Tuesday, January 12, 2010

They're the Mutants, not us.

Ever beat yourself up for not being able to drag yourself out of bed to make that 6:30 am spinning class before work? Well now there is scientific evidence that you should stop the self abuse and hit that snooze alarm. I, for one, have many times entertained the grand idea that I would find a way to fit in happy hour AND a work out AND 8 hours of work, all in one glorious day. The president does it, why can't I?

I have tried many a time, setting my alarm for 6 am. Laying out my running shoes the night before. Yet every time the horrible beep sounds just once, the only thing I accomplish is setting my clock back another hour and a half and rolling over.

And it turns out this was the right decision (for me). According to a recent article in Science magazine (and a little excerpt in January's Marie Claire), all of those people who are recharged and rearing to start their days at 6am are actually harboring a mutant gene that makes them so chipper so early. I've known I wasn't a morning person for a while, but now at least I feel justified in my crankiness and extreme sluggishness in the early morning hours, for those of us without this gene require more sleep to get by.

A variation of the DEC2 gene (the insomnia gene) lets some people feel awake and refreshed after a mere six hours of sleep. Mice with this gene like to spend extra time on the running wheel each day. Humans with this gene like to make the rest of us feel bad by working out early in the morning.

Isn't it ironic that the insomnia gene can make some people energized while actual insomnia in the average sucks the energy right out of you. Don't cha think?

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