Wakefulness and Sleep.

People spend approximately one-third of their lifetime sleeping. What happens to our brains when we sleep? What are the benefits of sleep? What can go wrong? How can you improve your sleep? Examine these and other questions from a scientific biopsychological perspective. Part I: Describing Circadian Rhythms and Sleep a) Mechanisms of the Biological Clock: Briefly describe the genes, photopigment, brain structures, and hormones that influence circadian rhythms. Also, how does jet lag cause a disruption in the circadian rhythm, and how can jet lag be minimized? b) Brain Mechanisms of Wakefulness, Arousal and Sleep: Briefly describe what neurotransmitters, hormones, neural circuits and brain structures influence sleep. c) Brain Activity in REM Sleep: Briefly describe the behaviors, neurotransmitters, and brain structures involved in REM Sleep. d) Drugs and Supplements: What drugs/supplements help or interfere with healthy sleep? Provide 3 different example of drugs/supplements that affect sleep and answer the following questions for each of the 3 drugs/supplements. –Name of the drug/supplement –How is the nervous system or endocrine system affected by the drug/supplement? If it affects a neurotransmitter system, is the substance an agonist or antagonist? –What are the benefits and risks of using that drug/supplement? e) Other Animals: For each of the following animals (a total of 4 animals) describe the sleep pattern and contrast it to the human sleep pattern. Also speculate on the adaptive significance/evolutionary psychology of each animals’ sleep pattern. — dog or cat or horse — dolphin — fish — insect Part 2: Researching Sleep topics: Internet Resources and Critical Thinking Select a specific topic in Sleep, e.g. sleep disorders, sleeping aids, sleep deprivation, dreaming, etc. After you have selected a topic, research that topic using an internet search to find both of the following: a) A scholarly article (e.g. scientific, peer-reviewed journal). Provide a brief summary of the article and a detailed justification on why you think the article is a credible source of information. b) An article that is NOT a credible source of information (e.g. biased, misleading, inaccurate, etc.) AND write a brief summary on why you believe the website is not reliable. Address the issues listed in Criteria to Evaluate the Credibility of WWW Resources: https://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/web-eval-sites.htm Part 3: Your Sleep Patterns and Health a) Describe your natural circadian rhythm. –Are you a “lark” (early riser) or an “owl” or something else? Describe your pattern. –In what ways does your circadian rhythm match your daily habits and tasks, e.g. meal times, alertness at school/work, social/recreational activities? –Does natural or artificial light affect your circadian rhythm? Is there another zeitgeber than affects your circadian rhythm? b) Describe your current sleep patterns. Record this over one week (7 consecutive days). You might consider the following: typical bedtime, time when waking up without an alarm, time when waking up with an alarm, any difficulties in falling asleep or maintaining sleep, alertness or drowsiness during the day, seasonal changes. Also, describe how sleep deprivation affects your behaviors, thoughts and emotions. c) Describe the benefits of healthy sleep habits and the risks of sleep deprivation. What could you do to improve your sleep patterns? Also, what are possible obstacles to improving your sleep patterns?