Circadian Rhythms and Student - Paper Example

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University of Richmond
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Circadian rhythms disorders refer to the disruptions in the circadian rhythm of a person. The circadian rhythm is known to be an internal body clock place, which involves 24-hrs regulation of biological process in the occurs in animals and plants (Videnovic et al., 2014). First, lets understand the nature of circadian rhythms, scientists have researched and found that the moment the circadian rhythms of a person conflicts with their work plan prompting them to experience extreme sleepiness during the day or insomnia, then shift-work disorder occurs. The main issue with circadian rhythm is that it is the disruption of sleep pattern that may occur either continuously or occasionally. This kind of disruption may be brought up by either internal body clock malfunctioning or mismatch between external environment and internal body clock concerning the duration and timing of the sleep. Due to the circadian mismatch, a person with such kind of disorder would possibly complain of insomnia at a particular time as well as extreme sleepiness at odd times of the day, hence impairing, social, work and school activities (Videnovic et al., 2014). Besides sleeping disorders, Circadian rhythms disorders affect other systems in the body such as mental alertness, hunger, heart functioning, immunity as well as the mood and stress of a person.

The following paper will seek to discuss the impact of shift work on circadian rhythms and how students can use this information to improve their sleep habits.

The Impact of Shift Work on Circadian Rhythms

Once one comprehends with the operation of the bodys circadian systems, it would be easy to see the effects of maintaining irregular schedule towards the internal timekeeper. Shift work can probably lead to the problem in alignment between the outside world and the internal body clock. When it occurs, the body's timekeeper directs a signal that would contradict your activities you are trying to accomplish. It would prompt the bod to the produce drowsy-making chemicals while working, or alarms you to remain awake and eat while attempting to sleep (Videnovic et al., 2014).

After the shift work plan rotates, or you have a changed pattern of sleeping, it will show that you have jet lag, meaning the circadian system lack the likelihood to ultimately catch up. Still when the shift work pattern refuses to rotate, there would be some difficulties when sleeping during the daylight hours. Typically, the internal body clock coerced by light together with other external signals, efficiently relays alerting signals to you during the day, however, if you fall asleep fast after the night shift. It would be much easier to sleep for complete 7-8 hours as required by the body because you get prompted by the body to remain awake. It is not easy to remain attentive and creative all through the night contrary reasons that the internal body clock will have a natural impact of causing attentiveness to dip, for the pull to sleep would be dominant (Jagannath, et al., 2013).

This disorder is typified by too much sleeping and/or having sleeping disruptions that last for nearly a month in reference to the normal work schedule (Jagannath, et al., 2013). Individual lenience to shift work is perceived to be the convoluted problem is influenced by various sequential working hours and shifts, work predictability and the rest periods. In most cases, sleepiness typically takes place at the night shift, and the utmost is at the end of the night. Reduced performance and vigilance take place within the times of amplified sleepiness and can adversely affect the safety and health of the workers.

Certainly, workers who suffer from shift work sleep-wake disorder can involuntarily become asleep while working or while on their way back from work. Working on an uncharacteristic shift is significant impacts in the social, economic aspects since it influences the increased risk of accidents, danger to the public safety and workers impairment, particularly at night (Jagannath, et al., 2013).

How Students Can Use This Information to Improve Their Sleep Habits

Students are among the victims who are disturbed with sleeping disorders; however, most of them do not know that they are suffering from a condition referred to as Circadian rhythms disorders, however, with this information from the study, they can formulate a way of improving their status. However, adding to what is known about improving Circadian rhythms disorders, there some recommending and effective means of improving the condition. The symptoms of this health condition can be improved within two weeks by the continuation of APZ. Administering APZ has the positive influence towards enhancing Circadian rhythms sleep disorders, together with improving and preventing manic-depressive incidents, through growing in the SCN network (Jagannath, et al., 2013).

The student may choose to use bright light therapy and sleep deprivation methods since they are considered to be much use as a non-pharmacological therapy for depression and depressive incidences in bipolar disorder. Research confirms that these therapies have the antidepressant effect through enhancing of the circadian rhythm disorders.


Jagannath, A., Peirson, S. N., & Foster, R. G. (2013). Sleep and circadian rhythm disruption in neuropsychiatric illness. Current opinion in neurobiology, 23(5), 888-894.

Videnovic, A., Lazar, A. S., Barker, R. A., & Overeem, S. (2014). 'The clocks that time us'[mdash] circadian rhythms in neurodegenerative disorders. Nature Reviews Neurology, 10(12), 683-693.

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