Consider a quarterback’s passing game: throw the ball too soon and his receiver isn’t in place; throw the ball too late and he risks getting sacked. Either way, he isn’t in sync with his team to move the ball up field. A similar scenario may occur when eating and sleeping habits are out of sync with the body’s circadian clock, leading to metabolic disturbances.
Over the past 20 years, scientists have assembled a clearer picture of the circadian clocks that keep human physiology tuned to the 24-hour light-dark cycle. Now, the basic science is giving way to human studies that reveal how a person’s sleeping habits, eating patterns, and diet may desynchronize the body’s clocks and contribute to metabolic problems like obesity or diabetes.
Kuehn BM. Resetting the Circadian Clock Might Boost Metabolic Health. JAMA. 2017;317(13):1303–1305. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0653
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.