Our bodies follow a "natural daily rhythm" often referred to as the circadian clock, pointing out certain times of day when a person has the best coordination, is at the most alert and when they are in the deepest sleep among other things.
New research has revealed for the first time, that a common gene variant that affects "virtually the entire population" may be responsible for your tendency to be a early riser or a night owl.
More surprisingly this new finding could also help in determining the time of day a person may be most likely to die.
The research was published in the November issue of the Annals of Neurology, with the findings having the potential to help monitor conditions of patients and plan medical treatments.
"The internal ‘biological clock’ regulates many aspects of human biology and behavior, such as preferred sleep times, times of peak cognitive performance, and the timing of many physiological processes. It also influences the timing of acute medical events like stroke and heart attack," says first author Andrew Lim.
BIDMC chief of neurology Clifford Saper said that virtually all physiological processes have a circadian rhythm, meaning they occur "predominantly at certain parts of the day".
"There’s even a circadian rhythm of death, so that in the general population people tend on average to be most likely to die in the morning hours. Sometime around 11 am is the average time," he added.
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