A recent study reveals why you’re not a ‘morning person’ or why you’re a ‘night owl’. It all comes down to the DNA – the researchers concluded – and found out that participants who identified themselves as ‘morning people’ were significantly less likely to have insomnia, require more than eight hours sleep a night, and were less likely to suffer from depression than those who termed themselves ‘night owls’.
- Researchers analyzed data from more than 90,000 customers of the genetics company 23andMe
- The experts have discovered 15 genetic variants that may determine whether a person favors mornings or nights
- Study defines ‘morningness’ as being governed by differences in circadian rhythms
- Morning people appeared in general to suffer less from insomnia or depression
- Researchers came to the conclusion that people’s biology infuences who they are
People have been waiting for an answer to the question ‘Why can’t I get out of bed in the morning’ for so long. Whether you spring out of bed in the morning or hit the snooze button on your alarm every five minutes – whichever your disposition – there is an explanation for this behaviour. No, it’s not about the amount of coffee you may be drinking during the day or the parties you like to attend to, making you incapable of getting out of bed the next morning. The answer is pretty simple: D-N-A.
Very recently, researchers at the genetics company 23andMe have identified 15 regions of the human genome that influence whether someone considers themselves a ‘morning person’ or an ‘evening person’. The unexpected results came following a study, who analyzed about 90,000 people, self-reported night owls and early risers.
The majority (56 percent) of participants consider themselves night owls. And women and adults over age 60 are more likely to be morning people, the findings showed. These precious findings, published in Nature Communications, mean that there might actually be a genetic basis for certain people’s tendency to wake up at the crack of dawn — or to stay in bed past noon.
We think of our preferences as things that we come up with — things that are kind of spontaneous parts of who we are — but they do have a basis in biology.
says David Hinds, a statistical geneticist at 23andMe and a co-author of the study. He also thinks that it is very interesting to see how biology influences who we are.
On another note, this study provides genetic insights into a variety of conditions and traits. The researchers said that, from this point of view, individuals who are early are significantly less likely to have insomnia and less likely to suffer from depression than individuals who reported being ‘night owls’.
The take-away message is that, helped by this study, scientists might one day be able to determine the best time to administer medical treatments, such as chemotherapy. Also, identifying the genes that are associated with these preferences could also help scientists understand the basic biology that underlies what humans think of themselves.