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A chronobiotic is an agent that can cause phase adjustment of the body clock. That is, it is a substance capable of therapeutically entraining or re-entraining long-term desynchronized or short-term dissociated circadian rhythms in mammals, or prophylactically preventing their disruption following an environmental insult such as is caused by rapid travel across several time zones. The most widely recognized chronobiotic is the hormone melatonin, secreted at night in both diurnal and nocturnal species.[1][2][3][4]


  1. ^ Steinlechner S (1996). "Melatonin as a chronobiotic: PROS and CONS" (PDF). Acta Neurobiol. Exp. 56 (1): 363–72. PMID 8787197.
  2. ^ Redfern P, Minors D, Waterhouse J (August 1994). "Circadian rhythms, jet lag, and chronobiotics: an overview". Chronobiol. Int. 11 (4): 253–65. PMID 7954907.
  3. ^ Kunz D, Mahlberg R (2006). "Melatonin: A Chronobiotic that Not Only Shifts Rhythms". In Pandi-Perumal SR, Lader, Harold M, Cardinali DP (eds.). Sleep and sleep disorders: a neuropsychopharmacological approach. Georgetown, Tex., U.S.A: Landes Bioscience/ ISBN 0-387-27681-5.
  4. ^ Arendt J, Skene DJ (February 2005). "Melatonin as a chronobiotic". Sleep Med Rev. 9 (1): 25–39. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2004.05.002. PMID 15649736.