The earth's daily rotation affects just about every living creature. From dawn through to dusk, there are changes in light, temperature, humidity, and rainfall. However, these changes are regular, rhythmic and, therefore, predictable. Thus, the near 24 hour circadian rhythm is innate: a genetically programmed clock that essentially ticks of its own accord.
This Very Short Introduction explains how organisms can "know" the time and reveals what we now understand of the nature and operation of chronobiological processes. Covering variables such as light, the metabolism, human health, and the seasons, Foster and Kreitzman illustrate how jet lag and shift work can impact on human well-being, and consider circadian rhythms alongside a wide range of disorders, from schizophrenia to obesity.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Circadian Rhythms is an ideal companion to Sleep, another excellent book in the same series and co-authored by Foster ... Foster and Kreitzman delve into the molecular biology that underlies the circadian rhythms, but they do so clearly and gradually. So even if you're not a biologist you'll be able to follow the discussions. * Mark Greener, Fortean Times *
excellent * David Lorimer, Network Review *
2: How the clock works
3: Light and the clock
4: Synchronising the clock
5: Day/night cycle
6: Clocks and metabolism
7: Clocks and human health
8: The seasonal clock
9: Where did the clocks come from