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How Does Sleep Affect Your Body?

How Does Sleep Affect Your Body?

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Science Fair Project Description

How important is sleep? Sleep is proven to benefit both physical and mental functions. Our bodies are influenced by an internal clock, or circadian rhythm, that regulates both activity and sleep. Does sleep therefore affect our vital signs? This is the purpose of this science fair project - in which you will have your temperature, respiration rate, heart rate, and blood pressure monitored while you sleep.
Complexity level:8
Time required:Additional time is required to practice techniques for measuring vital signs.
Safety concerns:


Vital signs include your heart beat, breathing rate, temperature, and blood pressure. Your health care provider may watch, measure, or monitor your vital signs to check your physical well-being.

Normal vital signs vary with age, sex, weight, exercise tolerance, and overall health; however, the range for normal vital for the average healthy adult, resting is:

  • Blood pressure: 90/60 mm/Hg to 120/80 mm/Hg
  • Breathing: 12 - 18 breaths per minute
  • Pulse: 60 - 100 beats per minute
  • Temperature: 97.8 - 99.1 degrees Fahrenheit / average 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Respiration rate: 14-18 breaths per minute.

Scientific Terms

Vital signs, sleep, respiration, temperature, heart rate, blood pressure


  • Assistant trained to take vital signs

  • Thermometer

  • A watch with a second hand

  • Use of a bedroom

  • blood pressure monitor

  • Stethoscope

  • Data sheet (provided).



  1. This science project requires the cooperation of someone you can trust as it involves this other person taking your vital signs while you are asleep (You can choose to switch roles by having the assistant sleep and you take their vital signs.)
  2. Prior to conducting the experiment, it is important that the one taking the vital signs has practiced the correct procedure for taking measurements of vital resources. Refer to the bibliography section for resources on taking pulse and checking respiration rate

Conducting the experiment

  1. Take the vital signs three times during the day: Morning, afternoon, and just before bedtime. This will provide you with a range of measurements throughout the waking hours.
  2. Record the data in the data sheet.
  3. Find the average of the three measurements for each of the vital signs. This will be the baseline that you use when comparing with measurements taken during sleep.
  4. Go to sleep during your normal bedtime. Have your assistant check on you periodically to determine if you are in deep sleep.
  5. When you are in deep sleep, your assistant will take your vital signs.
  6. Have your assistant record the data on the data sheet.
  7. Should you awaken during the process of having your vital signs taken, try to return to sleep. If you are unable to, remain relaxed and silent, avoiding unnecessary movements or talking.
  8. After the measurements of your vital signs have been recorded, compare the measurements of your vital signs during sleep with those taken during the day. How do they compare?

Time of day

Blood Pressure

Pulse Rate

Respiration rate








Average daytime measurements


At sleep




Related video

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