The timing of life on Earth is remarkable: between individuals of the same species, a highly similar temporal pattern is observed, with shared periods of activity and inactivity each day. At the individual level, this means that over the course of a single day, a person alternates between two states. They are either upright, active, and communicative or they lie down in a state of (un)consciousness called sleep where even the characteristic of neuronal signals in the brain shows distinctive properties. The circadian clock governs both of these time stamps—activity and (apparent) inactivity—making them come and go consistently at the same approximate time each day. This behavior thus represents the meeting of two pervasive systems: the circadian clock and metabolism. In this article, we will describe what is known about how the circadian clock anticipates daily changes in oxygen usage, how circadian clock regulation may relate to normal physiology, and to hypoxia and ischemia that can result from pathologies such as myocardial infarction and stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-634
Number of pages17
JournalCirculation research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2024


  • circadian clocks
  • hypoxia
  • ischemia
  • sleep


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