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Aurora magazine

What time do you wake up? The genes decide it

For years they have told us the same story: whoever wakes up late is a lazy person, does not have enough willpower. Reality is much more complex. Research conducted by the University of San Francisco shows that genes decide - at least in part - what time we wake up. The habit of getting up at 5 in the morning could therefore depend on our DNA.

The study authors analyzed the data and DNA of 2,422 volunteers. The participants are all under 30 years old and usually wake up between 3 and 5 in the morning. Among their relatives, there is at least one with similar habits. This last detail confirms the idea that it is behavior dictated by genes, rather than habit.

According to the study, the time we get up depends largely on our membership chronotype. About one in 300 people have what causes them to wake up very early, while others are prone to get up later. Each chronotype is determined by different genetic variants, which determine the relationship between sleep and wakefulness. In some cases, the chronotype is similar in all family members. Much more often, it also changes within the same family.

The most interesting discovery, however, does not concern the times of our alarm clock. Genetically morning people could be at an advantage, at least on a social level. Those who wake up early are better off in the studio, more successful at work and more proactive. According to the researchers, it could be due to early exposure to sunlight, which stimulates the metabolism and improves mood.