Circadian rhythms and sleep

Circadian rhythms are the regular, daily cycles of biological processes or activities, including the regular and predictable variation in the levels of many circulating hormones, ions and the control of sleep and wakefulness. Circadian rhythms are controlled centrally by the suprachiasmatic nucleus, and are most strongly infuenced by light.

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News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    A recent study shows that a history of rotating night-shift work and an unhealthy lifestyle are associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), both independently and synergistically. This is the first large-scale, prospective study to quantify how a healthy lifestyle might partially offset T2DM risk in shift workers.

    • Céline Vetter
    •  & Frank A. J. L. Scheer
  • News and Views |

    In 2008, Vyazovskiy et al. published a seminal study demonstrating that sleep induces a widespread downscaling of synapses that counters the synaptic upscaling that occurred during prior wakefulness. The study laid the groundwork for current research into the ‘where’ and ‘when’ of homeostatic neuronal network regulation during sleep.

    • Niels Niethard
    •  & Jan Born
    Nature Neuroscience 22, 149-151
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Circadian rhythm research is beginning to show how rhythms sustain health. Genome-wide transcriptome, metabolome and proteome studies have improved our understanding of circadian regulation. This knowledge is leveraged for behavioural interventions that optimize daily rhythms, the timing of drug delivery and the targeting of clock components to prevent or treat chronic diseases.

    • Satchidananda Panda