Is Being a Morning Person in Your Genes?

Both my husband and I dated people who liked to party and stay out all night.  Needless to say, the relationships didn't work out.

He and I are both morning people.  And now a new study says it may just be in our DNA.

According to, the study found that there may be genes in our DNA that can be linked back to someone who is a morning person.  

“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,” says Youna Hu, PhD, who led 23andMe’s research on the paper. The study revolved around a database that yielded genetic insights into a variety of conditions and traits, and potentially how those genetic factors are affected by behavior and environment.

 Morningness is governed by differences in circadian rhythm, which have previously been linked to medically relevant traits such as sleep, obesity and depression. The study revealed that seven of the genetic locations associated with morningness are near genes previously known to be involved in circadian rhythm.

 I remember the boyfriend who loved to drink and stay up all night.  One New Year's Eve we went to bed at 5 a.m.  I walked around in a daze and it took several days to get back to normal.  It was the same thing with my working as an overnight journalist.  I would get home about 1 or 2 a.m. and then stay up until 4 or 5 to cycle back down, then sleeping till it was time to get up for work at 3.  It was the wintertime and I never saw the sunlight.

It affected my health.  I had stomach aches when I went back on daytime.  

Additional findings from the study include:
• The majority (56 percent) of participants in the study consider themselves night owls
• Women and adults over age 60 are more likely to be morning people
• Morning people are significantly less likely to have insomnia, or require more than eight hours of sleep per day, and less likely to suffer from depression than individuals who reported being “night owls”
The researchers also found that after taking into account the effect of age and sex, morning persons are likely to have lower BMI.  While that's not necessarily a causative factor, it's still something to think about.  I personally really like that.  




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