Cardiovascular disease and lifestyle choices: Spotlight on circadian rhythms and sleep

Mariana G. Figueiro, David Pedler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The advent of electric lighting in the built environment has radically transformed the human experience of light and darkness, which is often insufficient to stimulate and synchronize the circadian system to the day-night cycle. The lack of circadian system entrainment leads to poor sleep and could be an important biophysical mechanism underlying increased incidence of certain types of diseases, including cardiovascular (CV) disease (CVD). This contribution proposes to carve out a niche for including daily exposures to light and darkness among lifestyle factors for reducing the risk and progression of CVD. The fundamental workings of the human circadian system and its primary outputs are described. The discussion then progresses to light's effects on the circadian system and its outputs, and how threats to circadian health pose risks for CV health. The contribution concludes with simple recommendations for incorporating regular, robust daily exposures in lifestyle adjustments to combat CVD risks and progression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProgress in Cardiovascular Diseases
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Circadian rhythms disruption
  • Circadian system
  • Light
  • Melatonin


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