Not a Morning Person? Blame Your DNA!

WELLNESS-In a study done with 89,283 people they found that whether or not we are energized in the morning or more prefer to sleep in is linked to our DNA. The study was published in the Journal of Nature Communications on February 2nd.  

"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," Youna Hu, Ph.D., who led 23andMe's research on the paper, said in a statement. 

15 areas in the human genone that are associated with “morningness” were isolated and studied. They drew a link for the first time between people that held certain genes and being a morning person. 7 of those 15 genes were associated with circadian rhythm. A circadian rhythm is a roughly 24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings that is generated from within. 

Like other types of genetic links, just because our genes pre-dispose us towards a certain type of behavior does not mean we are predestined to act those behaviors out. The study also showed that people who were night owls tend to be less healthy in very specific ways. They have a greater tendency towards depression and insomnia for example than their early to bed counterparts, and the people staying up late into the night also have a lower BMI and a greater tendency towards obesity. 

Further studies along the same lines may help the health community get a better understanding of diseases and disorders such as insomnia, depression, and obesity that have been linked with sleeplessness for years.

(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR)