Science Forum: Sex differences and sex bias in human circadian and sleep physiology research

Manuel Spitschan*, Nayantara Santhi*, Amrita Ahluwalia, Dorothee Fischer, Lilian Hunt, Natasha Karp, Francis Lévi, Ines Pineda-Torra, Parisa Vidafar, Rhiannon White

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Growing evidence shows that sex differences impact many facets of human biology. Here we review and discuss the impact of sex on human circadian and sleep physiology, and we uncover a data gap in the field investigating the non-visual effects of light in humans. A virtual workshop on the biomedical implications of sex differences in sleep and circadian physiology led to the following imperatives for future research: i) design research to be inclusive and accessible; ii) implement recruitment strategies that lead to a sex-balanced sample; iii) use data visualization to grasp the effect of sex; iv) implement statistical analyses that include sex as a factor and/or perform group analyses by sex, where possible; v) make participant-level data open and available to facilitate future meta-analytic efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65419
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2022


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