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Physiol Behav. 1990 Aug;48(2):293-8.

Human daily rhythms measured for one year.

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Biology Department, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122.


Four human subjects recorded their wake-up and to-sleep times for one year each. The data were plotted to display individual circadian rhythms and the data were analyzed statistically. First, individuals had characteristic patterns in which visible changes in the patterns were observed mainly when time zones were changed because of travel. Second, the months with the latest wake-up and latest to-sleep times concentrated around the winter solstice; the months with the earliest wake-up and earliest to-sleep times concentrated around the fall equinox. Third, new moon versus full moon days were not different. Fourth, one-hour changes between standard and daylight savings time in the USA were reflected by near one-hour changes in two subjects, but not in a third. Fifth, weekend delays in wake-up time (0.8-1.6 hours), weekend delays in to-sleep time (0.1-0.5 hours), and shorter weekend awake time (0.8-1.3 hours) were observed. Sixth, throughout the year, wake-up times were close to the time of sunrise, but to-sleep times were several hours past sunset.

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