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The Consequences of Disrupting Biological Rhythms. Essay Plan

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Consequences of Disrupting Biological Rhythms Essay Plan 1. Describe in detail shift work and shift lag. Boivin found that night workers often experience a Circadian "trough" of decreased alertness during their shifts, this is between midnight, when Cortisol levels are lowest and 4am when core body temperature is at its lowest. Tilley and Wilson- daytime sleep is typically between one and two hours shorter than a nocturnal sleep period, and REM is particularly affected. Knutsson found individuals who worked shifts for more than 15 years were three times more likely to develop heart disease than non-shift workers. This could be because of direct effects of desynchronisation or indirect effects such as sleep disruption. 2. ...read more.


3. Critical Point 1: The effects described about disrupting biological rhythms have strong evidence. For instance Gold found that more problems happen where shifts alternate every few days. However, by finding out these results you can use it to improve shift work by making sure people do the same shift for a week before changing to a different time. Therefore, this research gives positive implications. 4. Critical Point 2: Most of the studies carried out are lab experiments so there is the issue of demand characteristics and whether the same results would apply in real life situations. Boivin and James used intermittent bright light in a field study of nurses, which confirmed the effectiveness of bright lighting to promote circadian rhythms. ...read more.


Fuller found that a period of fasting followed by eating on the new time schedule should help entrain biological rhythms. This is likely to be because some of our body clocks are reset by food intake. As a result of this, the results found from this research can be applied to real life making this research reliable and useful. 7. Critical Point 5: Finally, the other positive application for finding out about how shift work can disrupt biological rhythms is the introduction of forward-rotating shifts. Bambra claimed that they should follow the logical order of the day (phase delay). Therefore, they will be easier on the body and less damaging to worker health. As well as, rotating workers through shift changes more quickly, for instance every few days instead of weekly, is better for health and work-life balance. ...read more.

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