Getting up at the crack of dawn to greet the day isn’t something reserved for competitive rowers, fishermen and farmers. There are those who do it because it simply feels right, and for some, it actually is.
Now, you won’t find me opening my eyes anywhere near 4 am, (except if my kids are screaming). A study has found that waking early is even more common than previously thought, however.
Researchers from the University of California in San Francisco have found that so-called advanced sleep phase is something that lies in your genes, if you have it.
Individuals with the condition have a body clock that operates hours earlier than the rest of us. Do you get sleepy before 8:30 pm, wake early and have a close relative who does the same? You likely have the genetic mutation.
Researchers have defined advanced sleep phase as something that gives individuals the ability to fall asleep naturally before 8:30pm and wake up before 5:30 am, regardless of their work or social obligations. No naps, no stimulants to wake up, no sedatives to sleep or bright lights to get going.
Participants in the study kept sleep logs and had their saliva tested for melatonin levels, as well as their brain waves, oxygen levels, heart rate and breathing rate recorded.
Interestingly, people who have advanced sleep phase could also be more prone genetically to suffering from migraines and seasonal affective disorder.
For more on this study, click here.