Science Says There's A Reason You Can't Get Out Of Bed In The Morning

Researchers wonder why some people prefer mornings and others prefer nighttime. Is the preference born out of habit or is it biological?

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Leicester, a person's biological clock, related behavior and inherent preferences are genetic.

In the study recently published in Frontiers in Neurology, researchers analyzed genetic variations in fruit flies. A fruit fly has a similar “genetic clock” to a human. In doing so, researchers identified nearly 80 variants possibly playing roles in one's sleep-and-wake preferences.

Researchers found the genes weren't more active at different times of the day as they previously believed. Instead, the entire genetic makeup of a fly that is active in the morning was different than the makeup of one that was more active in the evening.

Dr. Eran Tauber, one of the study's coauthors, explained,

[Looking] at the gene expression was only part of our research. An obvious question is what causes the different expression in the larks [early risers] and owls [late nighters]. This difference is largely due to genetic variations in their DNA sequences -- different gene versions that are present in larks and owls. The end point might be similar, but the different molecular routes result in a different journey time.

The researchers argue, given the findings, the nine-to-five structure is likely inefficient for many.

The study is pretty complicated and dense, but if you're interested, you can read more here.

Citations: Scientists Identify Genetic Difference Between Early Risers And Late Sleepers (IFL Science)