Is It Healthier to Be a Night Owl or an Early Riser?


Are you the type of guy who wakes up effortlessly or the type that needs several cups of Joe to even feel remotely alive? Well, according to a new study, your status as an early riser or a night owl may come down to your DNA.

The research, conducted by the genetics company 23andMe, analyzed date from 89,283 customers to identify variances in 15 locations of the human genome that are associated with being a “morning person.”

“In this study we set out to discover more about an individual’s preference toward early rising and were able to identify the genetic associations with ‘morningness’ as well as ties to lifestyle patterns and other traits,” Youna Hu, Ph.D., who led 23andMe’s research on the paper, said in a statement.

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The results showed that 56 percent of test subjects identified as night owls, whereas women and adults over 60 were more likely to consider themselves to be morning people.

Luckily for early risers, they were more likely to have a lower BMI and less likely to have insomnia or depression. They also didn’t require as much sleep as night owls.

The authors were quick to make note of the fact that the study does not prove that genes effect sleep preferences, but the results have started new conversations about the possible correlations between one’s status as an early riser or night owl and health factors such as depression, obesity, and insomnia.

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