Morning-type and evening-type individuals differ in the phase position of their endogenous circadian oscillator

Neurosci Lett. 1996 Nov 8;218(3):153-6. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(96)13140-2.


In dealing with inter-individual phase differences in overt circadian rhythms, it is often difficult to distinguish the impact of the endogenous circadian oscillator from that of an individual's habitual lifestyle. In an attempt to resolve this uncertainty about the role of masking influences, two groups of subjects, morning-type and evening-types, were selected and monitored during entrained, habitual sleep-wake conditions and during 24 h of controlled wakefulness in a laboratory-based constant-routine procedure. Under both conditions significant differences were observed in the circadian phases of body temperature and subjective alertness. During constant routine mean between-group differences for these two variables were 2.21 and 4.28 h, respectively. Thus, evidence is provided for the endogenous nature of morningness-eveningness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Body Temperature / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Sleep / physiology