Your DNA determines your bedtime and why you hit the snooze button

- It turns out that sleeping late isn’t just a preference or a bad habit. Our bedtimes might just be in our DNA, according to recent studies. We all have our very own chronotype (or preferred sleep pattern). Scientists study chronotypes by tracking when people go to sleep on their days off. The average chronotype is 11 P.M. to 7 A.M. 

The later your chronotype is, the more drastic the difference is between the sleep you get on free days vs. work days. So going back to work after a free day or a long weekend can actually feel like you flew over several time zones.

Inside the neurons in your brain scientists have discovered “clock genes” that go on and off throughout the day to keep your body on a 24 hour cycle. So it is not your fault if you are a late sleeper and have a hard time adjusting to a normal schedule, the cells in your bodies literally won’t let you.

People with later chronotypes are also more likely to become smokers and to develop depression. In another sleep study scientists took healthy people and messed with their sleep schedule and within three weeks they began to exhibit early signs of diabetes. So sure, some late sleepers may be lazy, but most are just at a genetic disadvantage. Cut them a little slack and go get some rest.

 

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