Scientists have found out that the pattern of rising early from bed in the mornings have a genetic component and thus may run in families.
The behavior is called familial advanced sleep phase syndrome (FASPS) and involves sleeping early and rising early. This is said to be the phenotype of the gene PER2. The pattern is exhibited when there is a mutation in the phosphorylation site in the casein kinase I (CKI) domain of the gene. The behavior pattern is also known as first human mendelian circadian rhythm variant.
The circadian clock is a cellular mechanism that sets various rhythmic activities inside the organisms. Genetic research had unveiled many of the components that make up the circadian clock and research had proved that each of these components might have evolved independently to set up the unique circadian rhythm for the organism.
The researchers have also showed that transgenic Drosophila that carried human gene CKI -T44A showed the same but lengthy circadian period. And transgenic mice with the same gene showed a shorter circadian period.
The results show that CKI -T44A is the central component that controls the sleep patterns of mammals.
Reference: Journal Nature, issue March 2005
, familial advanced sleep phase syndrome, FASPS, mendelian circadian rhythm, circadian clock, CKI -T44A, gene PER2