circadian rhythm(redirected from Sleep cycle)
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A daily rhythmic activity cycle, based on 24-hour intervals, that is exhibited by many organisms.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A daily cycle of biological activity based on a 24-hour period and influenced by regular variations in the environment, such as the alternation of night and day.
Did You Know? Why do you sometimes wake up on time even if your alarm clock doesn't ring? How do nocturnal animals know when it is time to wake up? It's because you—and most other animals—have a kind of internal clock that controls the cycle of the day's biological activities, such as sleeping and waking. These daily biological activities are known as circadian rhythms because they are influenced by the regular intervals of light and dark in each 24-hour day. While the process underlying circadian rhythm is not completely understood, it is mainly controlled by the release of hormones. The brain regulates the amount of hormone released in response to the information it gets from light-sensitive cells in the eye, called photoreceptors. Circadian rhythms can be disrupted by changes in this daily schedule. For example, biologists have observed that birds exposed to artificial light for a long time sometimes build nests in the fall instead of the spring. In humans who travel long distances by air, the local time of day no longer matches the body's internal clock, causing a condition known as jet lag.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The regular recurrence of life activities in 24-hour cycles.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
n. ritmo circadiano, ref. a variaciones rítmicas biológicas en un ciclo de 24 horas.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012