Monday, December 1, 2008

Your Sleep-Wake Cycle

Have you ever asked yourself "Is the '24-hour cycle' enough for me to sleep and wake up without feeling tired?" or "Can you sleep at a specific hour and wake up at a specific hour everyday without feeling tired?"

It turns out that most people have a regular "24.9-hour" cycle and not 24!

Scientists have done several experiments, in one of them they kept a man in cave without sun light for months. His sleep-wake cycle was a very regular 24.9-hour. he was waking up everyday nearly an hour later.

Another interesting case was a young woman who was kept for 25 days. She shifted to a 30-hour cycle and felt well and relaxed!

At first scientists thought that it's because in the past the earth used to spin slower but it turned out that the earth used to spin even faster!

Something to note here is that the sleep-wake cycle is something that we are born with and which is biologically determined.

Reference: Awareness Biorhythm, sleep and dreaming


doona said...


everyone's sleep cycle is actually a bit more than 24 hours, thats why we have a hormone called melatonin, which sychronizes this cycle with the 24 hours of the day!

oo this melatonin is released only in the dark to induce sleep, and thats how it regulates the sleep if you're in a place (like a cave) with no alternating light and dark surroundings, you lose this synchronization and you see the true length of the cycle! ;)

q8Honey said...

wow, interesting!

Nemo said...

thnx for clearing this out!

so its the melatonin!

interesting ... i never thought that we have a different cycle other than the 24-hour!

Anonymous said...

thats pretty interesting..thanks for mentioning this topic.. im actually gona go and read up about this!

*puts on nerd hat* =P

Anonymous said...

All I know is that I never get enough sleep unless it's a day off.

Nemo said...

q8Honey: ya interesting!

desertpalms: nerd hat lol

3baid: lol i agree :p

Anonymous said...

when it was summer vacation ,, i used to 22 hours cycle ,,, but now as a biology student i need more like 26 hours cycle ,,, this labs are eating my day !!!

Anonymous said...

I never sleep enough even on my dy off! I am usually out of bed after 7 hours!