Sleeping Late Is A Genetic Trait
December 6, 2011

Sleeping Late Is A Genetic Trait

Researchers found that sleeping-in when you don´t have to work the next day or not under the influence of sleeping pills is a genetic marker.

More than 10,000 people were studied and those with the ABCC9 gene needed around 30 minutes more sleep than those without the gene, reports BBC News.

The study participants reported how long they slept and gave a blood sample so their DNA could be analyzed. The study participants were from the Orkney Isles, Croatia, the Netherlands, Italy, Estonia and Germany.

The researchers then observed fruit flies and found that the flies without the ABCC9 gene also slept for three hours less than normal. ABCC9 helps control the body´s ability to sense energy levels of cells. This study may help open up a new line of research in sleep studies. Scientists may want to know how variants of the gene regulate how long people will sleep.

According to Dr. Jim Wilson from the University of Edinburgh, “A tendency to sleep for longer or shorter periods often runs in families despite the fact that the amount of sleep people need can be influenced by age, latitude, season and circadian rhythms. These insights into the biology of sleep will be important in unraveling the health effects of sleep behavior.”

The BBC notes that Margaret Thatcher required only 4 hours of sleep while Albert Einstein needed 11 hours of sleep daily.


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