Mar 222013

Daily Update 4.8

Week 8: Module 4: Date 3/22/13

What is your largest organ? It’s extremely flexible and comes in many different colors. That’s right, it’s your skin. The average adult has over eight pounds (3.6 kilos) of skin and it covers 2 square meters (22 square ft). Our skin has three layers. The epidermis, the dermis and the subcutis. The epidermis is the outermost layer. The epidermis is made up of cells called keratinocytes. These cells are made up of keratin, which is also what our hair and nails are made of. The keratinocytes are produced in the deepest level of the epidermis. These cells are constantly being pushed toward the skins surface by new cells until they reach the exterior where they die and flake off. This process takes about five Continue reading »

Mar 212013

Daily Update 4.7 Week 8: Module 4: Date 3/21/13 Now that we have learned a bit about sleep let’s look at how the crew is dividing their time. The following excerpt is from Adam.  In it he is describing the sleep schedule used on the training row around Vancouver Island: The sleep protocol we used was modeled after the highly successful ‘everyman’ polyphasic sleeping schedule which was developed through empirical means from online forums.  One larger 4-hour sleep period is mandated every 24 hours with 3 evenly space 1-hour mandatory sleep segments throughout the day. Slide 46 (attached) gives a good visual.  ‘Rest’ is optional sleep. ‘Sleep’ is mandatory sleep. ‘Row’ is obviously when we were on deck & rowing. SleepSlides.046 Continue reading »

Mar 202013

Daily Update 4.6

Week 8: Module 4: Date 3/20/13

Yesterday we learned about the stages of sleep. Today we are going to look at what drives our sleep schedule. Why do we feel sleepy at night? Our schedules, as is the case with many other organisms, are driven by circadian rhythms. These are defined as any biological process that revolves on a 24 hour schedule. This rhythm is important in regulating not only when we feel tired but also when we are hungry, the effect of these rhythms can also be seen in hormone production, cell regeneration and brain wave activity. This image gives an example of a daily circadian rhythm. Biological_clock_human Continue reading »

Mar 192013

Daily Update 4.5

Week 8: Module 4: Date 3/19/13

What is more important than food to the body?  Well, at least AS important? SLEEP!!! As you probably already know the crew is rowing 24 hours a day, in shifts of one, two and four hours. This leaves a schedule of sleep that leaves just one four hour block a day for uninterrupted sleep. This is very different than what most of us are accustomed to. Most of us sleep at night for around 8 hours and if we are lucky wake up feeling rested. Sleep is a highly studied subject although still not fully understood.

sleeping Continue reading »