Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Researchers at 23andMe Determine Sleeping In Longer is Genetic

Figure 1. An adorable sleeping baby

23andMe has recently utilized their database to analyze 89,000 DNA sequences of people to determine if waking up early or sleeping in late is due to genetics. In addition to analyzing the DNA sequences, the profiles of each participant was analyzed to determine there characteristics such as sex, age, and illnesses. Through this data, the researchers have come to the conclusion that people that are female, are over 60 years old or are not suffering from insomnia are more likely to not stay up late and feel fine with waking up early. The opposite characteristics were true with people who stayed up late and slept in longer. However, this data is not 100% conclusive due to the fact that only people of European descent were studied, but it does provide substantial evidence due the vast number of participants.

I have always believed that this trait to be due to genetics, and I am not surprised that the data collected by 23andMe supports it. It would be interesting to see the if the researches would eventually be able to create better drugs to help people go to sleep and feel well rested when they wake. Or the possibility of a "Power Nap" pill where it would make a 30 minute nap equivalent to an 8 hour sleep. This would have a heavy impact on how the world worked because people would be able to work more and longer and still have many more hours in the day for family and spending the extra money they are making which would in turn boost the economy. This is a bit of a far fetched idea, but I believe we are one step closer to it with the new findings of the researchers.

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