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What are some examples of circadian rhythms?

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Quick Answer

Examples of circadian rhythms include sleep cycles, temperature control, thirst, eating patterns, hormone production, brain wave activity and cell regeneration. Circadian rhythms are found in many living things. This includes people and other animals as well as plants and microbes.

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Full Answer

Circadian rhythms are sometimes loosely described as a person's body clock. It refers to the 24-hour cycle through which physical, mental and behavioral changes occur. An example in humans is sleeping patterns; circadian rhythms help people to sleep at night and stay awake during the day. They also help to regulate eating patterns and control hormone release. When circadian rhythms are disrupted there can be adverse health implications. This includes sleep disorders and other conditions, including obesity and diabetes.

Circadian rhythms work in other animals in a similar way that they do in humans. This includes things like sleeping and eating patterns. But there are other examples that are more specific to animals. This includes migration patterns, which are driven by a circadian rhythm.

In plants, circadian rhythms control cell regeneration and things like leaf movements. Circadian rhythms also tell plants when to flower, when the best time is for photosynthetic activity, and when to release fragrances.

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