Date of Award
Professor Elizabeth Ehrenfeld
Circadian Rhythms, Sleep Patterns
Circadian rhythms, or the 24-hour biological cycles of living cells, function as the body’s internal clock. Although circadian rhythms and sleep are very different processes, they are closely related to one another as these cycles play an important role in sleeping and waking patterns. Recent studies have shown that lack of sleep or sleep of poor quality can disrupt circadian rhythms and may actually cause cognitive disorders and memory loss, facilitate false memory production, and even alter gene expression in humans. This literature review is focused on identifying the epigenetic and physiological effects of disruptions and desynchronization in circadian rhythms due to sleep deprivation with the intention of understanding the importance of sleep in human wellness.
Cotter, Jennifer D., "Pillow Talk: The Epigenetic and Physiological Effects of Sleep Deprivation" (2014). Thinking Matters. 7.