How Circadian Rhythms Affect Sleep In Men And Women
To understand what it is that determines how your body and brain function, one must first understand what a circadian rhythm is. Circadian rhythm is a part of our biological clock, which provides the majority of our circadian timing system.
We all have a circadian rhythm, but we have different variations of it. The circadian rhythm that affects most people is the Circadian Rhythm System, which is a 24-hour cycle of biological processes and events. At the beginning of each day, these processes are reset to form the first circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are influenced by both internal and external factors. For example, external factors can include things like light, weather and time of day. The internal factors may include age, heredity, stress and hormones.
Men’s clocks tend to run closer to a full 24-hour cycle or longer. It's believed that on average, men have a circadian cycle that’s six minutes longer than for women, meaning they may feel less tired in the evening. For women, their internal clock is more likely to be shorter than a full 24-hour cycle, making it more likely that they will awaken earlier, which may also increase their susceptibility to early-waking sleep disturbances such as insomnia.
Your gender difference also affects the amount of melatonin that is in your body. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is responsible for keeping our circadian rhythm in sync with the amount of sunlight we get in a day. If the amount of melatonin in your body is high, you will be able to sleep well at night.
It is believed that the genetic factor has the largest effect on sleep. You see, we all have two sets of genes - one set for our nervous system and another set for our circadian rhythm. The nervous system is used to alert us when we are going to get a certain meal, or feeling sleepy, or awake but the circadian rhythm is the biological clock that maintains this alertness.
To conclude, it is possible to re-train your inner clock to help you feel more awake or tired at different parts of the day depending on your lifestyle needs. Making sure there is less light surrounding yourself in combination with a sound-therapy device can help shift your circadian rhythm. However, left to its own devices, the body’s natural rhythms make you more likely to be a night owl if you are a man, and an early bird if you are a women.