New scientific research has analyzed data collected through a DNA test website and the British "biobank" to understand why some people have diurnal and other nightly habits. The study, published on Tuesday (29) in the journal Natura Communications, revealed 327 new genes that play this role.
"This study is important because it confirms that morning or evening is preferred, at least to a certain extent, by genetic factors," said Michael Vedn, a professor of medicine at Exeter University, who led the study.
The study is the largest of its kind – analyzing data from nearly 700,000 people – and found that significantly more genetic factors are related to when people sleep and wake up from previously known.
The initial phase of the study included analyzing the genes of self-proclaimed people as a "living person" or a "night person".
Because these terms may mean different things for each person, the researchers are examining a smaller set of participants who have used tracking activities.
The researchers analyzed information from followers of more than 85,000 Biobank participants in the United Kingdom to find objective data on their sleep patterns.
They found that the genes they identified could change the natural time-wise within 25 minutes, but there were no obvious connections between genes and how long or how well people slept.
The study also looked at why certain genes influence the time when people sleep and wake up, finding differences in how the brain responds to light and how internal clocks work.
To test long-standing theories of sleep and disease relationships, researchers also tried to link the genes "morning" and "night" with various disorders.
They found that the genetic arrangement for sleep and awakening previously seems to be associated with a lower risk of depression and schizophrenia, as well as greater well-being.
However, Weydon admitted that it was not immediately clear whether the call was a direct result of being "morning person", or because the early pillars have easier life in the working environment from 09:00 to 17:00.
Researchers plan to investigate whether "genetic night people have worse results if they are active in the morning compared to those whose genetics and activity are aligned," he said.
The study found no evidence of a causal link between genes that affect sleep and metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
But future research will examine the problem in people whose natural sleep inclinations are incompatible with their lifestyle.
"For example, people who are genetically nocturnal, but have to wake up sooner because of work responsibilities, are particularly susceptible to obesity and diabetes?"