REAL LIFE NEWS: GENE VARIANT MAKES NIGHT OWLS
I am a mutant. But sadly, I don’t have X-Men like superpowers. No, my mutation makes me stay up late, and never want to get up in the morning.
Regular readers will know that I am a night owl, which is why I hate the start of daylight savings time in the Spring. Now it turns out that this may be caused by a gene variant that plays a role in the circadian clock. The mutation was discovered in a person diagnosed with delayed sleep phase disorder, which is a condition that describes the way many night owls’ sleep patterns work.
It appears that the mutation slows the body’s internal biological clock, giving people a longer circadian rhythm. That means they stay awake later. The gene variant could be present in as many as one in 75 people.
Michael Young, at the Rockerfeller University, New York, who lead the research said that having the gene variant doesn’t have to cause problems. He explained that many people who have delayed sleep phase disorder are able to control their sleep cycles by sticking to strict schedules.
Oh, if only it were that easy…