• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the consequences of disrupting biological rhythms

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the consequences of disrupting biological rhythms. Shift work and shift lag are the results of disturbing biological rhythms. Night workers are required to be alert at night and sleep during the day, which is the reverse of our natural rhythms and out of line with most of the cues for zeitgebers. Other consequences include jet lag which results in phase advance and phase delay. During shift work, research studies have found that there is a decreased alertness and night workers often experience a circadian 'trough' of decreased alertness during their shifts (Boivin et al., 1996).This occurs between midnight, when cortisol levels are lowest and around 4.00am when core body temperature is lowest. However there are other reasons why people experience the circadian 'trough', such are as social disruption as well to their biological ...read more.


outside and daylight induces sleep quality as our exogenous zietgebers will try to entrain our circadian rhythm to sleep when its dark. However there is a to 'cure' to the effects of shift work. Melatonin is a natural hormone that induces sleep Herxheimer and Petrie (2001) reviewed 10 studies and found that where melatonin has been taken near to sleep , it has been remarkably effective, however if it was taken at the wrong time of day it may actually delay sleep adaption's. This study is has real world validity as it could be a 'cure' for people that find it hard to get to sleep of a night but also people that have shift lag or jet lag. ...read more.


However jet lag can be affected by many other individual factors which need to be taken into account such as worrying before travel so not sleeping well, travel itself is tiring, and many people's holidays involve long out travelling, drinking alcohol and coffee (which both have negative effects on sleeping). Also when travelling there is constant noise, low oxygen cabin air and other annoying passengers. It is important in psychological research to take into account individual differences as every person is different failure to do so will lead the research to have validity problems. To conclude, the consequences of disturbing biological rhythms are an important factor to take into everyday life, especially for shift workers and people that travel a lot. People will always deal with the effects of disturbing biological rhythms differently. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Physiological Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay


This is a very basic essay about disruption to the bodily rhythms. In order to warrant a higher score, much more detail needs to be added.

The writer could, for example, explain in more detail the connection between sleep, light and dark and melatonin etc. They could also go into more detail about sleep deprivation and the stages of sleep.

The writer needs to start with a good introduction to the subject explaining what biological rhythms are. The writer could also explain why regular sleep during the night is so important. The main content could include details of the difficulties of shift work, jet lag and sleep disruption/deprivation. Finally a conclusion should weigh up the evidence presented.

If the writer takes on board the comments made then this should significantly improve the overall essay score.

Score 2*

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 08/10/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Physiological Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss research into Biological Rhythms.

    3 star(s)

    In addition there were some underlining ethical issues as Siffre said he?d experienced mild depression and some suicidal thoughts during the study. Czeisler challenged these studies due to the use of artificial light and claimed bright lights could reset the body clock.

  2. The Circadian Rhythm

    Despite the above criticism, there is support by other studies for Siffre's case study. For example, Aschoff and Wever (1976) placed participants in an underground World War II bunker in the absence of social and environmental cues. They found that most people displayed circadian rhythms between 24 and 25 hours, though some rhythms were as long as 29 hours.

  1. Stress can be explained as the stimulus in the environment that triggers a stress ...

    They also found high blood pressure in Africans which lived in urbanised countries (America) than those in rural areas (Nigeria). This suggests a Social Influence. Social Studies - higher stress & blood pressure might be found in people in urban areas because of factors like overcrowding, pollution & high unemployment.

  2. Is it more stressful to lose your leg in a car accident or travel ...

    It may only be short term (depending on the circumstances, until the person leaves the school, buys a car or finds alternative transport) but it is still capable of reducing immune response. Kiecolt-Glaser et al (1984) carried out a natural experiment that suggests that short-term, predictable stressors reduce immune system functioning, increasing vulnerability to illness.

  1. I will talk about the history and what the psychological and physical aspects of ...

    Jacobson noted a lot of his patients did not realise that they were tense as they had become so used to it, i.e. if patients tensed and then relaxed a muscle consciously the muscle would then stay in the relaxed state.

  2. Discuss the effects of the disruption of biological rhythms

    Kuttsson et al (1986) found individuals who worked shifts for more than 15 years were 3x more likely to develop heart disease than non-shift workers. Research by Gold et al (1992) indicated that more problems occur when people have to do shifts that rotate every few days.

  1. Describe and evaluate the biological explanation of Gender

    mutant gene changed the children?s sex from female to male during the hormonal stage in puberty, and despite being raised as girls their gender also changed from feminine to masculine, and they also mentally overcame the social experience of being raised as girls, suggesting a change in genetic structure.

  2. Describe and evaluate research on ultradian and infradian rhythms

    the interaction of the donors with the recipients, using un-scented products ect?) allowing us to draw causal relationships between pheromones and the menstrual cycle. PMS (Post Menstrual Syndrome) is a disorder that affects many women due to the hormone imbalance.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work