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Sleep and Circadian rhythm: Adaptation to environment

Special issue in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology

sleep © Myriams-Fotos on Pixabay

Guest editor
Shigekazu Higuchi, PhD, Kyushu University, Japan 
Monique K Lebourgeois, PhD, University of Colorado Boulder, United States of America
Raymond Najjar, PhD, Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore

Physiological anthropology is the study of human adaptability to the environment and its diversity. This collection focuses on sleep and biological rhythms across the lifespan. Although sleep is one of the basic physiological needs of humans, many people in modern society have various problems with sleep. Sleep deprivation not only causes daytime sleepiness and reduced work efficiency but also leads to various long-term health problems. These sleep problems are also caused by circadian rhythm disturbances. Humans have circadian rhythms adapted to the natural light-dark cycle, but artificial lighting at night is known to adversely affect sleep and circadian rhythms. In addition, although humans are a diurnal species, night shifts and shift work, which are essential in modern society, have a significant impact on circadian rhythms and sleep. There are also effects from the use of the Internet and media devices. Behavioral restrictions due to unexpected spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, can also affect sleep. Thermal and noise environments also affect sleep. Furthermore, there are individual differences not only in the effects of the environments but also in sleep and circadian rhythms themselves such as evening and morning preferences. Mechanisms underlying individual differences in sleep and circadian rhythms include various factors such as growth, aging, photoperiod, and genetics. Cultural differences also exist. These characteristics have been clarified through both laboratory experiments and field studies.

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    Authors: Kazushige Oshita, Yujiro Ishihara, Kohei Seike and Ryota Myotsuzono
    Citation: Journal of Physiological Anthropology 2024 43:13
  2. Sleep disruption has been shown to affect immune function and thus influence allergic disease manifestation. The specific effects of sleep on allergic diseases, however, are less well-established; hence, in a ...

    Authors: Qi Yi Ambrose Wong, Jun Jie Lim, Jun Yan Ng, Yi Ying Eliza Lim, Yang Yie Sio and Fook Tim Chew
    Citation: Journal of Physiological Anthropology 2024 43:6
  3. This study aims to investigate the behavioral and neurophysiological changes accompanying the empathy for pain among individuals with insomnia in nonclinical samples, which has been scarcely explored in the ex...

    Authors: Siyu Li, Meiheng He, Li Lin, Qingwei Chen, Taotao Ru and Guofu Zhou
    Citation: Journal of Physiological Anthropology 2024 43:4
  4. We investigated the relationship between sleep, ambient climate, and bed climate in school-aged children during a one-night stay in a simulated shelter in a gymnasium to demonstrate the effect of ambient clima...

    Authors: Kazue Okamoto-Mizuno and Koh Mizuno
    Citation: Journal of Physiological Anthropology 2024 43:2
  5. Older men often experience nocturnal urination difficulties, reflected by diurnal differences in maximum urine flow (Qmax). Since lower urinary tract symptoms and pathological comorbidities are frequent in old...

    Authors: Hiromitsu Negoro, Isuzu Nakamoto, Sayaka Uiji, Yoshiko Matsushima, Bryan J. Mathis, Dominika Kanikowska and Tomoko Wakamura
    Citation: Journal of Physiological Anthropology 2023 42:27
  6. Chronotype has gained recognition as a significant factor in enhancing athletic performance. This study aimed to deepen our understanding of athletes’ sleep chronotypes and provide a foundation for developing ...

    Authors: Chenhao Tan, Jiaojiao Lu, Jinhao Wang, Yan An, Guohuan Cao, Defeng Zhao and Jun Qiu
    Citation: Journal of Physiological Anthropology 2023 42:26
  7. We examined whether an aerobic exercise intervention in young women with cold sensitivity symptoms improves sleep quality and decreases cold complaints. Furthermore, we examined the association with increased ...

    Authors: Fumio Yamazaki, Kana Inoue, Nanako Ohmi and Chika Okimoto
    Citation: Journal of Physiological Anthropology 2023 42:22
  8. Passive body heating before sleep is well known to lead to improved sleep. However, the effects of the degree of change in body temperature by bathing on sleep quality are unclear. The present study aimed to c...

    Authors: Takafumi Maeda, Hiroko Koga, Takashi Nonaka and Shigekazu Higuchi
    Citation: Journal of Physiological Anthropology 2023 42:20