Temperature and other circadian rhythms are disrupted following surgery and other traumatic events. During recovery, coordination between temperature rhythms and other rhythmic physiologic processes is reduced. Studies of animals and humans have shown that return of synchrony is not immediate, but that it is important in the recovery process. The purpose of this study was to test a combination of cues that have been shown to adjust the timing of circadian temperature rhythm. The combined cues consisted of timed ingestion of caffeine and protein foods and adjustment of the sleep/wake cycle. The intervention was tested in 26 age- and gender-matched maxillofacial surgery patients. Patients were randomly assigned to control or experimental groups. Circadian temperature rhythm was measured by continuous monitoring with axillary probes and miniature recorders before and after surgery. Following surgery, both experimental and control subjects displayed 24-hour circadian temperature rhythms; however, the peak-to-trough difference was decreased more following surgery in the control subjects than in the subjects who had prepared for surgery by practicing the intervention. Control subjects also had less day-to-day stability in the phase of their rhythms following surgery. These results suggest that the intervention reduced circadian disruption following surgery and provides a way for patients to prepare themselves to resist rhythm changes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Research and Theory