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Thread: Are You An "Early Bird" or a "Night Hawk?"

  1. #1
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Are You An "Early Bird" or a "Night Hawk?"

    Why Waking Up Early Is So Hard

    Call it the "clock gene." That's the long and short of it. Literally. Whether you find it impossibly difficult to get up early in the morning or you just can't keep your eyes open after 9 p.m. is because of a gene called Period 3, which has been identified by researchers at Britain's University of Surrey. Period 3, which helps to regulate our internal body clocks, comes in two sizes. A long one. And a short one. People who have an extreme preference for early mornings are more likely to have a long version of Period 3, while those who stay up until the wee hours of the morning are more likely to have the shorter version, reports the BBC News.

    Of course, that's the simplistic explanation. Study leader Dr. Simon Archer is the first to admit that your preference for sleeping late or retiring early is a complex behavioral trait that is governed by more than a single gene. "It is a combination of genes that interact together to form your body clock," he explained to the BBC. "But, of course, there is an influence from your lifestyle. It is not all to do with your genetics. You can chose to follow a particular life pattern. You can override your genes."

    The study: The University of Surrey researchers corralled some 500 people who visited London's Science Museum. In addition to taking DNA samples from their cheeks, the researchers asked them to complete questionnaires about their lifestyles to determine if they were larks or night owls. They did this by asking what time of day they preferred to exercise and how difficult they found it to wake up in the morning. Then they compared the DNA results--the length of that Period 3 clock gene--to the questionnaire answers.

    The results: "We found most of the extreme morning preference people have the longer gene and the extreme evening preference people have the short gene," Archer told the BBC. "There are extreme morning people and extreme evening people, and it seems that behavior has a genetic basis to it." The study findings were published in Sleep, the journal of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

  2. #2
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I'm more of a night owl... not engergetic at night, but I will stay up all night if I can!

  3. #3
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    I'm definitely a night owl...I just have so much energy late in the evening and into the night. But, it is something I've had to curb and reshape. I may like to operate on a "3rd shift" schedule, but the rest of the world and most professions seem to prefer the 1st and 2nd shifts! LOL! Oh well!

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    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    If left to my own devices, I would be a "Night Owl", but my job requires that I rise at 6:00 a.m. five mornings a week. My hubby is a "Lark" and is so dang "cheery" in the morning I can barely stand it. It takes me a good two hours to fully awaken, and by then, I'm at school and ready to start my day.......42

  5. #5
    Gone with the wind windspirit's Avatar
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    I'm more of a night owl, too. I don't like getting up early in the morning (unless I'm going for a walk to watch the sun come up, or somewhere else I really want to go). I can, but I don't like the whole rush, etc. I loved that monologue of Frasier:

    "Let us get something clear. I am not a morning person. I have to ease into my day slowly. First I have my coffee - sans eggshells or anything else one tends to pick out of the garbage. Then I have a low-fat, high-fiber breakfast. Finally I sit down and read a crisp, new newspaper. If I am robbed of the richness of my morning routine, I cannot function. My radio show suffers, and like ripples in a pond, so do the many listeners that rely on my advise, to help them through their troubled lives. I'm sorry if this may sound priggish, but I have grown comfortable with this part of myself. It is the magic that is me."



    But I like the theory that we can override our genes. I know that I can get up in the morning, it's a routine I don't really like. I'll have to work on overriding that part of my genes more.

  6. #6
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    I can't even consider going to bed before midnight no matter what time I have to get up in the AM. If left to my own devices, I will stay up til 2AM and wake between 9 & 10AM - that's a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

    Since I need to get up by 8AM for work (takes me 20 minutes to wash & dress and 40 minutes to drive to work), I try to turn out the light by 1AM. If I show up to work before 9, I either shock them or they assume that there's a problem. LOL.

    My ideal morning is waking up around 9AM, stay in bed reading til Noon, leisurely lunch, shower and get dressed if I'm going out. It can take me 3 hours just to shower and put on a pair of jeans and top on Saturday's/Sunday's.

    I can get up if I have to be some place early...but it's not my ideal choice.

    I don't take naps either. Once I'm awake, I'm up and about until bedtime. I have friends who get up early, nap in the afternoon, and then go to bed by 11PM on weekends - even when they were single and childless. Oh, well - that's their body clocks.

  7. #7
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    I'm not a morning person or a night owl! If I'm going to stay out late I have to take a nap!

  8. #8
    cranky girl guinevere's Avatar
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    definitely a night owl. I've been going to bed really early for me in the last few weeks (i.e. 12:30am) because the lack of daylight basically makes me want to sleep ALL THE TIME, but normally I don't go to sleep before 2am. And I generally have to wake up around 8am. Which I despise.

    I also get energized and creative late at night, which is problematic, because it just won't do to be doing noisy renovating projects at 11pm! I have gotten a lot of my walls painted at night though :D

    If left to my own devices I would probably be up until 2 or 3 and get up at 10:30am.

    guinevere

  9. #9
    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    I really have trouble getting to bed early. I usually wake up around 7. I think part of it is I don't have anyone there to sleep with anymore.

  10. #10
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Night owl, no question about it.

    Hmmm, looking at this makes me wonder how many larks there really are out there...

  11. #11
    Sal-Kowabunga!
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    Hi Ptichka,

    Night owl, absolutely. Hey, just look when I posted this! LOL

    Question: do you think nightowls are more computer literate and/or chatty? Maybe the larks can't be bothered to speak up 'cuz they're afraid the nightowls will eat them?

  12. #12
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult
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    I am a bit of both really
    I prefer working at night when everyone else is asleep, or early in the morning when no-one is up yet. I get really tired between two and four in the afternoon and cannot concentrate to save my life so usually have to go to the gym, swim or shop at those times. Luckily my job is flexible enough to allow that. Last saturday I had the chance of a sleep in for the first time in months and I couldn't do it! I was awake by 6am and wide awake by 7am but I still didn't go to bed until after 1am that night.

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