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Turns Out You Can Blame Your DNA When You Oversleep

Someone under the covers getting ready to hit an alarm clock with a mallet.
Kritsada Namborisut/Shutterstock

Have you ever made plans to get up early only to hit snooze for two hours instead? Well, it appears this isn’t completely your fault. According to recent studies, our sleep patterns are partially determined by our DNA.

In 36 different studies, researchers looked at the quality and length of sleep of 400 sets of twins. This enabled the scientists to determine if genetics played a part in sleep patterns, and, as it turns out, they do!

The study found that 46% of sleep trends and 44% of sleep quality factors are impacted by your DNA. So, sure, you probably could have tried a little harder to get out of bed on time, but it’s at least 46% not on you according to the published research.

The study also concluded that chalking up all your sleep patterns to genetics isn’t realistic either, however. Researchers also found that environmental factors, like lifestyle and stress, also play a role in your rest. This particularly good news if you have trouble sleeping or insomnia, because, according to these findings, you can still change those patterns.

However, this conclusion does suggest it would be helpful to take family histories into account if you’re thinking about treating a sleep disorder. There are a multitude of ways you can get better sleep or become an earlier riser that are definitely doable, even if your genetics are telling you to sleep in.

Of course, the next time you’re late for something because you overslept, just tell everyone it’s your parents’ fault.

[Via Martha Stewart]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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