Ignore the haters – sleeping in is genetic

Sleeping in is bad, right? Early bird catches the worm? Well, maybe not. There exists a branch of science called chronobiology, and it found that everyone has an internal clock that governs their sleep cycle. Most people sleep roughly between 11pm and 7am, but not all of us. As much as 40% of the population don’t fit to this schedule, and this is due to your genes.

Some people’s circadian rhythms are shifted later, which causes them to sleep later and rise later, and some have earlier rhythms which makes you wake up earlier. You can take a quiz to figure out what your own rhythm is, if you want. The traits that cause early or late risers are linked to your genetic makeup, meaning you don’t have a huge amount of control over the whole thing.

The interesting part about the science is not so much the discoveries of circadian rhythms. We’ve known about this for a while now. No, the interesting thing was the societal reactions to later-than-normal wake up time.

Late sleepers are always the butt of jokes, always made to feel like losers. That said, there are things you can do to adjust your sleeping pattern, so the blame isn’t entirely laid at either genes nor society’s feet. But which should be the one to give? Should those who have it rough waking up for the workday figure it out for themselves or should we reroute society’s thinking?


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