Thank your genes if you are an early riser: Medical research

Being a ‘morning person’ can lower the risk of developing schizophrenia and depression

The Hush Post|03:05 pm| 2-min-read
Medical research has revealed that an individual’s genetics could be responsible for a person being an early riser.
The study, published in Nature Communications, revealed some of the inner workings of the body clock, shedding new light on how it links to mental health and disease.
It suggests that being genetically programmed to rise early is associated with better mental health, but does not affect body mass index (BMI) or risk of Type-2 diabetes.
The study analysed 85,000 people through the use of wrist-worn activity monitors, confirming that the desire to either sleep in or get up in the morning is genetic.
Being a “morning person” can lead to greater well-being as well as lower the risk of developing schizophrenia and depression, the research said.
The researchers found that the genetic areas influence sleep timing, but not the quality or duration of sleep.
The study was based on genome-wide data from 697,828 participants.
A large-scale genomic analysis has identified 327 new genes, from earlier known 24, associated with a person`s sleep time, or chronotype.
“This study highlights a large number of genes which can be studied in more detail to work out how different people can have different body clocks,” said lead researcher Professor Mike Weedon, from the University of Exeter Medical School.
The study also showed that the genetic variants the researchers identified could shift a person’s natural waking time by up to 25 mins – changing some people’s waking time from 8am to 8.25am, for example.
“Our work indicates that part of the reason why some people are up with the lark while others are night owls is because of differences in both the way our brains react to external light signals and the normal functioning of our internal clocks,” Samuel E. Jones, of the University of Exeter Medical School explained.

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