Influence of chronotype, season, and sex of subject on sleep behavior of young adults

Hanna Lehnkering, Renate Siegmund
Chronobiology International 2007, 24 (5): 875-88
The aim of this study was to investigate whether sex, season, and/or chronotype influence the sleep behavior of university students. Detailed data were collected on activity/rest patterns by wrist actigraphy combined with diaries. Thirty-four medical students (19 female and 15 male) were monitored by Actiwatch actometers for 15 consecutive days in May and again in November. The data of a modified Horne and Ostberg chronotype questionnaire, which were collected from 1573 female and 1124 male medical school students surveyed in the spring and autumn over an eight-year period, were evaluated. Actiwatch sleep analysis software was used to process the activity data with statistical analyses performed with ANOVA. We found no significant sex-specific differences in sleep efficiency, sleep onset latency, or actual sleep-time duration. However, we did find a difference in sleep efficiency between morning and evening types, with morning types having a higher sleep efficiency (87.9%, SD=1.3) than evening types (84.3%, SD=0.87%; p=0.007). Seasonal differences were also detected: the actual sleep-time duration in autumn was significantly longer (mean 6.9 h, SD=0.13 h) than in spring (6.6 h, SD=0.1 h; p=0.013). Evaluation of the chronotype questionnaire data showed that individuals with no special preference for morningness or eveningness (i.e., so-called intermediates) were most common. The distribution of chronotypes was related to the sex of subject. Men displayed eveningness significantly more often than women (28.9% males vs. 20.8% females; p<0.001), while females exhibited greater morningness (20.3% females vs.15.6% males; p<0.001). Sex influences chronotype distribution, but not actual sleep time-duration, sleep onset latency, or sleep efficiency. The latter, however, differed among chronotypes, while actual sleep-time duration was affected by season.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"