Healthy World, Healthy Nation, Healthy You

Time Matters: It’s All About Timing~ Biological Rhythms, Sleep and Applications to Human Health

Donald L. McEachron, Ph.D.
Teaching Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University



Ph.D. in Neuroscience awarded in 1984 from the University of California at San Diego. Returned to the classroom for a Master’s Degree in Information Systems from Drexel University in 2004.

Author of some 60 publications in neuroscience, imaging, human evolution, education and chronobiology

Recently published first of 2-volume set on biological rhythms: Chronobioengineering: Introduction to Biological Rhythms with Applications, Volume 1


Humans show numerous legacy effects resulting from their evolutionary heritage. One of these is the critical role played by biological rhythms, especially circadian rhythms, in maintaining health and well-being. The modern urban 24/7 society threatens the stability of these rhythms, resulting in poor physiological and psychological health. We are evolving and our biological evolution does not match our cultural evolution and therefore our biology does not match the culture in which we are living.

This show will discuss the role played by biological rhythms in both well-being and medical treatment and will discuss some methods by which individuals can promote internal temporal (time of day related) health and sleep hygiene. The body, like a car, needs to be in tune and we will discuss personal tips on how to balance our biological rhythms. And in the end, mother knows best as you can improve your health through adequate and regular time of sleep.

3 Key Points:

  • Humans, as the products of biological evolution, display long lasting effects of our biological heritage which can make it difficult for people to adapt to the demands on the body clock time flexibility required by modern urban society.
  • Biological rhythms are universal characteristics of living systems which provide the means of appropriately timing physiological events and ensuring both health and well-being. We are wired to time cycles.
  • The impact of biological rhythms is not well understood in the health care community and it is important for patients and care-givers alike to become better informed in order to generate a higher quality of life and more successful treatment outcomes.
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