Circadian rhythm is a key element in controlling our physical, mental and behavioral aspects of human life. It works by responding to the natural light and darkness in a human body. It is present not only in humans but also in animals, plants, fungi and even microorganism. Chronobiology is the term used for researchers who study the elements of circadian rhythm. It works as our environment works that is on the 24-hour cycle mechanism. Circadian rhythm is produced within the body however, it can be disrupted due to sleeplessness and irregular sleep-wake pattern. Circadian rhythm is very important in the determination of the sleeping and feeding schedule of all human beings. Circadian rhythm or the biological clock is also responsible for cell regeneration and hormonal activities of the body.
Optic Nerve Connection With SCN
External Light And Darkness Effect On Circadian Clock
It has been observed that circadian rhythm works in sync with environmental conditions. They can be free-run with some intervals and that could differ from the usual 24-hour cycle pattern. This rhythmic movement of the circadian clock is constantly inhibited by external light and darkness. According to the Aschoff’s rule circadian clock can show significant free-running rhythm when exposed to constant light, so here intensity of the light is the main factor contributing to its free-run. Usage of drugs such as methamphetamine and deuterium oxide has shown negative impact on the mechanism of the circadian clock. Different species show different circadian periods depending upon their genetic behavior.
Temperature Rhythm Is Also Controlled By Circadian Rhythm
With constant efforts and increasing rate of patients suffering with circadian rhythm sleep disorder, there has been a great progress in the field of circadian rhythm study. Circadian rhythm or the biological clock is made up of transcriptional loops that are mainly composed of per, clk and bmal1 genes. Circadian rhythm is controlled by many variables simultaneously, different variable have different peaks at different times of the day. Our biological clock does not reproduce individual rhythm and its full functionality on how it works is still to be investigated. Temperature rhythm of the body is also controlled by circadian rhythm and homoeostatic control. They act upon effector independently and regulate body’s temperature.
SCN Regulates Circadian Clock Of The Body Located In The Brain
Circadian rhythm sleep disorder usually happens due to irregular sleep-wake pattern and jet-lag. Whether an organism is a nocturnal or crepuscular, circadian rhythm is present in all of them. SCN controls the functionality of the circadian rhythm. It usually relies on the various neural connections found in the brain. The main target of the SCN is the hypothalamic paraven-tricular nucleus (PVN) which in turn is responsible for provoking circadian rhythm in our body. Circadian rhythm usually can be modulated in adulthood by infradian rhythm that is caused during reproductive and annual cycle. However, the circadian rhythm in males and females do not differentiate and is mostly similar.
Poor Concentration Can Be A Sign Of Disrupted Circadian Rhythm
Circadian rhythm sleep disorder can be treated by few simple changes in your lifestyle. You may need a medical assistance when you experience that you are having sleepless nights from over a period of three months. Also, you may notice that you are having poor concentration and you are not at all motivated towards your work due to less and irregular sleep, you should consult a doctor. Snoring can also be one major contributing factor in causing circadian rhythm problem so ensure that you do not delay in getting its proper treatment.