We all know that the normal human daily cycle of activity is of some 7-8 hours' sleep alternating with some 16-17 hours' wakefulness and that, broadly speaking, the sleep normally coincides with the hours of darkness. Our present concern is with how easily and to what extent this cycle can be modified.
The question is no mere academic one. The ease, for example, with which people can change from working in the day to working at night is a question of growing importance in industry where automation calls for round-the-clock working of machines. It normally takes from five days to one week for a person to adapt to a reversed routine of sleep and wakefulness, sleeping during the day and working at night. Unfortunately, it is often the case in industry that shifts are changed every week; a person may work from 12 midnight to 8 a. m. one week, 8 a. m. to 4 p. m. the next, and 4 p.m. to 12 midnight the third and so on. This means that no sooner has he got used to one routine than he has to change to another, so that much of his time is spent neither working nor sleeping very efficiently.
The only real solution appears to be to hand over the night shift to a number of permanent night workers. An interesting study of the domestic life and health of night-shift workers was carried out by Brown in 1957. She found a high incidence (发生率) of disturbed sleep and other disorders among those on alternating day and night shifts, but no abnormal occurrence of these phenomena among those on permanent night work.
This latter system then appears to be the best long-term policy, but meanwhile something may be done to relieve the strains of alternate day and night work by selecting those people who can adapt most quickly to the changes of routine. One way of knowing when a person has adapted is by measuring his body temperature. People engaged in normal daytime work will have a high temperature during the hours of wakefulness and a low one at night; when they change to night work the pattern will only gradually go back to match the new routine and the speed particularly in terms of performance. Therefore, by taking body temperature at intervals of two hours throughout the period of wakefulness it can be seen how quickly a person can adapt to a reversed routine, and this could be used as a basis for selection. So far, however, such a form of selection does not seem to have been applied in practice.
26. Why is the question of "how easily people can get used to working at night" no mere academic one?
A. Because few people like to reverse the cycle of sleep and wakefulness.
B. Because sleep normally coincides with the hours of darkness.
C. Because people are required to work at night in some fields of industry.
D. Because shift work in industry requires people to change their sleeping habits.
27. The main problem of the round-the-clock working system lies in_______.
A. the inconveniences brought about to the workers by the introduction of automation
B. the disturbance of the daily cycle of workers who have to change shifts too frequently
C. the fact that people working at night are often less effective
D. the fact that it is difficult to find a number of good night workers
28. The best solution for implementing the 24-hour working system seems to be_______.
A. to change shifts at longer intervals
B. to have longer shifts
C. to employ people who work on night shifts only
D. to create better living conditions for night workers
29. It is possible to find out if a person has adapted to the changes of routine by measuring his body temperature because______.
A. body temperature changes when the cycle of sleep and wakefulness alternates
B. body temperature changes when he changes to night shift or back
C. the temperature reverses when the routine is changed
D. people have higher temperatures when they are working efficiently
30. Which of the following statements is NOT TRUE?
A. Body temperature may serve as an indication of a worker's performance.
B. The selection of a number of permanent night shift workers has proved to be the best solution to problems of the round-the-clock working system.,
C. Taking body temperature at regular intervals can show how a person adapts to the changes of routine.
D. Disturbed sleep occurs less frequently among those on permanent night or day shifts.
26. D 27. B 28. C 29. D 30. B