Impact of seasons on an individual’s chronotype: current perspectives

Nyambura Shawa, Dale E Rae, Laura C Roden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Diurnal preference, or chronotype, determined partly by genetics and modified by age, activity, and the environment, defines the time of day at which one feels at his/her best, when one feels sleepy, and when one would prefer to start his/her day. Chronotype affects the phase relationship of an individual’s circadian clock with the environment such that morning types have earlier-phased circadian rhythms than evening types. The phases of circadian rhythms are synchronized to the environment on a daily basis, undergoing minor adjustments of phase each day. Light is the most potent time cue for phase-shifting circadian rhythms, but the timing and amount of solar irradiation vary dynamically with season, especially with increasing distance from the equator. There is evidence that chronotype is modified by seasonal change, most likely due to the changes in the light environment, but interindividual differences in photoperiod responsiveness mean that some people are more affected than others. Differences in circadian light sensitivity due to endogenous biological reasons and/or previous light history are responsible for the natural variation in photoperiod responsiveness. Modern lifestyles that include access to artificial light at night, temperature-controlled environments, and spending much less time outdoors offer a buffer to the environmental changes of the seasons and may contribute to humans becoming less responsive to seasons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-354
Number of pages10
JournalNature and Science of Sleep
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

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Circadian Rhythm
Light
Photoperiod
Social Adjustment
Controlled Environment
Photophobia
Circadian Clocks
Natural History
Cues
Life Style
Buffers
Temperature

Bibliographical note

This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work.

Keywords

  • diurnal preference
  • photoperiod
  • latitude
  • circadian photoreception

Cite this

Impact of seasons on an individual’s chronotype: current perspectives. / Shawa, Nyambura; Rae, Dale E; Roden, Laura C.

In: Nature and Science of Sleep, Vol. 10, 31.10.2018, p. 345-354.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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