Early Risers Have Mutated Gene, Study Says

If the early bird gets the worm, Susan Middlebrook should be well fed. Whether she wants to or not, she’s ready to start each day between 1:30 and 3:00 a.m.

“I’m wide awake and ready to paint the house,” the 49-year-old Colchester, Vermont, resident said. “I don’t need a cup of coffee to get going, not at all. But between 4:00 and 5:00 [p.m.] you might have to nudge me with an elbow.”

Middlebrook suffers from what is known as familial advanced sleep phase syndrome, or FASPS. Her body’s clock is out of sync with the sleep-wake rhythm most of the world lives by.