back to article Human 'alarm clock' enzyme discovered

When your alarm clock doesn't go off, you can thank a humble enzyme for getting you out of bed, scientists at the Salk Institute reveal in research published today. Researchers examining the mechanisms that control our sleep have found the chemical reaction that makes us stir abruptly, throw the cat off the bed and stumble …


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  1. jai

    I don't have an enzyme

    I have the dog. If the alarm clock doesn't do it's job, then having a dog leap on the bed, step on your genitals and proceed to lick your face generally does the trick just as well.

    Although, presumably he has this enzyme because he does it to me every morning at the same time. Am waiting for scientists to discover how to tell this enzyme that it's the weekend and there's no need to go fro a walk for at least another 2 hours...

    1. I'm Brian and so's my wife

      Be thankful the dog doesn't step on your face and lick your genitals...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I have neither the enzyme or the dog.

        But I do have the ability to turn off an alarm clock whilst still asleep.

        I tend to be late for things.....

  2. D@v3

    how can you tell when a fruit fly is 'napping'? I am intrigued

  3. David 39

    Erm WTF

    Is a scientist? Isn't the correct terminology a boffin? Stop all this new fangled language with immediate effect.

  4. Asgard

    Human 'alarm clock' suppression

    @"Human 'alarm clock' enzyme JARID1a discovered"

    Wake me up when they have found a way to suppress JARID1a. :)

    1. Jedit Silver badge

      Until they find a way to suppress it...

      ... we won't have to wake you up.

      And what joker decided the enzyme that controls the biological clock should be called "PERIOD"?

  5. TeeCee Gold badge

    Very clever.

    Now do something useful and find the snooze function for when the ruddy thing goes off at the weekend!

  6. Chrome

    I think I may be missing this enzyme entirely

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I think I may be missing this enzyme entirely"

      I'm happy for you, but it's cruel to brag about it.

  7. Tegne

    There may be another related study they can conduct..

    Whether this enzyme also affects whether people are more likely to buy an iPhone.

  8. Tom 13

    Good! That means maybe sometime in the next 5 years

    they'll come up with a way for me to get a good 7 or 8 hours of sleep again. I hate waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall asleep until it is time to go to work again.

  9. nichobe


    PERIODS at the centre of our biological clocks, well for ~50% of the population anyway. I always thought it was a symptom.

  10. Identity

    Satchindananda Panda

    A name to conjure with

  11. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    Pill form?

    I'd love to get this enzyme in pill form. I've always wanted to be one of those annoying morning people who manage to fully wake up and get stuff done before going to work. Or even being vaguely alert before 11am and several coffees would be a bonus :(

  12. Alan B
    Thumb Down

    I have a serious problem!

    I think my JARID1a needs resetting to go off three hours later. I really don't like waking up at about 5am every morning and not be able to get back to sleep, when I don't need to get up until around 8am

  13. Jim Carter

    Is there a special enzyme for Greenday fans?

    1. Chrome

      One of the digestive ones?

      (note: I actually quite like Greenday)

  14. Andy Blackburn

    Are they smart enough to suppress it on my day off?

  15. Dan 10

    Be interesting... record the levels present in teenagers. They inability to get up and about may be directly linked...

  16. Daniel B.

    Now all I need

    ... is for boffins to design a way for me to get JARID1a at the exact time I have to wake up.

  17. scarshapedstar

    "We've already known that a protein called PERIOD or PER is at the centre of our biological clock"

    Am I right, boyfriends?

  18. sisk

    Yes, but does it have a snooze button?

  19. Eddy Ito

    To think

    All this time I thought it was triggered by discomfort caused by a buildup of fluid in the bladder.

  20. Citizen Kaned


    now create me a pill to tell it to fuck off at 6am on a weekend!!! grrrrrrrrrrrr

    surely the one that says 'did he get 8 hours sleep' should overwrite it?!

    if there is a god, he is a tool.

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