What Is Consciousness?

Critical Thinking Questions

Healthcare professionals often work rotating shifts. Why is this problematic? What can be done to deal with potential problems?


Given that rotating shift work can lead to exhaustion and decreased mental efficiency, individuals working under these conditions are more likely to make mistakes on the job. The implications for this in the health care professions are obvious. Those in health care professions could be educated about the benefits of light-dark exposure to help alleviate such problems.

Generally, humans are considered diurnal which means we are awake during the day and asleep during the night. Many rodents, on the other hand, are nocturnal. Why do you think different animals have such different sleep-wake cycles?


Different species have different evolutionary histories, and they have adapted to their environments in different ways. There are a number of different possible explanations as to why a given species is diurnal or nocturnal. Perhaps humans would be most vulnerable to threats during the evening hours when light levels are low. Therefore, it might make sense to be in shelter during this time. Rodents, on the other hand, are faced with a number of predatory threats, so perhaps being active at night minimizes the risk from predators such as birds that use their visual senses to locate prey.