Daily rhythms of native Brazilians in summer and winter

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Access to electricity, granting relative independence of human activity on the dark phase of the day, has been pointed out as an important cause for the absence of seasonal changes in the daily rhythms of humans living in urban areas. Featuring a population of adult Guarani natives living without access to electricity, the present naturalistic study was designed to explore possible effects of different natural photoperiods and temperature on human circadian rhythms. We compared time series of wrist temperature (WT) and motor activity in winter and summer, respectively, 01 24 individuals aged 18 to 80. Twenty-four-hour rhythms of WT showed lower amplitudes and higher mean levels in summer, with no significant seasonal differences in acrophase. In contrast, rest-activity (RA) rhythms exhibited a significantly later rest on-and offset in summer, but no seasonal changes in duration, amplitude and mean level. We furthermore identified a phase advance of both the WT acrophase and rest onset with increasing age of the individuals. We concluded that in our study the effect of different seasons was reflected in the amplitude and mean level of the WT rhythm, as well the onset of nighttime rest, which was delayed in summer.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)613-620
JournalPhysiology & Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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