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Author Topic: Is there a good way to demonstrate the sleep and wake cycle?  (Read 3814 times)

Kaizen Lim

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Kaizen Lim  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Good day.
 
I just want to ask how will i be able to explain the sleep and wake cycle to my classmates in a simple and interesting way that they would listen to my report.
 
I've been researching all this time but i guess I'm not satisfied.
 
I really need some help.
 
Thank you.

What do you think?


 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Is there a good way to demonstrate the sleep and wake cycle?
« Reply #1 on: 13/02/2009 10:07:54 »
Over the course of the first hour or so of sleep each night, the brain progresses through a series of stages during which the brain waves progressively slow down. This period of slow wave sleep is accompanied by relaxation of the muscles and the eyes. Heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature all fall. If awakened at this time, most people recall only fragmented thoughts, not an active dream. Over the next half hour or so, brain activity alters drastically from the deep slow wave sleep to generate neocortical EEG waves that are indistinguishable from those observed during waking. Paradoxically, the fast, waking-like EEG activity is accompanied by atonia, or paralysis of the body’s muscles (only the muscles that allow breathing remain active). This state is often called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During REM sleep, there is active dreaming. Heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature become much more variable. The first REM period usually lasts 10 to 15 minutes. During the night, these cycles of slow wave and REM sleep alternate, with the slow wave sleep becoming less deep and the REM periods more prolonged until waking occurs.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Is there a good way to demonstrate the sleep and wake cycle?
« Reply #2 on: 13/02/2009 10:09:54 »
Hows that? :)
I probably bored you to tears eh? Not to mention your classmates :)
 

Offline neilep

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Is there a good way to demonstrate the sleep and wake cycle?
« Reply #3 on: 13/02/2009 11:31:42 »
Great answer from the top bod above.

ewe can also supplement your explanation with a recording of some snoring and perhaps some murmuring. I have done this many times to record my wife to everyones delight. Not hers for some reason !


Perhaps you could also mention about some unusual sleep occurrences  ie lucid dreaming, sleep walking and Insomnia etc
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Is there a good way to demonstrate the sleep and wake cycle?
« Reply #4 on: 14/02/2009 00:42:30 »
You can talk about narcolepsy :). It is a relatively uncommon condition—only one case per 2,500 people—in which the switching mechanism for REM sleep does not work properly. Narcoleptics have sleep attacks during the day, in which they suddenly fall asleep. This is socially disruptive, as well as dangerous, for example, if they are driving!!!  They tend to enter REM sleep very quickly as well and may even enter a dreaming state while still partially awake, a condition known as hypnagogic hallucination. They also have attacks during which they lose muscle tone, similar to what occurs during REM sleep, but while they are awake. These attacks of paralysis, known as cataplexy, can be triggered by emotional experiences, even by hearing a funny joke!
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Is there a good way to demonstrate the sleep and wake cycle?
« Reply #5 on: 14/02/2009 00:48:16 »
Wakefulness is maintained by activity in two systems of neurons. Neurons that make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine are located in two main arousal centers, one in the brainstem and one in the forebrain (red pathways). The brainstem arousal center supplies the acetylcholine for the thalamus and brainstem, and the forebrain arousal center supplies that for the cerebral cortex. Activation of these centers alone can create rapid eye movement sleep. Activation of other neurons that make monoamine neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and histamine (blue pathways) is needed for waking.



 

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Is there a good way to demonstrate the sleep and wake cycle?
« Reply #5 on: 14/02/2009 00:48:16 »

 

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