Genetic testing through a company like Pathway Genomics, which was founded by entrepreneur Jim Plante, provides insight into so many physical and mental characteristics that it’s mind-boggling. A large number of gene variations are possible in human DNA. Some indicate a higher-than-normal risk for the development of certain physical disorders. Others offer reasons why a smaller percentage of individuals have different, but harmless, characteristics than others in the population.
The Night Owl
One example is the type of person known as a night owl. It may have been frustrating for this person always struggling with having to get up early for class, and in later years, for work. It seems like everyone else has no trouble with this. It can be helpful to know that there actually are genetic reasons for this tendency in many cases.
Gene Mutations and Sleep Disorders
A gene mutation sometimes is responsible for disrupting the normal pattern of sleep behavior in humans. Technically, the abnormal pattern is known as delayed sleep phase disorder. People viewing genetic testing results may feel a bit disgruntled about their preferred sleep behavior being called a mutation and a disorder, but at least now there are answers. No longer does this issue have to seem like a character flaw; it’s built right into the DNA.
Strategies for Success
With this knowledge, the person can take steps to make life easier. One possibility is to look for jobs that don’t require being at the workplace at 8 a.m. Flexible hours are helpful. If this can’t be done, using strategies to encourage restful sleep at earlier hours may be a solution. Authoritative websites offer numerous suggestions, such as not eating late in the evening and turning off all electronic screen devices a couple hours before going to sleep.
People who believe they will have trouble adjusting their sleep schedule to fit the requirements of their work life should understand that this schedule is more malleable than they might think. This is indicated by the fact that some individuals whose genes show they should be night owls actually prefer getting up at dawn. They’ve learned how to do this over time and now they like that schedule best.