Med thumb mars surface cropped

If people constantly chastise you for sleeping in late, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lazy. It might just mean you’re more suited for a life on Mars, according to a recent study which suggests that late sleepers would survive better on the Red Planet than early risers.

Mars, by coincidence, has a day similar to Earth’s — only 39 minutes longer — which indicates that humans would sleep very easily up there.

But since late sleepers are believed to have different body clocks (it takes them longer to complete a circadian cycle), then it’s likely they would respond especially well to a planet with extra time to spare.

The new study, a collaboration between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, looked at mice over the course of 14 months, some of which had a natural circadian cycle of 24 hours, and others which had been mutated to a sprightlier 20-hour cycle. Vermin with faster cycles became less and less common after breeding. By the end of the study, only those who were aligned to the Earth’s rhythm still remained.
earth and mars


Okay, so what does this mean and what does it have to do with Mars? If you’re an early riser, you’ll probably fare as well on the Red Planet as those dead mice did on Earth.

Andrew Loudon, a chronobiology professor at the University of Manchester, spoke with The Telegraph about the issue: “A correctly ticking body clock is essential for normal survival in the wild, and this has to be in phase with the rotation speed of the earth,” Loudon said. “Animals with clocks that do not run in synchrony with earth are selected against.”

So there you have it. Before you start planning a trip to the Red Planet, we'd recommend sleeping on it.