Being An Early Bird Or Night Owl Could Depend On Your Genes

We all have inner circadian clocks, in which our master clock is made up of thousands of nerve cells in a structure of wing shaped that is located at the base of the brain in the hypothalamus.

This hypothalamus controls all kinds of our body functions, from releasing hormones to regulating our temperature and water intake and this inner clock is reset every day by light. May be you are thinking or expecting that since the earth’s day lasts 24 hours so everyone’s clocks would run to a similar timetable. But they do not and that is why there are early birds and night owls.

Usually our parents make our routine from our childhood when to go to bed, whether we like it or not. But to know actual kind of your own that either you are lark or owl, you must know and understand what chronotype you have and the time they function best that can help you to live healthy life. Chronotype is a sleep phenotype that can be determined by minor alteration to the gene (that control our sleep and wake time).

First kind of people who are genetic early birds have an “AA nucleotide base”; they are naturally inclined to go to bed and wake up earlier in the morning but roughly third of the population is having this base.  Second kind of people who are genetic night owls with “GG nucleotide base” are 16 % of the population; they are likely to have later bed timings and wake timings). And lastly the most people (almost 50 % of population) have an “AG nucleotide base” and have a affinity to wake up “between” these two extremes.

You can change your sleep habits by shifting things like light exposure at day/ night, consumption of electronic media , intake of caffeine and so on, but the genetic chronotype will always underscore your response as it is the baseline and current verification in live humans confirms this. The food stuff we eat, the exercise we do, the thoughts we think, the stress we take.

All these can amend the function of our genes and in turn we can modify our exposure to them. But in this case, it is the actual genetic chronotype that is affecting how our genes convey. It shows that the genes regulating sleep cycles are being personalized by the chronotype itself, a kind of inner, self-contained epigenetic key in that we cannot directly or consciously change.

So according to above discussion we can say that wake up in early morning tend to be tough for people with the night owl chronotype. That is to be probable, since going to sleep later than society expects while having to wake up earlier than your biology “wants” means insufficient, lower quality sleep. 

We all know how a poor sleep night feels. But that is not all. A rapid tour through the literature reveals many links between the night owl chronotype and poor health outcomes. It all seems quite awful:

  • In diabetics type II, having a night owl chronotype is autonomously relates with poor glycemic control.

  • Among fibromyalgia sufferers, night owl chronotypes are more exaggerated by the disease than other chronotypes.

  • Night owls inclined to eat unhealthy food (junk, snacks etc), have more sleep apnea, and ooze more stress hormones.

  • People of this type are more likely to be depressed than other chronotypes.

  • They suppose to take less calm sleep which prone to all above bad things. As poor glucose tolerance occurs due lack of sleep, Fibromyalgia strongly linked to a lack of sleep, unhealthy eating and depression can also caused by bad sleep.

But the people having late chronotype can overcome these habits by avoiding smoking, excess drinking; avoid all alcoholic or tobacco rich things. By following good sleep practice – avoid irrelevant imitation light and electronic media in night, get lot of natural light in day time.

What kind of bird you are? Early bird or night owl! According to new research, being an early bird or night owl, it could depend on your genes. Most people work under typical timings of 9 to 5 without bearing in mind when they are most productive.

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