Late sleeper? Blame your genes.
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Late sleeper? Blame your genes.


Late sleepers get a bad rap. Maybe your friend who wakes up at 5 a.m. every day is a little quirky, but I bet they’re
productive. Your friend who wakes up at 11 every day, what do you think about them? But it turns out, sleeping late isn’t just a preference or a bad habit. Research is showing
that our bedtime could be coded into our DNA. Each of us has an internal clock, but my clock
isn’t necessarily in sync with yours. That’s because we all have our own chronotypes,
or preferred sleeping patterns. Scientists study chronotypes by tracking when
people go to sleep on days they don’t have to go to work or school. This chart shows the the mid-point of people’s
sleep on those free days. If you go to bed around 11 pm and get up between around 7 am, you have an
average chronotype. A very small number of people on either end of the chart have very early or very late chronotypes. But even those of us who are just slightly
behind the average chronotype can feel jet-lagged every day.
If you have an average chronotype, you’re generally getting the same amount of sleep on both free days and work days. Your sleep schedule fits with society’s
schedule. But the later your chronotype, the bigger
the difference between the amount of sleep you get on free days versus work days. So going back to a work day after a free day
is like flying over several time zones. And to understand why, you need to look at the master clock in our body. It’s a bundle of neurons called the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus, or SCN.
If you have a normal chronotype you SCN tells your pineal gland to start
producing melatonin around 9 pm, that makes you sleepy. Around 10:30, your colon starts suppressing bowel movements. Your
body temperature drops to its lowest point around 4:30 am, and your blood pressure reaches
its highest point around 6:45 am, so you’re at your most alert around 10 am
But for people with late chronotypes, all this stuff happens later in the day.
And there’s not much they can do about it. That’s because inside the neurons that make
up the SCN, scientists have discovered something called clock genes.
These genes turn on and off throughout the day to keep your body on a 24-hour cycle.
This time-lapse of the SCN shows these clock genes releasing proteins every 24 hours for
a week like…clockwork Researchers who study families of extreme
early-risers show that many of them share the same mutation on one of these clock genes.
Studies have found similar mutations in hamsters hamsters with early chronotypes. But when scientists took out these hamsters’ SCN, their body clock, and replaced them with the SCNs of normal
hamsters, they still woke up and went to sleep super early.
That’s because the SCN isn’t our only biological clock.
you also have all these little clocks in every single cell of your body In the early-rising hamsters, these clocks
in the body preserved the early chronotype, even after the brain’s SCN was taken out.
And for humans, this helps explain why it’s nearly impossible for late sleepers to adjust
to society’s schedule…the cells in their bodies literally won’t let them. And that’s
a problem. In one study, researchers took healthy people and messed with their sleep schedules. After
three weeks, they had early signs of diabetes. People with late chronotypes are also more
likely to be smokers and to develop depression. and maybe that should change the way we think
about sleep, it’s not this nuisance, it’s this fundamental part of life. Maybe some late sleepers are lazy, sure. But
the rest have been sorely misunderstood.

100 thoughts on “Late sleeper? Blame your genes.

  1. The best part is that people always call you lazy but during puberty I couldn't fall asleep before 1 or 1.30 am and then get up at 6 am so I could be in the classroom by 7.20 am on just 5 hours of sleep. No wonder grades declined, also I was addicted to energy drinks to the point that my friends took them from me. And now it is no different go to bed at midnight but that is when the most productive time starts.

  2. Am I the only person who, given the freedom, goes to sleep as late as 4 in the night, but if I have to wake up early and go to bed early, I'm fine?

  3. Thank you for this video, this is absolutely me! And this is why I decided to become an entrepreneur so I wouldn't have to be on someone else's schedule LOL.

  4. I live near big city, but far enough to be in the suburbs and lose sleep every night because I can't sleep with any light at all

  5. I struggled with this my whole life until I started working third shift. Now I'm never going back. I'm a productive beast at night. Not lazy. Sleeping at the very end of my work day and having my free time before work when the sun is actually up is awesome.

  6. I sleep at 11:00 and wake up at 6:30 on school days. But on free days I sleep at 11 and wake up at 11 on free days

  7. i need more people to see this. i literally go to sleep at 5 am on weekends and everyone gets mad at me for waking up so late

  8. For me I have a tendency to get up later and later because ideally I'm comfortable being asleep for 10 hours and being awake for 16, that doesn't add up to 24 hours in a day, that adds up to 26, so if I keep sleeping for 10 hours and being awake for 16, and repeat, I'll gradually get up later and later. Also I'm not lazy, I'm tired. I have a connective tissue disorder that effects my whole body, it's understandable why I'm always tired no matter what.

  9. can't go to bed early because my most productive time mentally is from 9:00pm-2:00am, but I also need to be up by 6:00 for work, but I also need 8 hours of sleep, but I can't justify going to bed early or else I cannot be productive for that day, but if I don't go to bed early I'll suffer tomorrow… it's a vicious cycle where there is literally no way to win

  10. So many things other than your genes (such as exercise, exposure to blue light, etc) affect your internal clock. How do you think people travel? They adapt their internal clocks. It's not that hard, come on.

  11. Ugh, my mind either wants to go to bed at 7:00 and wake up at 4:30 (much more useful for a farmer who has to make breakfast, but hard to achieve after making dinner) or go to bed at 12:00 and wake up at 10:00 (makes me feel depressed and sleepy). It’ll be interesting to see how my sleep changes when I change time zones and move to Wales…

  12. They didn't mention that on "workdays" i'm still unable to sleep early though. My comfortable bedtime is 2am and i can mayybee push it to 12:30 if im absolutely exhausted, if i sleep any earlier than that I'm guaranteed to wake up in the night and struggle to get back to sleep. Made school miserable, thankfully i now start work at 5:30pm and I get a full 8 hours everynight

  13. I sleep at 4 am as that's only time I can game with other friends online, and get up at 9 and go to work by 10 and come home at 8 and rinse and repeat, i just don't want to waste time sleeping.

  14. I’m ‘internal clock’ tells me to go to bed at 2:00 AM
    I then wake up anywhere from 7 AM – 11 AM

  15. I have this since as long I can remember. Horrible mornings an countless hours staring at the ceiling . I have met over 5 doctors so far an they never understood anything. I am meeting with a neurologist in 2 weeks, what tests can be done? What treatments are there? What tests should i demand? I would be very happy if I could get a reply before my doctors appointment . Thanks, you can reply to [email protected] if you want. I appreciate anything by now. thanks again.

  16. Lmao it’s 1 am rn I took a nap earlier but like I’m always awake for a couple hours from around 1-5 am, like I fall asleep then wake back up and am wayyy more energized, then go back to sleep and get tired again

  17. I usually sleep from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends, which I know is a problem. My family nags me for being lazy, tired, and staying up late, but I don't get tired at night. In addition to that, I get lethargic and sleepy in the daytime, no matter what amount sleep I get. I usually get 12 to 13 hours of sleep, which I'm working on decreasing since twelve year olds should be getting 10 instead.

  18. “And this is a problem” I’m just glad you don’t decide what I can do with my life, if you see it as a problem, it’s because you have been brainwashed by society to think that way, it’s really none of your business to be honest. So stop telling me I’m wrong for listening to my body.

  19. I usually wake up at like 8 when I don’t have to go to school but why do people that wake up late consider lazy? Waking up too early is also unhealthy :/ During the summer I wake up at 10 everyday and my niece called me lazy but like it summer, do you expect to wake up at 5 every morning 😂

  20. This just gives people the excuse to be lazy. Myself included as a "night owl." If you work by night, well there is work for that but not all workplaces will offer it. I don't think there's been enough research to support this "clock gene." There has been research that helps you become as early bird and ones that prove how people are happier. I mean, it should be common sense that socialization is needed and it doesn't matter who you are. Most people not being awake during late hours will and is depressing. I say this as someone who stays up late and wishes I had a more "normal" schedule. I also say this as someone who studied psychology and just graduated this June so I'm not just saying this to put anyone down. (Someone is bound to get offended though.)

  21. Watching at 4:35am 😂 I've been this way since I was a kid, it's definitely genetic. Some days I stay awake 24-30 hours to try an re-organise my sleep

  22. I'm am naturally nocturnal…always have been, my uncle was the same and so is my daughter, I'm ready to sleep from 3-5 am, rise at 10am-12 midday 1-2% of the population have this sleep pattern, we are natures way of keeping a watch over the group at night for safety, as social animals…meercats do the same (1-2% of population). if we weren't around you'd all be eaten in sleep by predators. If i try to conform to normal day time hours I feel like I'm constantly jet lagged. I love the night. I have good night vision and bright days hurt my eyes. I've met a few other genuine night owls who feel the same. I'd love to know if you are also a genuine night owl. Its a very little researched subject.

  23. I know some may thing this is bs and people are just lazy. But I have that delayed sleep syndrome. If I go to bed early, which I still try now and then, I won't fall asleep, I will lie in bed for hours and I won't fall asleep. Even if I then wake up early after sleeping only a few hours which makes you feel very sleepy, I will only fall asleep at 3am again that day and not earlier.

    It's a horrible disorder and it's real. You're always depressed because you haven't slept much and there's nothing you can do about it, because you have to get up early. If you skip sleep entirely, sometimes you can fall asleep, but even if you sleep long enough, you will feel like you haven't slept, it's horrible. Simply going to sleep at 3am and sleeping til 10-11 solves the problem of feeling sleepy.

    I have tried skipping sleep, which works best, but after a few weeks, you're back at 3am. Each day you fall asleep half an hour later, the next day half an hour later, then again, and then you're back at your perfect 3am. And all that time, while you do get sleep, you feel very weak and sleepy all the time.

    There's a possible solution, and it's to eat meat only diet (there's a video on that from Jordan Peterson), but I haven't tried it yet. I'm not sure it's possible for me to switch to a meat only diet.

  24. The discrimination connected to racism and sexism is almost nothing compared to the discrimination of late chronotypes. Our schools and workplaces actually bring us down so we have insanely huge difficulties with achieving success.

    (don't misunderstand I know racism is bad okay thanks)

  25. So this explains why I want to take on the world at 11pm. If I fall asleep at 7, 8, or 9, I will wake up 11 energized ready to go. My sleep clock is all sorts of messed up. I can't fall asleep early without medication. And when I use medication, I sleep way too long.

  26. Oh this is so my life problem…I love working or studying at night and I don’t feel my juices flowing until Noon!

  27. What if you have no schedule? What if you have circadian sleep rhythm disorder? It's in my genes to take a pill the rest of my life just to keep a schedule and be able to function in the modern world. Damn.

  28. I personally said to the principal to start at the afternoon to 6 or 7. Since most of the students are night owls. He was gonna go for it but the teachers said NO. So yeah my principal was cool enough to listen to a student but end up falling back to lameness

  29. OMG I wish society understood this. It's so freaking hard to me to leave bed when it's early.. seriously, I just can't leave bed

  30. Oh my gosh finally I feel understood! <3 I never get tired before 4am which seems to be an particularly extreme deviation from the norm. I've been trying to solve this issue with discipline for years but it never really worked.

  31. its a curse in this world. since childhood my time to sleep is ~4:30 am. im permanently sleepy except on the weekend. and all i get is "go to bed earlier". wow, thanks! great advise.

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