What Is the Circadian Rhythm?
Often referred to as the "body clock," the circadian rhythm is a cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise, eat—regulating many physiological processes. This internal body clock is affected by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature. When one's circadian rhythm is disrupted, sleeping and eating patterns can run amok. A growing body of research is examining the adverse health effects a disrupted circadian rhythm can have, like increasing the chances of cardiovascular events, obesity, and a correlation with neurological problems like depression and bipolar disorder. Researchers studying chronobiology were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.