Do Men and Women Have Different Circadian Rhythm?

Circadian Rhythm

A new study reveals that men and women have a different circadian rhythm which governs their sleeping and wakefulness differences. The study conducted by the research team from the University of Pennsylvania has come up with the gender-related differences in circadian rhythm. Seán Anderson and his co-researcher Garret FitzGerald have penned down the detailed results and published them in the journal Science.

Previous studies on the circadian rhythm tell that all humans and animals share a similar type of pattern which is responsible for their sleep cycle, breathing, skin shedding, heart rate, and wakefulness- called a circadian cycle.

The Circadian cycle works 24 hours, every day when a person is sleeping. In layman’s language, it is the biological clock for the body which makes sure that all functions and processes are working well.

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It is a vital function of the body which accounts for so many days to day activities of a person. From getting up to sleeping, eating food, metabolizing it to weight loss, it plays a role in everything.

Disruptions in this body clock may result in sleep-related problems, metabolic issues, and various other factors that may damage health.

There are times when a person feels more tired but he often blames it on ‘hectic day’ however, in reality, it’s the changes in the circadian cycle are behind this extra fatigue or sleep-less days. But one thing that wasn’t clear about it was if there are changes in men and women in terms of a circadian rhythm?

Anderson and FitzGerald overlooked the studies, analyzing the data obtained from more than 53,000 people to understand these differences. They found that the age of a person and his sex affect this function differently, so yes, men and women have differences in their respective circadian function.

More specifically, they found that as per gender, sleeping and waking up patterns and habits can be different. For example, women may be more active in getting up early and men, on the other side may feel more active during the night and tend to sleep longer in the morning. Likewise, women are more likely to sleep ‘lighter’ than men and remain more active than them in the daytime. Interestingly, men were more into taking afternoon naps and women are generally good even without it.

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But this study didn’t tell any reason on why and how these differences grow. It could be in their genes or just developmental changes but anyways, it has opened a new way of looking at the conventional role-playing of men and women.

Scientists believe that women have acquired these changes as a part of their evolution which is majorly influenced by their social roles. Their activities for the day require them to be active all day, more mindful, and wakeful than men. Men on the other side have fixed working hours and taking small naps can make them cover them all. Some of the scientists also assume a potential connection of circadian function and estrous cycle in women. But there is not much evidence to support or deny this argument.


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