Interactions between chronotypes and well-being parameters in student population including big-data approach

Interactions between chronotypes and well-being parameters in student population including big-data approach

Dr. Yelena Stukalin and Dr. Erez Shmueli at Tel-Aviv University

Circadian rhythms are central to human life and are expressed in multiple biological systems as well as in behavioral outcomes. One well-described biological trait related to circadian rhythms in humans is the individual chronotype, the tendency to prefer morning or evening activity. Individual chronotypes have significant consequences on well-being on people in many aspects of life.

In line with the new technologies for continuous monitoring of behavioral and physiological parameters, this project will explore precise data regarding the interactions between chronotypes, sleep, stress, mood and academic success, using a combination of wearable devices a set of questionnaires, cortisol measures and follow-up on grades. We hypothesize that students with late chronotype will demonstrate higher social jetlag, less sleep and less physical activity compared with students with intermediate or morning chronotype. We further hypothesize that these late chronotype individuals will be demonstrate higher stress, anxiety and lower mood before morning exams and their grades in these exams will be significantly lower compared with the other groups. Yet, we hypothesize that these differences between chronotypes will disappear when exams are taken in the afternoon or evening hours.

Initial results from this project show that students with extreme late chronotype receive lower grades, smoke more and have lower moods compared with students with early chronotypes. Studies are ongoing to examine additional parameters related to well-being and function.