DNA may determine whether you're an early or late riser

Credit: Mark Makela

Credit: Mark Makela

Are you an early bird or a night owl? Researchers say they have discovered 15 genetic variants that may determine whether a person favors mornings or nights.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 89,000 customers of the genetics company 23andMe who consented to have their information shared with scientists.

"With the information we have, we can uncover the genetics behind a variety of conditions and diseases, and hopefully reach a better understanding of how we differ from one another," said David Hinds, senior research scientist at 23andMe and a co-author of the paper.

Researchers identified 15 different locations in DNA associated with whether a person was an early or late riser.

A slight majority of the study's participants self-identified as night owls, while women and adults over 60 years old were more likely to consider themselves morning people, researchers said. Morning people appeared in general to suffer less from insomnia or depression, although the study's authors noted they could not find a consistent link to connect the two.

The study appeared Tuesday in the journal "Nature Communications."