When do you do your best work? For me, it’s any time AFTER morning. Or, as my friend Lee Child famously said, “Nothing of value happens before noon.” I totally agree!
Does this make me a bad person? Does it mean I’m lazy or weak? Of course not! It’s just that we owls operate a little differently than those perky larks.
You know I’ve written about the power of DNA before because my Hunt for Jack Reacher thriller Jack and Joe explores the possibility that DNA is Destiny. Could it be that my disdain for mornings is a genetic inclination?? That being a night owl is in my DNA??? Both of my parents were late sleepers. Hmm….
It seems the answer is yes! 23andMe recently published a genome-wide association study showing a connection between DNA and preferred sleeping hours. You know what a circadian rhythm is, right? It’s your internal clock that operates on roughly a 24-hour cycle, with rhythms dipping and rising at different times of the day. Our circadian rhythms are determined by several factors, including sunlight, environmental cues, and, you guessed it, DNA.
Turns out, there are 15 genetic variants that scientists say are linked to being a morning person! Interestingly, some of those genes are close to our eyes, which suggest their function is related to light and telling us when to be awake. In other words,they help determine whether we prefer mornings or evenings.
Here’s a map 23andMe came up with, showing the percentage of early risers in all 50 states.
(The darker the shade of purple, the more early risers in the area.)
Are you a morning lark or a night owl? Does this map reflect your preference?