlier when happens when people fly East - espec. as circadian rhythms are naurally 24.5 hrs
    • Shift Work
      • Involves a person working at different times during a 24 hr period. They will be trying to work while their EPs are preparing them for sleep by reducing body temp, arousal and producing melatonin
      • Later, the person will have to try to sleep when their EPs want them to be awake, which can be difficult
      • Research
        • Knutsson; found that people who worked shifts for more than 15 years were 3x more likely to develop heart disease
        • Czeisler studied a Utah chemical plant where workers did a different shift each week, phase advanced (earlier), workers suffered health problems: stress, insomnia, health problems
          • Czeisler changed workerss shifts to every 3 weeks (had longer to adjust) at phase delayed (later). Changes has positive effects: job satisfaction, productivity, reduction in accidents and health concerns
    • This can have a number of effects such as reduced alertness and productivity, sleep difficulties and health problems


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