What is a circadian rhythm? Describe how circadian rhythms influence bodily processes?© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com June 24, 2018, 12:37 pm ad1c9bdddf
A circadian rhythm is a roughly-24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings. The term "circadian", coined by Franz Halberg, comes from the Latin circa, "around", and dies, "day", meaning literally "about a day."
This is very important in bodily processes such as the sleep wake cycle, eating, and even on a more cell level such as hormone production and cell regeneration. A human body has many circadian rhythms which is linked to many of your body's function, including body temperature, hormone levels, heart rate, blood pressure-- even pain threshold.
Sleep and wake--It may seem you sleep when you're tired and wake when you're rested. But your sleep patterns follow a circadian rhythm.
You're most likely to sleep soundly when your temperature is lowest, in the wee hours of the morning. You're also most likely to awaken when your temperature starts to rise around 6 to 8 a.m.
As you age, your brain's "pacemaker" loses cells. This changes your circadian rhythms, especially noticeable in how you sleep. You may nap more, have ...