Circadian rhythms (CR) are a series of endogenous autonomous oscillators generated by the molecular circadian clock which acting on coordinating internal time with the external environment in a 24-h daily cycle.
The circadian clock system is a major regulatory factor for nearly all physiological activities and its disorder has severe consequences on human health. CR disruption is a common issue in modern society, and researches about people with jet lag or shift works have revealed that CR disruption can cause cognitive impairment, psychiatric illness, metabolic syndrome, dysplasia, and cancer. In this review, we summarized the synchronizers and the synchronization methods used in experimental research, and introduced CR monitoring and detection methods. Moreover, we evaluated conventional CR databases, and analyzed experiments that characterized the underlying causes of CR disorder.
Finally, we further discussed the latest developments in understanding of CR disruption, and how it may be relevant to health and disease. Briefly, this review aimed to synthesize previous studies to aid in future studies of CR and CR-related diseases.