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PSY251 Psychology Biological Bases Of Behaviour

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  • Course Code: PSY251
  • University: Murdoch University
  • Country: Australia


Do Different Circadian Typology Measures Modulate Their Relationship With Personality?




Sleep is a natural process that results in a reduction in the responsiveness to both internal and external stimuli (Tamaki, Bang, Watanabe, & Sasaki, 2016). During the process of sleep, an individual loses consciousness and experiences a period of inactivity. Memory is a component of the central nervous system responsible for encoding, storage, and retrieval of information (Santoro, Bartunov, Botvinick, Wierstra, & Lillicrap, 2016). Quality sleep over a long time improves the memory of an individual. Recent research has shown that sleep elevates the gelling of memory to accommodate information encoded recently (Ladenbauer et al., 2016). Additionally, sleep guard fresh memory from the necessary disrupting experiences during wakefulness. Sleep also combines memories concerning the expectations of the learner and importance of each memory. An additional study is necessary to broaden the understanding of the relationship between sleep and consciousness. From the research examined, it was hypothesized that sleep has a weak positive relationship with memory span. Additionally, there is no significant relationship between memory span and sleep the night before a test.



The participants were both male and females from onshore cohort at Murdoch Campus. The collection of data proceeded for seven days. The total number of individuals who turned up for the test was 156. Out of the total amount, 47 of them were male while the remaining 109 individuals were females. The numbers reflected a hundred percent turnout for both genders. The minimum age of the women was 18 years while the maximum age was 56 years old. Therefore, the range age for the women was 38 years. On the other hand, the minimum age for the males was 18 years while the maximum was 37 years old. Therefore the range age for the men was 19 years. The mean age of the participants was 25. 65 while the standard deviation was 8.410.


The Data Collection sheet, digital span, and the demographic forms are the three basic requirements for the experiment. The investigators required the Data Collection Sheets to record the sleep quantity of the participants for the last seven days. The participants were to record the number of hours they slept from the first day up to the seventh day. The researchers required the participants to indicate their age, gender, and the average memory span before filling the sleep time for the seven days.

The investigators issued the digit span forms to gauge the memory span of the 156 participants. The researchers required the participants to fill the forms containing the four trials and submit for analysis. The investigators used the demographic forms to record vital statistics about the participants. Examples of essential information inserted in the demographic forms included the number of participants and their respective genders. The investigators also worked out other vital statistics like the mean age, range, and standard deviation. The researchers also indicated the individual confidence levels for both male and female participants.



The investigators explained the nature of the study to the participants before beginning the process. The participants filled the demographic forms. The researchers then issued the digit span forms to the participants before beginning the memory test. The participants took the first test in the morning after the seven days of sleep. They then took the second test in the morning after a night of sleep. The researchers were to read a series of numbers and expected the participants to write the ones they could remember. Each series would increase by one digit. The researchers were to spend a second in reading each digit. The researchers then thanked and debriefed the participants. The second reading involved the researchers reading the numbers and expected the participants to write the ones they could remember in reverse order.1


Data analysis indicates that there is a weak relationship between the normal sleep after seven days and average memory span. The Pearson correlation between the two variables stands at 0.16. The link is weak since a strong linear correlation is 1. The analysis also shows that there is no relationship between memory and sleep, a night before the experiment. The p-value between memory span and the rest a night before the test is 0.143. The findings also indicate a correlation of seven days of rest and the sleep a night before the memory experiment. The p-value for the two variables stands at 0.6. Table 1 indicates the correlations between the three variables.

Average Sleep Over Seven Days

Sleep Night Before

Average Memory Span

Average Sleep

Over Seven


Pearson Correlation




Sig. (2-tailed)









Sleep Night


Pearson Correlation




Sig. (2-tailed)










Memory Span

Pearson Correlation




Sig. (2-tailed)








Table 1: Correlations

The Pearson correlation establishes the linear relationship between two variables (Zhou, Deng, Xia, & Fu, 2016). The values of the correlation range from -1 to 1. The relationship between similar variables is 1, indicating the strong linear correlation. The spaces below the maximum value (1) are blank since the 2-tailed of 1 remains 1 (Weiss et al., 2016). Values that are closer to 1 are more significant than those far from one. From the table above, the relationship between memory span and sleep after seven days is 0.158. However, the correlation between memory span and sleep the night before the test is 0.143. Therefore, the two results show a significant relationship between memory and numerous days of sleep than a night of sleep.



The results obtained from the onshore cohort at Murdoch Campus were significant for a night of sleep over the last seven days. However, the findings show no correlation between memory and sleep from the previous twenty-four hours. Numerous uncontrolled variables contribute to the lack of relationship between memory span and sleep within twenty-four hours. The first variable is the time that the students report for their classes. Attending classes at dawn and dusk interfere with the sleep of the students (Minges, & Redeker, 2016). Waking up at 4 AM shortens the number of sleeping hours. Therefore, the sleep within twenty-four hours can fail to improve the memory span. Other students also attend classes as late as 10 pm in the night. The late classes also shorten the sleeping time. Therefore, there is a lack of relationship between the sleep in the last twenty-four hours and memory span.

Apart from the time of class, circadian sleep rhythm also plays a role in the little relationship between the memory span and sleep within twenty-four hours. Different individuals have various cycles that dictate their sleep and waking up time (Randler, Gomà-i-Freixanet, Muro, Knauber, & Adan, 2014). The circadian cycle also dictates the number of hours that an individual can sleep. Therefore, different individuals show a distinct correlation between the memory span and a day's sleep.

The sleep/wake cycle is a brain clock that determines the periods between alertness and sleepiness (Roenneberg, & Merrow, 2016). A majority of people tend to be deeply asleep between two and four AM. Some individuals fall asleep after taking lunch. However, the activities of an individual can alter the cycle. Individuals who like to go to bed at midnight and wake up at four in the morning will be sleepy and alert on the two separate occasions. Therefore, the different circadian rhythms do not have an impact on the memory of an individual.

Compensatory behaviors like the intake of caffeine interfere with the sleep of an individual. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases the level of alertness in a person (Watson, Coates, Kohler, & Banks, 2016). The tonic makes individuals awake for long periods by blocking the chemicals that induce sleep. The blockage of the sleep-inducing chemicals increases the production of adrenaline; thus increasing the periods of wakefulness (Robillard, Bouchard, Cartier, Nicolau, & Carrier, 2015). A person who is addicted to caffeine stays awake for a long time and only sleeps for a short period within the twenty-four hours. Adequate sleep for a long time improves the memory span (Dissel et al., 2017). However, the short sleeping time has no relationship with the memory span.

Health, emotions, and daily stressors also affect the quality and duration of sleep. Various ailments are a source of pain that prevents the victims from obtaining quantity sleep (Scott, 2015). However, a healthy individual can have an uninterrupted sleep at night. Bad emotions can also keep an individual awake for long periods (Palagini, Moretto, Dell'Osso, & Carney, 2017). Daily stressors also interfere with the brain component that controls the circadian rhythm (Kollmann, Stöckmann, & Kensbock, 2018). Therefore, a stressed individual can have difficulties in sleeping or staying asleep. The three independent variables have an impact on the quantity of sleep over the night. Therefore, sleep over the last twenty-four hours does not correlate with memory span.

Limitations of the Study

The investigators only used a cohort from Murdoch Campus to conduct a study on the correlation between sleep and memory. The researchers should have considered numerous areas in their research like marketplaces, churches, and others instead of concentrating on one campus. The male participants were 47 while their female counterparts were 109.  The large gap in the number of participants invites the question of gender inequality. The researchers should observe gender parity when conducting such surveys. The total number of participants is 159, which is a small number. A larger sample provides more credible results than a smaller one.


Areas of Future Research

Researchers should conduct a separate study on males and females to determine the relationship between sleep and memory for men and then women. The above research combined males and females before conducting the investigations. The investigators should also research on the impact of circadian rhythm on the sleep of individuals after seven days. Additional study is also necessary for the uncontrollable variables like taking stimulants, late and early classes, among others. The researchers should also carry a similar experiment on individuals who undertake night shifts at their various companies and sleep at daytime.

Implications of the Study

The findings from the experiment imply that sleep after seven days has a relationship with the memory span of an individual. However, a 24-hour rest does not correlate with the memory span. Classes that take place late in the night and those that occur at dusk and dawn cut short the sleeping time. Circadian rhythm dictates the alertness of individuals and the sleep cycle differs from one individual to the other (Potter et al., 2016). Daily stressors and bad health prevent an individual from obtaining quantity sleep. Stimulants like caffeine prolong the period of wakefulness; thus increasing the alertness (Clark, & Landolt, 2017).


From the results from the above experiment, there is a relationship between memory span and a seven-day sleep. However, there is no correlation between memory and a 24-hour sleep. Sleep reduces an individual’s response to stimuli. Memory functions to prepare, preserve, and retrieve the stored information. Quality sleep over long hours improves the memory span of an individual. Therefore a 7-day sleep has a significant association with memory span. In order to minimize the limitations of the research under this study further research will need to ascertain the impact of circadian cycle on the 7-day sleep and researchers should conduct separate investigations for males and females.



Clark, I., &Landolt, H. P. (2017). Coffee, caffeine, and sleep: A systematic review of epidemiological studies and randomized controlled trials. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 31, 70-78. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2016.01.006

Dissel, S., Klose, M., Donlea, J., Cao, L., English, D., Winsky-Sommerer, R., . . . Shaw, P. J. (2017). Enhanced sleep reverses memory deficits and underlying pathology in drosophila models of Alzheimers disease. Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, 2, 15-26. doi:10.1016/j.nbscr.2016.09.001

Kollmann, T., Stöckmann, C., &Kensbock, J. M. (2018). I cant get no sleep—The differential impact of entrepreneurial stressors on work-home interference and insomnia among experienced versus novice entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Venturing, 30(7), 567-787. doi:10.1016/j.jbusvent.2018.08.001

Ladenbauer, J., Külzow, N., Passmann, S., Antonenko, D., Grittner, U., Tamm, S., &Flöel, A. (2016). Brain stimulation during an afternoon nap boosts slow oscillatory activity and memory consolidation in older adults. NeuroImage, 142, 311-323. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.06.057

Minges, K. E., & Redeker, N. S. (2016). Delayed school start times and adolescent sleep: A systematic review of the experimental evidence. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 28, 86-95. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2015.06.002

Palagini, L., Moretto, U., Dellosso, L., & Carney, C. (2017). Sleep-related cognitive processes, arousal, and emotion dysregulation in insomnia disorder: The role of insomnia-specific rumination. Sleep Medicine, 30, 97-104. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2016.11.004

Potter, G. D., Skene, D. J., Arendt, J., Cade, J. E., Grant, P. J., &Hardie, L. J. (2016). Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Disruption: Causes, Metabolic Consequences, and Countermeasures. Endocrine Reviews, 37(6), 584-608. doi:10.1210/er.2016-1083

Randler, C., Gomà-I-Freixanet, M., Muro, A., Knauber, C., & Adan, A. (2014). Do different circadian typology measures modulate their relationship with personality? A test using the Alternative Five Factor Model. Chronobiology International, 32(2), 281-288. doi:10.3109/07420528.2014.968282

Robillard, R., Bouchard, M., Cartier, A., Nicolau, L., & Carrier, J. (2015). Sleep is more sensitive to high doses of caffeine in the middle years of life. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 29(6), 688-697. doi:10.1177/0269881115575535

Roenneberg, T., & Merrow, M. (2016). The Circadian Clock and Human Health. Current Biology, 26(10), 432-443. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.04.011

Santoro, A., Bartunov, S., Botvinick, M., Wierstra, D., &Lillicrap, T. (2016). Meta-Learning with Memory-Augmented Neural Networks. International Conference on Machine Learning, 48, 1842-1850.

Scott, B. (2015). Disruption of Circadian Rhythms and Sleep in Critical Illness and its Impact on the Development of Delirium. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 21(24), 3443-3452. doi:10.2174/1381612821666150706110656

Tamaki, M., Bang, J., Watanabe, T., & Sasaki, Y. (2016). Night Watch in One Brain Hemisphere during Sleep Associated with the First-Night Effect in Humans. Current Biology, 26(9), 1190-1194. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.02.063

Watson, E., Coates, A., Kohler, M., & Banks, S. (2016). Caffeine Consumption and Sleep Quality in Australian Adults. Nutrients, 8(8), 479. doi:10.3390/nu8080479

Weiss, S., Treuren, W. V., Lozupone, C., Faust, K., Friedman, J., Deng, Y., . . . Knight, R. (2016). Correlation detection strategies in microbial data sets vary widely in sensitivity and precision. The ISME Journal, 10(7), 1669-1681. doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.235

Zhou, H., Deng, Z., Xia, Y., & Fu, M. (2016). A new sampling method in particle filter based on Pearson correlation coefficient. Neurocomputing, 216, 208-215. doi:10.1016/j.neucom.2016.07.036

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