Sleepy? Genetics May Be to BlameIN NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MEDICINE
A new study has linked a specific gene to an increase in general sleepiness. Scientists believe this “morning person” gene may shed new light on our understanding of sleep patterns.
We all experience occasional daytime drowsiness, especially when we don’t get enough sleep the night before. This new study, presented by scientists at Germany’s Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, suggests that one gene may be the reason some people can operate on less sleep than others. People who have two copies of a variant of the gene known as ABCC9 generally reported sleeping fewer hours every night than those who had two copies of a different variant of the gene.
The ABCC’s of Sleep
Though it is still unclear how ABCC9 impacts sleep patterns and duration, previous connections have been found between genetics and sleep habits. In 2008, researchers identified a gene associated with narcolepsy, and a 2010 study found genetic differences between people who felt drowsy when they woke up after a full night’s sleep and those who felt well rested.
The ABCC9 gene has already been linked to heart disease and diabetes, which may contribute to a growing belief that sleep patterns impact cardiovascular health. Though no direct relationship has been established, authors of this new study suggest the ABCC9 gene may build a bridge between sleep duration and common health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
|Tips for a Good Nap
Traditionally, people who take naps have received a reputation for being lazy or unproductive. But if you enjoy a daytime siesta, you’re joining the ranks of John F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison—historical figures who were all known to enjoy a good nap.
No matter what attitude you may have about them, naps are sometimes necessary to recover from jet lag, lack of nighttime sleep or a stressful week. Naps can restore alertness, enhance short-term performance and increase safety for those who are driving or operating machinery. To get the most out of a nap, remember the following guidelines:
© 2013. True North Custom Media. All Rights Reserved.
Sources: nature.com, abcnews.go.com, sleepfoundation.org, nigms.nih.gov
For more information on new developments in medicine, visit our website or call (866) CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).