Early risers may have inherited faster body clocks from Neanderthals

Modern humans who have inherited genetic variants related to circadian rhythms from extinct hominins are more likely to be morning people

Humans 15 February 2023

Getting up in the morning

Genetics may explain why some of us find mornings easier than others

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Genetic variants that some people have inherited from their Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestors may increase the odds that they are morning rather than evening people.

“This was really exciting to us, and not expected,” says Tony Capra at the University of California, San Fransisco. “Neanderthals and Denisovans passed on DNA that increased our morningness, and this has been retained in modern human populations.”

Following a split from our common ancestor with archaic humans such as Neanderthals and Denisovans around …

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