What Determines When You Sleep?

What Determines When You Sleep?

What determines when you sleep? This is a very interesting question, after all we all have different sleep habits. It is interesting to note however that most humans feel need to sleep at night and wake when the sun rises.


When it comes to humans and sleep there is a concept called the circadian clock. The circadian clock is a internal biological clock that controls when we sleep.This is what determines when you sleep. A full 24 hour cycle is called a circadian. Some physiological functions in the body that are controlled by the circadian include body temperature and some hormone secretions. All humans have a normal cycle of the length of a whole day.

There are certain small structures in the brain called suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) that coordinate rhythms. Research shows that the SCN is very sensitive to the presence or absence of light. This can likely explain why sleep is more enjoyable during the night than the day.

Most humans feel sleepy every 12 hours - at night and mid-afternoon. There are a lot of complex processes that determine sleepiness or wakefulness. This includes hormonal and neurological changes. But daylight naturally triggers wakefulness. Though over time, science has proved that the absence of light does not disable our biological clocks.

You would notice that the longer you stay awake, the more sleep you will later require. This kind of regulation is called homeostatic because it allows the body to reverse the effects of sleepiness by sleeping.

Humans feel most wakefulness during daylight hours. Scientist developed a term called postprandial dip, also known as afternoon dip. This is caused by a natural decrease in body temperature. This is to say that when our body temperature begins to drop, we are sleepier than when it begins to rise.
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