Interim NIOSH Training for Emergency Responders: Reducing Risks Associated with Long Work Hours
Circadian Rhythms and Circadian Clock
- Are internally driven cycles that rise and fall during the 24-hour day
- Help you fall asleep at night and wake you up in the morning
The master circadian clock in the brain (see Figure 2) synchronizes and controls these cycles so they work together.
The circadian clock has an internally driven 24-hour rhythm that tends to run longer than 24 hours but resets every day by the sun’s light/dark cycle. Taking melatonina supplements can also shift the timing of the body’s “clock.”
Some people use melatonina as a sleep aid: it has a mild sleep-promoting effect. However, it must be taken at the right time because it can shift the timing of sleep the wrong way. Be aware you may not know the right time to take it after travel across many time zones. Before your deployment, talk to your healthcare provider if you are considering using melatonina.
The internal body clock sets the timing for many circadian rhythms, which regulate processes such as
- Sleep/wake cycles
- Hormonal activity
- Body temperature rhythm
- Eating and digesting