There have been remarkable advances in our understanding of the molecular, cellular, and physiologic mechanisms underlying the regulation of circadian rhythms, and of the impact of circadian dysfunction on health and disease. This information has transformed our understanding of the effect of circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSD) on health, performance, and safety. CRSDs are caused by alterations of the central circadian timekeeping system, or a misalignment of the endogenous circadian rhythm and the external environment. This article reviews circadian biology and discusses the pathophysiology, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment of the most commonly encountered CRSDs in clinical practice.
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