Mary Ellen Wells and Auburne Overton
Though the theories on the reasons why humans need to sleep vary, there is no disagreement that sleep is essential to our wellbeing and survival. External and internal physiological parameters dictate our own individual body “clocks,” or circadian rhythms. Typically, this clock runs very close to a 24-hour cycle of sleep and wakefulness. However, for some individuals, this clock can be slightly “off.” This article will discuss what creates internal circadian rhythms and the major types of circadian rhythm disorders, with an overview of diagnosis and treatment options.