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Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2013;119:191-219. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-396971-2.00008-7.

Timing, sleep, and respiration in health and disease.

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Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, and Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, West Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Breathing is perhaps the physiological function that is most vital to human survival. Without breathing and adequate oxygenation of tissues, life ceases. As would be expected for such a vital function, breathing occurs automatically, without the requirement of conscious input. Breathing is subject to regulation by a variety of factors including circadian rhythms and vigilance state. Given the need for breathing to occur continuously with little tolerance for interruption, it is not surprising that breathing is subject to both circadian phase-dependent and vigilance-state-dependent regulation. Similarly, the information regarding respiratory state, including blood-gas concentrations, can affect circadian timing and sleep-wake state. The exact nature of the interactions between breathing, circadian phase, and vigilance state can vary depending upon the species studied and the methodologies employed. These interactions between breathing, circadian phase, and vigilance state may have important implications for a variety of human diseases, including sleep apnea, asthma, sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, and sudden infant death syndrome.


Breathing; Circadian; Hypercapnia; Hypoxia; Sleep

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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