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Thread: Genetics and response to daylight savings time?

  1. #1
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Genetics and response to daylight savings time?

    Really, it's about heterogeneous Circadian rhythms caused by different genetics.


    "Circadian rhythms drive the timing of many physiological events in a 24-hour day. When individuals undergo an abrupt external shift (e.g., change in work schedule or travel across multiple time zones), circadian rhythms become misaligned with the new time and may take several days to adjust. Chronic circadian misalignment, e.g., as a result of shift work, has been shown to lead to several physical and mental health problems. Despite the serious health implications of circadian misalignment, relatively little is known about how genetic variation affects an individual's ability to shift to abrupt external changes. Accordingly, we use the one-hour advance from the onset of daylight saving time (DST) as a natural experiment to comprehensively study how individual heterogeneity affects the shift of sleep-wake rhythms in response to an abrupt external time change. We find that individuals genetically predisposed to a morning tendency adjust to the advance in a few days, while genetically predisposed evening-inclined individuals have not shifted. Observing differential effects by genetic disposition after a one-hour advance underscores the importance of heterogeneity in adaptation to external schedule shifts, and these genetic differences may affect how individuals adjust to jet lag or shift work as well."

    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Advisor Jovialis's Avatar
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    Every morning I wake up at around 5 AM, even if I sometimes fall asleep around 12 am. Usually by 10:30-11pm, I'm asleep. I am very much a morning person, much to the annoyance to those who aren't; I tend to speak loudly apparently. I try to seize the day, I like it when there are very few people out and about, outside. I usually have my second espresso by the time others are waking up. I love the fact that the sun is going down around 7 pm now.

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    In New Zealand daylight saving starts in September and ends in April. I try to avoid even the slight circadian misalignment (identified in this paper) by simply ignoring DST. That is, when the clocks go forward an hour, so do my meal times and bedtime, so that they effectively remain the same. It helps that I am retired now, so I have more control over my daily schedule.

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