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The effects of self-selected light-dark cycles and social constraints on human sleep and circadian timing: a modeling approach

Skeldon, Anne, Phillips, AJK and Dijk, Derk-Jan (2017) The effects of self-selected light-dark cycles and social constraints on human sleep and circadian timing: a modeling approach Scientific Reports, 7, 45158.

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Abstract

Why do we go to sleep late and struggle to wake up on time? Historically, light-dark cycles were dictated by the solar day, but now humans can extend light exposure by switching on artificial lights. We use a mathematical model incorporating effects of light, circadian rhythmicity and sleep homeostasis to provide a quantitative theoretical framework to understand effects of modern patterns of light consumption on the human circadian system. The model shows that without artificial light humans wake-up at dawn. Artificial light delays circadian rhythmicity and preferred sleep timing and compromises synchronisation to the solar day when wake-times are not enforced. When wake-times are enforced by social constraints, such as work or school, artificial light induces a mismatch between sleep timing and circadian rhythmicity (‘social jet-lag’). The model implies that developmental changes in sleep homeostasis and circadian amplitude make adolescents particularly sensitive to effects of light consumption. The model predicts that ameliorating social jet-lag is more effectively achieved by reducing evening light consumption than by delaying social constraints, particularly in individuals with slow circadian clocks or when imposed wake-times occur after sunrise. These theory-informed predictions may aid design of interventions to prevent and treat circadian rhythm-sleep disorders and social jet-lag.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Mathematics
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mathematics
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Skeldon, AnneA.Skeldon@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Phillips, AJKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dijk, Derk-JanD.J.Dijk@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Date : 27 March 2017
Identification Number : 10.1038/srep45158
Copyright Disclaimer : This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ © The Author(s) 2017
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 23 Feb 2017 09:02
Last Modified : 19 Jul 2017 11:11
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/813615

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