April 27, 2015
Dr. Annie Powers
The nervous system is an extremely elaborate biological machine. Without question, the nervous system is a system so intricate and comprehensive that professionals in the field of medicine to this day do not have a “complete picture” of each of the working details of the human nervous system. Of these different mechanisms, perhaps the one most riddled with speculation, is the mechanism of sleep. In discussing regulatory process, sleep is perhaps one of the most essential to the healthy upkeep of the human nervous system. This process is such a necessary behavior that without it, the nervous system, and the overall health of the individual in question can become compromised (to the point of fatality) without it.
The Nervous System
The central nervous system is made up of two major components, the brain and the spinal cord. The spinal cord connects to the brain, and is the main messenger component to the rest of the body from the brain. There are several different parts of the brain including the hypothalamus, the thalamus, the corpus callosum, and the cerebellum ("The Central Nervous System", 2009). The hypothalamus is above the spinal cord, and regulates the consumption of food and water. It also “controls the release of sex hormones from the pituitary gland” (“The Central Nervous System”, 2009). The thalamus is responsible for passing on information from the senses to the brain. The corpus callosum connects the two hemispheres of the brain and helps with communication. The cerebellum stores procedural memory, and the cortex helps to make decisions and solve problems. The left hemisphere of the brain controls different aspects of the human body than the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, and regulates speech, language, comprehension, analysis, calculations, time, sequencing, and recognition of words, letters and numbers
References: Kalat, J.W (2013). Biological Psychology (11th ed.). Wakefulness and Sleep. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning/Wadsworth The central nervous system. (2009). Retrieved from https://aspsychology101.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/4-1-the-central-nervous-system.pdf Walecka-Kapica, E., Klupińska, G., Chojnacki, J., Tomaszewska-Warda, K., Błońska, A., & Chojnacki, C. (2014). The effect of melatonin supplementation on the quality of sleep and weight status in postmenopausal women. Menopausal Review / Przeglad Menopauzalny, 13(6), 334-338. doi:10.5114/pm.2014.47986