Saturday, September 12, 2020

How Much Sleep Do You Need Every Night?

Do you feel well rested with more or less sleep? According to this New York Times article you may have a gene causing you to sleep less than the average amount of hours adults need but still feel refreshed and ready for the day. Brad Johnson serves as his own alarm clock and can never seem to sleep more than six hours a day. Johnson and several family members also share this same characteristic. Dr. Louis Ptacek and his colleagues collected the DNA of Johnson and these family members and found the same mutation in each family member. They then put that same mutation into mice and compared them to regular mice. The mice with the mutation needed one less hour of sleep than the unaffected mice. This gene is called ADRB1, which causes a “heightened wakefulness and impacts wakeful regulation.” I think this study is really interesting because I never asked myself why humans need to sleep and how we know to wake up. It’s crazy that one small mutation can regulate the amount of time someone sleeps to fully function throughout the day.

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting article because I had no idea that how much you sleep is determined by a mutation (not always the case though). From reading your blog, I know for a fact that I don't have the ADRBI gene as I can sleep for twelve hours.