Seasonal and geographical impact on human resting periods

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Research units

  • University of Oxford

Abstract

We study the influence of seasonally and geographically related daily dynamics of daylight and ambient temperature on human resting or sleeping patterns using mobile phone data of a large number of individuals. We observe two daily inactivity periods in the people's aggregated mobile phone calling patterns and infer these to represent the resting times of the population. We find that the nocturnal resting period is strongly influenced by the length of daylight, and that its seasonal variation depends on the latitude, such that for people living in two different cities separated by eight latitudinal degrees, the difference in the resting periods of people between the summer and winter in southern cities is almost twice that in the northern cities. We also observe that the duration of the afternoon resting period is influenced by the temperature, and that there is a threshold from which this influence sets in. Finally, we observe that the yearly dynamics of the afternoon and nocturnal resting periods appear to be counterbalancing each other. This also lends support to the notion that the total daily resting time of people is more or less conserved across the year.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number10717
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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