Recent extensive research has discovered that people who are naturally prone to waking up early are less likely to develop mental health issues.
There are certain stock questions that people ask one another on a first date or at the start of a relationship. Do they prefer dogs or cats? Winter or summer? Those sorts of things. Truth be told, none of them will really have much sway on whether the relationship goes beyond that first meeting. However, the "are you a morning person?" question is one whose answer is very important.
If one half of a relationship is a morning person and the other is not, that could lead to a rather unharmonious coupling. Some assume that not waking up early is a sign that someone is lazy, or doesn't go to bed early enough. Turns out it isn't as simple as that. Research undertaken at the University of Exeter has discovered that we are genetically predisposed to be early risers or night owls, reports The Guardian.
The study was extremely extensive and included genetic data from more than 700,000 participants. People were asked to describe themselves as either a morning person or an evening person, and there were distinct repeating patterns in the genetic make up of both groups. There were also some more troubling findings linked to mental health issues.
Evening types, or night owls, were discovered to be 10% more likely to develop schizophrenia than those who naturally wake up early. There was also a clear link between participants who wake up later and depression, with early risers commenting that they were much happier and content with their lives. Researchers have attributed that to night owls having to actively work against their internal clock to go to school and work.
The worst part about all of this is that remedying the problem if you're not a morning person isn't as simple as waking up earlier. If anything, that will just make things worse. Some of us simply aren't supposed to wake up as early as others. Forcing ourselves to become a "morning person" only furthers the fight against our internal clock. However, for those of us with jobs that start first thing, we don't really have a choice.