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BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!

31 Mar 05 - 08:05 PM (#1448472)
Subject: BS: I'm a mutant (early waker)
From: Shanghaiceltic

Anyone else out there who also wakes up early and does not seem to need to much sleep? I manage on about 5 -6 hours a night max and now I am being called a mutant 'cause I wake up ealry. Jade just calls be a noisy bugger.

LONDON (Reuters) - A mutant gene rather than anti social tendencies may be the cause of people going to sleep and waking up unsociably early, scientists said on Wednesday.

They made their discovery after studying three generations of a family in which five members suffered from the so-called earlybird ailment officially known as Familial Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome.

"These results show that the gene is a central component of the mammalian circadian clock," the researchers from the Universities of California, Vermont, Utah and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute wrote in the science journal Nature.

They identified the mutant gene as CKIdelta.

People with earlybird syndrome sleep for the same length of time as non-sufferers but typically are wide awake and raring to go long before everyone else is up and about.

For many, it is a bonus rather than a millstone as they can use the time to get things done without daylight distractions.

But for others, living a life out of synch with their neighbors is a heavy anti-social burden.

"Some of them would never come to a doctor because they aren't troubled by it," Howard Hughes researcher Louis Ptacek said. "Often they have adjusted and accommodated their jobs to match their ability."

"But others are bothered by being out of phase with the rest of the world," he added.

The researchers said transferring the mutant gene to mice replicated the human experience but, oddly, inserting it into fruit flies made them sleep longer.

They said further research into the role of the gene in regulating the human body clock could have major implications for the development of novel compounds for the treatment of sleep disorders.

31 Mar 05 - 09:02 PM (#1448512)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: Bee-dubya-ell

So that's it! My wife's proclivity toward running the vacuum cleaner at six AM is because she's a mutant! And I thought it was because she's an alien.

31 Mar 05 - 09:14 PM (#1448522)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: JennyO

inserting it into fruit flies made them sleep longer.

Fascinating stuff! I must say I've never seen a fruit fly asleep.

I have one of those people here, I'm sure. John just can't stay up really late, no matter how hard he tries, then gets up at sparrowfart to work on his train modelling, or do his washing.

Then there are people at the other end of the scale, like me, who are more likely to be going to bed just as the earlybirds are waking up. Makes for an interesting life. We do sometimes manage to connect somewhere in the middle, fortunately.

Being a nightowl like me is much more useful when you are a folkie, particularly at folk festivals - and it seems there are a lot of us! The other night, at the National in Canberra, as I tore myself away from a crowded session bar, picking my way past the tune session at the door, to go to my tent at 5am, with lights ablaze everywhere and people all over the place, I thought "What a bunch of mad buggers we are!"


31 Mar 05 - 09:25 PM (#1448529)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: Deckman

I'm with you! I only need 3 - 4 hours sleep a night. I'm always on my feet by three in the morning. As I've usually found that beds are very dangerous places to be if you're NOT sleepy, it's far safer to get up. I'm fortunate in having an understanding wife and a woodshop where I can go, build a fire in the stove, and do things! CHEERS, Bob

01 Apr 05 - 01:10 AM (#1448620)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: Davetnova

one more four hour mutant here.

01 Apr 05 - 01:29 AM (#1448627)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: Pauline L

I envy those of you who can get along on 4 hours of sleep. I need 8. I'm also an extreme night owl. Some nights I just can't fall asleep before dawn.

01 Apr 05 - 01:56 AM (#1448640)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: Liz the Squeak

I'm sort of in the middle. I do need more than 4 hours sleep but even if I only get that, I'm unbearably cheerful in the mornings.... I can get out of bed and be all bouncy and perky right from the start. I have been known to iron at 4.00am, shop at 5.00am and leave for work at 6.00am.

The only thing that makes me crabby in the morning is when I get nagged to get up.


01 Apr 05 - 07:44 AM (#1448869)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: Layah

I really envy you mutants. I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I need ten hours of sleep (not like I ever actually get that much) and tend to stay up half the night. No matter how early I fall asleep I still won't be happy waking up before 9 (not that I usually manage to avoid it). What I actually need is a 28 hour day, and since days are 24 hours if left to my own devices my day rotates around later and later. And sleeping all day and being awake all night is boring. Everyone is asleep and shops are closed and everything.

01 Apr 05 - 08:25 AM (#1448916)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: GUEST,Mrr

I can't go to sleep early and have a very hard time waking up on time for any reasonable job; I'm totally glad to find out that I'm the one who isn't the mutant! I already have a split uvula, which is one of the first things I checked when my kids were born, in case I'd passed it on...
Thank the inventor of the snooze button! I can get up at 7 IF I set my alarm for 6:15 and hit the snooze button for about 45 mn; I cannot get up at 7 if that's when my alarm is set without being groggy and dangerous until 10. I have been known to sleep through the most amazing things, if they are happening in the early morning.
Maybe my version of the "normal" allele is actually overactive...

01 Apr 05 - 09:02 AM (#1448971)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: gnu

I understand the following is rather rare, about one in ten thousand. My buddy and his wife brought little Luke into this world about three years ago. Twice, in a row, this week, he slept from 11PM to 6AM. The rest were sporadic and about four hours.

He's getting better. Now, I am NOT making this up. Before he was walking, he was awake quite a bit, but quiet. When he got to walking and climbing (the kid climbed everything - it was scary), they realized he was different. Typically, he would sleep for one or two hours and then go like a banshee for anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. Their doctor was the one who told them about the 1 in 10,000, but could offer no help. I saw the toll it took on my buddy and his wife.

Luke has an older half-brother of about 16 years and an older sister of about 8 years. Both sleep fine, especially the teenager, whom I have to holler out of the bunk when we go up to my camp.

Anybody else heard of this with young children?

01 Apr 05 - 09:22 AM (#1448997)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: Alice

My dad must have had this gene, but not my mom and the rest of us.

01 Apr 05 - 12:21 PM (#1449149)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: GUEST,Ebbie

One of my two adopted sisters (adopted when I was 14, and blood sisters to each other)was like that. It became a byword in our family. By the time she was 2, Jeanie would sleep for a couple of hours then bounce in her crib chortling happily to herself for hours. At naptime she would sleep like 20 minutes and then be raring to go. She is now in her mid50s and seems normal. In other words we all survived. *G*

01 Apr 05 - 09:36 PM (#1449697)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: JohnInKansas

inserting it into fruit flies made them sleep longer...

Calling my SO a fruit fly is getting a little personal!

(But I will investigate. One never knows where the truth lies.)


01 Apr 05 - 09:52 PM (#1449705)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: GUEST,Tekman

You think you're a mutant, man? You ain't got nothin' on William Shatner. You had a look at him lately?

- Tekman

02 Apr 05 - 01:17 AM (#1449781)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: Liz the Squeak

I've heard of the sleep thing with toddlers - a former work colleague had a son who slept for 2-3 hours out of any given 24... I'm assured it does get better when they are more able to entertain themselves with quiet play.

There are some doctors who will prescribe sedatives so that at least the child isn't running round like a wind up toy all day, and so that the parents can get some rest themselves, but it's not a long term solution.

My colleague managed to control her sons sleep pattern with diet control - no sugar after 5.00pm, nothing with aspumarti (or whatever that sweetener is called) at all, and nothing with caramel colouring or a certain yellow colouring. He improved greatly so that she at least could get some rest, and he got something like 5-6 hours instead of the usual 2.


02 Apr 05 - 06:03 AM (#1449867)
Subject: RE: BS: I'm a mutant......!!!!
From: Emma B

this gene should be part of pre-nuptial compatability testing! as one of the late-nighters / early reisers it is a sad sight at folk festivals to see displaced partners wandering aimlessly around the camp site looking for someone to share a cuppa with.....perhaps a mutual support society.......?