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Sleep and Daily Rhythms

Author(s): Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MD, and Gregory L. Vogt, EdD.
Sleep and Daily Rhythms

The line between daylight and night as seen from space.
Courtesy of NASA.

  • Grades:
  • 6-8

Students explore the day/night cycle and seasonal cycles on Earth; create and use sundials; and investigate circadian rhythms, sleep patterns and factors affecting the quality of sleep. The guide provides the following activities and readings.

  1. Modeling Day and Night - What causes day and night on Earth?
  2. Reason for the Season - What is the relationship between the Sun and Earth and the four seasons?
  3. Using a Sundial - Is it possible to measure time using the relative positions of the Earth and the sun?
  4. Living Clocks - What are circadian clocks?
  5. Sleep Patterns - Do I have a sleeping and waking pattern?
  6. Investigating Sleep - What effect does changing time time I go to bed have on my sleep pattern?
  7. Sleeping in Space - What factors affect the quality of sleep?
  8. Sleep Cycle Rhymes - What do I now know about sleep and daily cycles?

Activities in The Science of Sleep and Daily Rhythms Teacher's Guide are designed for students in grades 6–8, but also may be used with other grade levels as deemed appropriate.

This guide is available in print format.

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Download: The Science of Sleep and Daily Rhythms Teacher's Guide Download: Classroom Slides

Funded by the following grant(s)

National Space Biomedical Research Institute

National Space Biomedical Research Institute

This work was supported by National Space Biomedical Research Institute through NASA cooperative agreement NCC 9-58.