Are you a morning person or a night owl? Have you ever had difficulty switching between the two? If you’ve always wondered why you feel more awake and alert at certain times of day, science might have an answer for you—and it’s all in your genes.
While science is always developing, research could lead directly to why some people are “morning people” while others are not.
A study published in Nature Communications analyzed data from over 700,000 individuals. The fascinating discovery? 351 genetic factors influence whether you prefer mornings or evenings. Not only that, but these “genetic factors” can impact what time you naturally feel sleepy and what time you feel most alert and energized throughout the day.
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The study reveals that morning people have a specific circadian rhythm that makes them, well, morning people. Circadian rhythm, also called the circadian cycle, is your body’s natural, internal process of regulating your sleeping and awake cycles. It repeats roughly every 24 hours.
According to the study, your cycle affects a variety of molecular and behavioral processes including when you wake up and fall asleep. Essentially, based on your personal rhythm, you could be naturally inclined to wake up early in the morning (or not).
Of course, environment, lifestyle habits, and bedtime routines all impact your sleeping patterns as well, but it seems your body’s natural genetic makeup could also has a say.