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Circadian Rhythms 

Circadian Rhythms
Chapter:
Circadian Rhythms
Author(s):

Daniel S. Joyce

, and Jamie M. Zeitzer

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190929671.003.0004
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date: 07 March 2021

Circadian rhythms are endogenous, near 24-hour oscillations that underlie nearly all facets of our health and behavior. The daily cycle of sleep and wake is the most conspicuous circadian-influenced behavior in humans. This chapter introduces the circadian rhythms in humans that give rise to our daily cycling of sleep and alertness, including their fundamental features and loci of origin. The interplay between circadian rhythms and sleep is discussed, including physiological and behavioral methods for the measurement of circadian rhythms. Finally, typical and atypical features of circadian rhythms in relation to health and aging are considered with particular reference to the impact of modern societal pressures.

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