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Gene Discovered That Predicts Time of Death (But Do We Really Want to Know?)

by Jacqueline Burt on November 19, 2012 at 11:42 PM

alarm clock Early to bed, early to rise, early to ... die?! Well, maybe. While conducting research on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients over the age of 65, scientists made a sort of accidental discovery: Subjects who tended to be "early-risers" also tended to die just before 11 a.m.; "late-risers," on the other hand, tended to die just before 6 p.m. Coincidence? Nope. Apparently the same gene responsible for making people either early birds or night owls can also predict time of death. Um, creepy much?!

I guess this shouldn't come as any big surprise. As the lead researcher puts it, "The internal 'biological clock' regulates many aspects of human biology and behavior." But in this case, at least, is our clock telling us more than we need to know?

It's just that, collectively speaking, we're all a big bunch of control freaks these days. And of course a bit of control freakiness is okay, but when you combine our current state of control freakiness with our current, skyrocketing stress levels and rampant anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive issues, I just don't know if we need any more fuel for the control freaky fire. It's one thing to plan your wedding to the Nth degree, but your death? That can't be healthy. At some point we're all gonna have to learn how to let go, right? 

(I'm pretty sure, traditionally, that "some point" is death.)

I mean, it's great that the researchers think their findings will "determine when patients should be monitored most closely and when they should take medication." So I'm not saying there's nothing useful about this new info. I'm just saying maybe hold off on making any exact calculations, you know?

Do you want to know what time of day you're going to die?


Image via Howard Dickins/Flickr

Filed Under: general health, sleep


  • Andre...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Andrea Yancey

    November 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    I'd say that after awhile of working in nursing homes that almost everyone dies in the middle of the night.

  • Gypsy...


    November 21, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Cool, I never sleep, so I guess I'll never die! Lol rock on!


  • Zuri
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 21, 2012 at 7:32 PM
    Thanks. I'm going to be scared at 5:45 PM everyday now.
  • Sandr...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Sandra Wayner

    November 25, 2012 at 12:25 PM
    So scientists has made a sort of an accidental discovery of what time someone is going to die based on the time they go to bed, really? You have got to be kiding me! Well heres what I have to say about that ... I smell a trololololololo and a bad one at that.
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