They say the early bird gets the worm or the job as a morning radio talk show host.  Some people seem hard wired to be bright and cheery in the morning while others of us struggle.

What do they have that folks like me don't?  Perhaps a genetic predisposition!

People who manage to be very chipper very early in the morning are annoying to many of us, but University of California researchers say there's a genetic quirk that seems to affect about one in 300 adults that makes them programmed to wake up before dawn and go to sleep at 8 p.m. (I'm up for a gene splice!)

The Daily Mail says this type of routine is called an "advanced sleep phase," and for a long time was considered very rare. Those with the gene operate earlier than most, which in turn triggers a strong release of melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy, in the afternoon.

Also, while most of us relish about 40 minutes of extra sleep on non-work days, these folks are fine with just five or ten minutes more than usual, or even no extra time at all, in order to function at the optimal level.


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