Timing is everything: Circadian rhythms and their role in the control of sleep Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Sleep and the circadian clock are intertwined and have persisted throughout history. The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) orchestrates sleep by controlling circadian (Process C) and homeostatic (Process S) activities. As a "hand" on the endogenous circadian clock, melatonin is critical for sleep regulation. Light serves as a cue for sleep/wake control by activating retino-recipient cells in the SCN and subsequently suppressing melatonin. Clock genes are the molecular timekeepers that keep the 24┬áh cycle in place. Two main sleep and behavioural disorder diagnostic manuals have now officially recognised the importance of these processes for human health and well-being. The body's ability to respond to daily demands with the least amount of effort is maximised by carefully timing and integrating all components of sleep and waking. In the brain, the organization of timing is essential for optimal brain physiology.


  • Pandi-Perumal, Seithikurippu R
  • Cardinali, Daniel P
  • Zaki, Nevin FW
  • Karthikeyan, Ramanujam
  • Spence, David Warren
  • Reiter, Russel J
  • Brown, Gregory Michael

publication date

  • July 2022