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date: 04 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter will focus on methods used to measure the endogenous circadian timing system in a pediatric population. To provide a basic understanding of the system that is being measured, the chapter begins by reviewing basic circadian terms and physiology. Then, behavioral measures, which are often associated with daily rhythms and can be used as global estimates of the circadian system, are reviewed. The focus will subsequently shift to physiological measures of the circadian system, with a specific focus on the endogenous rhythm of melatonin because currently it is the most commonly used physiological measure in human circadian research. The chapter will conclude with a brief description of how these physiological measures are used to make inferences about the central circadian clock. These circadian measures may complement and inform research studies relevant to health and behavior during development.

Keywords: melatonin, dim light melatonin onset (DLMO), core body temperature, chronotype, morningness/eveningness

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