You get up at 2 p.m. because your ancestors did, not because you're a slothy adult-baby …
The world is run by people who naturally awaken at the butt-crack of dawn. These monsters sense one photon of sunlight and shoot out of their beds like it was on fire, only to greet the day with a open arms and an unshakeable sense of optimism. Before most of us have even gotten in a full REM cycle, they've run eight miles, fixed themselves an Instagram-worthy breakfast, and conquered half their daily to-do list. Assholes.
For the rest of us, this is incomprehensible. We could sleep indefinitely if it wouldn't give us bedsores on our man-boobs, yet we thrive in the wee hours of the morning, igniting the night with dumb decisions and Taco Bell second dinners. We can't even inhale without coffee in the morning, and getting out of bed seems like a struggle on par with Moses' biblical 40 year journey in the desert where he and his people ate nothing but crackers.
It seems as if humanity is split into either of these two groups: early risers and late sleepers. But while the latter group has largely been seen as lazy, or told they'll grow out of that phase, it appears that their need to sleep in has a much deeper basis than pure sloth or adult baby-hood.
As is becoming increasingly clear, how early you get up in the morning depends on your genes. Being an early riser or a late sleeper seems to run in families, but now researchers have started to unravel the underlying genetic causes that make you either a “lark” or an “owl" … or in our case, "poultry."
One study, published in Frontiers in Neurology, studied the habits of fruit flies to uncover the genetic variations that could play a role determining whether the fly was an early riser or late sleeper. Fruit flies, it seems, have a very similar ‘genetic clock’ to humans, so the researchers hypothesized that the genes that control it in them may serve a similar function in us. After scouring their genomes, they were able to identify a cluster of 80 genes associated with waking behavior.
Afterwards, the researchers observed at what point in the day certain fruit flies emerged from their pupal case (gross) and found that while most came out in the morning, some were a little sluggish and lagged behind the early risers by a few hours. We can relate to that.
Using the isolated genes, researchers were then able to breed the late risers to produce progenies that had a preference for sleeping in, proving that the proclivity to wake up early vs. late is nothing more than a customized gift from Mother Nature. Thanks, bitch.
This is impactful research because, like we said, we live in an early-riser world. However, the effect of that sleep cycle on late sleepers is unknown. Late sleepers aren't biologically meant to get up that early, and MOOOOOM WE SAID FIVE MORE MINUTES.
“Most people find that their performance is at peak at specific times of day,” explains Dr. Eran Tauber, one of the co-authors. “The impact of this preference on health and behavior is well documented, but the molecular basis is largely unknown.”.
So, it seems the shining staple of a 9 to 5 workday might not be the most productive or efficient work structure … cough, cough send this to your boss, cough.
All of this, obviously, points to the fact that work should start at 2 p.m. But until that happens, early-risers should tread lightly around the house because we're getting our beauty sleep. And daddy does not like to get woken up.