PNAS:女人的“时间”比男人快2小时
2016/09/16
科研生活偶尔会遇到一些小惊喜。比如,发表在PNAS杂志上的一项研究中,原本科学家们是想弄明白为什么女性更容易失眠,结果却发现了另一个现象——女性的生物钟比男性要快2小时左右。


你可能有注意到,女性比男性更容易产生睡眠障碍。那么,导致这种差异的原因究竟是什么呢?是女人太多愁善感,还是男人太神经大条?答案显然没有这么简单。事实上,这与我们的生物钟有关。

9月12日,发表在PNAS杂志上的一项研究中,来自加拿大麦吉尔大学等机构的科学家们发现生物钟对男性和女性的睡眠和清醒有着不同的影响。

研究发现,女性的生物钟会使她们入睡和醒来都早于男性。原因很简单:女性的生物钟被调到了更偏东(more easterly)的时区。研究人员表示,这一差异对理解女性为什么比男性更容易睡眠紊乱非常重要。


科学家们对比了15名男性和11名女性由生物钟调节引起的睡眠和清醒的变化。这些参与者都经历了一种次昼夜睡眠-清醒循环(ultradian sleep–wake cycle)程序。这一程序包括36个循环,每个循环由60分钟的清醒和60分钟的小睡交替组成。

研究中,科学家们监测了参与者的昼夜节律(circadian rhythm)、体温以及睡眠激素褪黑激素等。结果发现,女性的昼夜节律比男性早1.7-2.3小时。

领导这一研究的Diane B. Boivin说:“我们的参与者在研究期间并没有表现出任何睡眠问题。但研究结果帮助我们理解了一些其它问题,比如为什么女性在早晨会比男性醒的早,为什么女性在晚上不如男性清醒。”

这一研究结果给出了一个暗示,即从生物学上来讲,女性可能更不适合夜间工作。确定这一结论需要进一步的研究,帮助提出适合男女健康的干预措施。

参考资料

DailyMail:Do YOU struggle to nod off? Why your body clock could be to blame: Women's natural sleep rhythms run 2 HOURS ahead of men's

MedicalXpress:Could quality of sleep have to do with sex differences?

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  • Diurnal and circadian variation of sleep and alertness in men vs. naturally cycling women

    This study quantifies sex differences in the diurnal and circadian variation of sleep and waking while controlling for menstrual cycle phase and hormonal contraceptive use. We compared the diurnal and circadian variation of sleep and alertness of 8 women studied during two phases of the menstrual cycle and 3 women studied during their midfollicular phase with that of 15 men. Participants underwent an ultradian sleep–wake cycle (USW) procedure consisting of 36 cycles of 60-min wake episodes alternating with 60-min nap opportunities. Core body temperature (CBT), salivary melatonin, subjective alertness, and polysomnographically recorded sleep were measured throughout this procedure. All analyzed measures showed a significant diurnal and circadian variation throughout the USW procedure. Compared with men, women demonstrated a significant phase advance of the CBT but not melatonin rhythms, as well as an advance in the diurnal and circadian variation of sleep measures and subjective alertness. Furthermore, women experienced an increased amplitude of the diurnal and circadian variation of alertness, mainly due to a larger decline in the nocturnal nadir. Our results indicate that women are likely initiating sleep at a later circadian phase than men, which may be one factor contributing to the increased susceptibility to sleep disturbances reported in women. Lower nighttime alertness is also observed, suggesting a physiological basis for a greater susceptibility to maladaptation to night shift work in women.

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