Saturday April 20, 2019

Are you a Night Owl and have trouble getting up in Morning?

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Insomnia (representational Image), Wikimedia

New York, April 7, 2017: Are you a night owl and have trouble getting up in the morning? It may be because your internal clock is genetically programmed to run slowly, researchers have found.

The findings showed that a mutation in a gene called CRY1 alters the human circadian clock, which dictates rhythmic behaviour such as sleep/wake cycles.

People who are carriers of the gene variant experienced nighttime sleep delays of 2-2.5 hours compared to non-carriers, the researchers reported in the journal Cell.

“Carriers of the mutation have longer days than the planet gives them, so they are essentially playing catch-up for their entire lives,” said lead author Alina Patke, from the Rockefeller University in New York City, US.

Night owls are often diagnosed at sleep clinics with delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD) — where a person’s circadian ryhthm is delayed from the typical day/night cycle.

Mutation in CRY1 led to the development of DSPD, which affects up to 10 per cent of the population, according to clinical studies.

People with DSPD often struggle to fall asleep at night, and sometimes sleep comes so late that it fractures into a series of long naps.

People with DSPD also have trouble conforming to societal expectations and morning work schedules, which leads to anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

The gene mutation was discovered while studying the skin cells of people with DSPD.

The circadian clock responds to external environmental cues, so it is possible for people to manage the effects of the mutation on sleep.

“An external cycle and good sleep hygiene can help force a slow-running clock to accommodate a 24-hour day,” Patke said. (IANS)

Next Story

Being A ‘Morning Person’ You Can Avoid Depression

Small differences may have potentially significant effects on the ability of our body clocks to keep time effectively, potentially altering risk of both disease and mental health disorders.

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morning person
Being A 'Morning Person' You Can Avoid Depression

Being a “morning person” can lead to greater well-being as well as lower the risk of developing schizophrenia and depression, finds a research.

However, for some it is hard to be a morning lark, and they would rather be a night owl. Various research have explained an idividual’s genetics as the reason behind this.

Now, a large-scale genomic analysis has identified 327 new genes, from earlier known 24, associated with a person’s sleep time, or chronotype.

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.

depression
Being a “morning person” can lead to greater well-being as well as lower the risk of developing schizophrenia and depression, finds a research., Pixabay

“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.

Importantly, 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.

The researchers found that the genetic areas influence sleep timing, but not the quality or duration of sleep.

Depression
Depression is a common mental disorder. Flickr

“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.

“These small differences may have potentially significant effects on the ability of our body clocks to keep time effectively, potentially altering risk of both disease and mental health disorders.”

Also Read: Avoid Staring Screen Before Bedtime

The study was based on genome-wide data from 697,828 UK Biobank and 23andMe — a UK-based DNA testing website — participants.

The study further 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. (IANS0