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Early Bird or Night Owl?

Discover if you are a morning or evening person by taking a close look at your CLOCK genes!

Morning or evening person?

Waking up early in the morning is not a problem for you! You wake up when it is still dark outside and you are happy with that.

No, that is not true! You hate waking up so early and you DO have a problem forcing yourself to get ready to work at the same hour your neighbours are taking their children to school! You'd rather sleep until noon if you could…

It is as clear as crystal: you have much more energy in the evenings! 

Do you recognize yourself in this situation? Your coworkers are coming back from a productive meeting after lunch and you are still getting started? When they are finished at 5 pm, that is when you should be turning on your computer.

morning or evening person

Being a morning or evening person is in our genes!

Why are some people "early birds" and others "night owls"? There are many reasons! Being a “morning person” who enjoys waking up early or a "night person” who likes to stay up late at night is in our genetics. More precisely, a gene named CLOCK (Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput)!

The CLOCK gene has a direct impact on our sleep cycle. The protein encoded by this gene plays a central role in the regulation of circadian rhythms, often called the body clock.

Circadian rhythm is like the 24-hour internal clock that tells us when to sleep, get up and eat. It even regulates our body’s temperature and level of hormones!

Genetically speaking, a person who carries one or two copies of the C allele of the CLOCK gene is more night type and who has the T allele is more like to be an early bird!

Understanding our body’s internal clock is the first step for having a healthier sleep habit. Not only that, by knowing what is written in our CLOCK gene, we can adjust day-to-day activities according to your profile. We are able to identify what is making us feel so tired lately.

You may be following a routine that is contradictory to your genes. If your genes reveal that you are a night person, forcing yourself to get up earlier may result in sleep deprivation.

early bird night owl

Only about 5% of us are natural short sleepers who feel great after only six hours (or less) of sleep!

Short sleep is frequently connected with obesity and increased caloric intake. Several studies have demonstrated associations between short sleep and higher BMI. Better sleep might help people feel less hungry or have more willpower to stick to healthy choices.

How to improve our sleep patterns?

You can try to follow some of those tips:

  • Always go to sleep more or less at the same hour. You will feel much more energized than if you sleep the same number of hours but each day at a different time.
  • If you have a couch at work and if your boss allows you :), take a 15 to 20 min nap in the early afternoon every day!
  • Find a career that suits your clock! Not so easy, we know, but try to find a job that respects your natural circadian rhythm.
  • Avoid unhealthy snacks. People who go to bed after 11 pm are more likely to indulge in unhealthy snacks before going to sleep, taking in an average 220 more calories each day!

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