DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this assignment is to track and study your own daily

Published by John M. Re

Nov 29, 2021


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The purpose of this assignment is to track and study your own daily rhythms in behaviour and physiology for (at least) 7 consecutive days. You may collect data for longer if you so desire. The data collection period must include both ‘work’ (week) days and ‘free’ (weekend) days for comparison. The more days for which you collect data the more easily you will be able to make comparisons.
Your journal should have 5 parts:
1. A brief introduction to the importance of circadian rhythms for human health and an overview of the variables you have studied (see below for suggested variables). (about a page – 5 points)
2. The results of the AutoMEQ chronotype questionnaire AutoMEQ ( (5 points)
3. Daily entries documenting various physiological, behavioural, and psychological variables. Recordings should be made at least twice a day (e.g. once in the morning and once at night). Data should be displayed in tables and figures whenever possible (see below for examples of tables of figures). (page number will vary depending on presentation of results – 15 points)
a. Your journal should also include the following: Try to stay up over night one time (or think about a recent time you did so). When do you get tired? Do you remain equally tired throughout and all the next day? Do you feel cold or warm at any time? Do you find it affects your alertness? When is your alertness greatest/lowest? Did you notice other effects?
4. General discussion of the results, describing any patterns you may have noticed. (3-5 pages – 20 points). Your discussion should include the following:
a. Do your results make sense? Do they match with your chronotype? What do (you think) they mean? b. Why do you do these things at different times? Did you select the schedule or was it imposed? If you selected the schedule, was there a reason? If imposed, at what time would you prefer to schedule these activities?
c. Compare your results for ‘work’ (week) days and ‘free’ (weekend) days.
d. Do you feel that you have to wake up earlier than you would like? Do you feel you have to catch up on sleep on the weekend? What would be your preferred sleep/wake schedule.
e. How might your results contribute to your health? How might you alter your activity to improve your circadian health?
5. A reference section. As part of your discussion you should include at least four appropriate references (primary research articles or reviews). You can use whatever reference format you like but be consistent. (5 points)
Variables: You must include at least 6 variables – 3 qualitative and 3 quantitative. You can include more variables if you would like. Data should be recorded at least twice daily, ideally at the same time every day to facilitate comparison.
All data you include in this assignment will be kept strictly confidential. If, for any reason, you feel uncomfortable about including a particular variable, you need not include it.
Below is a list of variables you should try to include in your journal:
➢ Qualitative – Keep track of when you:
• eat,
• wake/sleep,
• are physically active,
• are mentally active (e.g. homework, studying, writing, reading, etc.), and
• use the washroom Bathroom (If you feel uncomfortable about this then do not include it.).
• Also record your mood/affect/stress at different times (i.e. How do you feel?).
➢ Quantitative – Measure the following at different times of day:
• heart rate/pulse,
• temperature (If you have a digital oral thermometer you can quickly and easily record your temperature.),
• reaction time/alertness (You should use the Strroop Test at the following link:
PsyToolkit run experiment
This test is considered to measure selective attention, cognitive flexibility and processing speed, and it is used as a tool in the evaluation of executive functions.),
• short term memory (You should use the following link:
Some additional variables you may choose to include:
• Blood pressure can be measured at a local pharmacy or with a blood pressure cuff at home. You can record your blood pressure twice daily multiple days or a single day.
• Physical conditioning – If you go to the gym, you could measure your 1 rep max, enducrance, flexibility or other variables you can think of at different times of day.
You can include other variables not listed above. If you have a Fitbit® or similar device you can use data collected by the device in your journal
Examples of Tables and Figures:
You can prepare your figures and tables by hand or by computer. Use the examples below to guide you.
Figures – Your figures should include labels (with appropriate units) for the x- and y-axes and a brief figure caption describing the figure. See the example below.
Please check the word Doc for detailed instructions.


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