Sex differences in circadian rhythms and light perception

19 Jan 2021

How males and females differ in their circadian rhythms?

Sex differences have been studied in a variety of fields. Yet, it is still under-represented in behavioural neuroscience research. Recently, researchers have started focusing on biological sex differences in circadian rhythms. They reported interesting results since.

Males are on average later chronotypes based on population studies. This can be especially evident during the first half of life.  At LYS, we have also noticed a similar trend with males more often being later chronotypes.

Several key circadian components can also deviate between sexes. Core body temperature rhythm and melatonin onset are likely to be earlier in females. The peak of optimal alertness also differs between males and females. A study found that alertness is more impaired in females during the biological night.

Sex differences in light perception

Sex differences can also be observed in light and brightness perception. A study reported that females preferred non-blue enriched light. In contrast, males preferred blue-enriched light.

Males also observed blue light as brighter, while females did not. The same blue-enriched light was associated with the increase of deep sleep in males.

Overall, studies just started uncovering how light preference and perception can differ between sexes.

Learn about your circadian rhythms with LYS

Biological sex information can contribute to a better understanding of what are the optimal performance times for different people. Learn more on how circadian rhythms allow you to better structure your day.