Being A 'Morning Person' May Be Genetic, Study
R. Siva Kumar
February 04, 2016 11:36 AM EST
If you like to wake up with the sun, you may have inherited the gene.
A leading personal genetics company, 23andMe Inc., arrived at the conclusion after researching the human genome, which is one of the" largest of its kind".
This genome-wide association study pursued its experiments in 15 locations in DNA that examined the "morningness" of a person.
Researchers examined more than 89,000 participants, finding that seven of the DNA locations were near the genes managing circadian rhythm, including HCRTR2, linked to narcolepsy or inability to sleep; FBXL3, or extended circadian periods; and VIP, that increases REM sleep, according to scienceworldreport.
"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," Dr. Youna Hu, the lead researcher, said. "This type of study speaks to the power of the 23andMe database, which can yield genetic insights into a variety of conditions and traits, and potentially how those genetic factors are affected by behavior and environment."
About 43.6 percent of the people studied showed signs of "morningness." Women and adults over 60 were morning people, "less likely to have insomnia, or require more than eight hours of sleep per day, and less likely to suffer from depression", according to the news release.
About 56 percent thought they were "night owls."
"The beauty of 23andMe is the ability to conduct research on common traits like being a lark or a night owl, which affect everyone, yet typically wouldn't receive funding for a study," senior research scientist and co-author Dr. 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."