Sunday, December 1, 2019

Can Genetics Explain Why Some People Thrive on Less Sleep?

Image result for sleeping

                Researchers have recently discovered that people with sleeping disorders, and things as simple as not being a morning person/ night owl can be explained by genetics. A family, the Johnson's, has 3 out of their 7 children characterized as "short sleepers". They shared that if they were offered $100,000 to sleep more than 6 hours in a night "they couldn't do it".
                A doctor at the University of Utah took interest in this family and took blood samples at a family reunion. The problem for researchers is that they understand very little about what sleeping really is, however upon further investigation, they found a gene mutation in all the "short sleepers". The gene they found is called NPSR1. They put that gene into mice and found that the mice slept for about an hour less than normal each day. Interestingly enough, the gene that they found mutated in this family shows up in about one in every 25,000 people.
               This article was very interesting to me, as I am someone who could never wake up after 6 hours alone of sleep and feel very great. I thrive on sleeping 8 hours plus, so I am curious to see what other research will be done about sleep and the genes that influence it.

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  1. I find your quote, "researchers understand very little about what sleep really is," very interesting. Something that is common within all humans, and very little is known about it. Maybe discovering this new gene will help researchers discover more information and unlock the secrete to sleep.

  2. I am thankful I do not have this gene, I love sleeping. I also wonder if this gene or something similar is linked to insomnia.

  3. I find this to be extremely interesting because I consider myself to be a short sleeper, and to know that there is a genetic mutation that causes this just solidifies that this is actually a real thing! I always wondered why I feel more refreshed the less sleep I get, and I guess this is why!