Genes Decide Whether You Are An Early Bird Or Night Owl

Posted: Feb 4 2016, 9:30pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News


Genes Decide Whether You are an Early Bird or Night Owl
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Researchers have identified 15 locations in DNA associated with "morningness." Morning people are less likey to suffer insomnia and depression compared to night owls.

Whether you like to get up early in the morning or prefer work late into the night may be linked to your genes.  According to new research, genes connected to circadian rhythm influence a person’s preference towards early rising or late night working. Circadian rhythm is a biological process, consisting of roughly 24-hour cycle. 

A moring person prefers to wake up early while a night person chooses a cycle later in the day and the difference in this 24-hour cycle is associated with several traits such as sleep, obesity, depression and body mass.

“In this study we set out to discover more about an individual's preference toward early rising and were able to identify the genetic associations with "morningness" as well as ties to lifestyle patterns and other traits.” Lead author Dr. Youna Hu from a DNA genetic analysis and testing company, 23andMe, Inc. said in a statement.

Researchers compared the genomes of more than 80,000 people and checked their responses to the question whether they consider themselves morning person or night person. 

In the analysis, researchers identified 15 gene locations in DNA linked to “morningness.” Seven of these gene locations were near the genes which are previously known to be involved in circadian rhythm.

Majority of the people around 56%, who participated in the study, considered themselves night owls. The study also found that early birds were enjoying a more healthy life compared to night persons. Those people who rise up early in the morning are less likely to have insomnia and less likely to suffer depression compared to those who reported being night person.

Study co-author David Hinds said. “With the information we have, we can uncover the genetics behind a variety of conditions and diseases and hopefully reach a better understanding of how we differ from one another.”

The study was published in Nature Communications.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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