We all know a “morning person”—chipper, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, eager to take on the day early. How do they do it? Recent research suggests it isn’t by sheer will. “Morningness” may actually be wired to our DNA!
23andMe, a personal genetics company, identified genetic variants associated with being a morning person—15 locations (loci) within our DNA, to be exact—in a recently released study.
“Morningness” is governed by differences in circadian rhythm, the body’s natural 24-hour cycle. The study revealed that seven of the loci associated with “morningness” are near genes previously known to be involved in circadian rhythm, including:
• HCRTR2 (Linked to narcolepsy);
• FBXL3 (Shown to have extended circadian period);
• VIP (Found to prolong REM sleep).
A morning person is likely to be an adult over the age of 60, or a woman, the study found. Morning people are also likely to have a lower BMI (body mass index), less likely to have insomnia, and likely require eight hours of sleep each day.
Interestingly, more than half of participants in the study were not morning people.
How about you? Are you a lark or a night owl?
Source: 23andMe, Inc.