Genes May Play a Part in Lack of Sleep

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October 19, 2009

The discovery by University of California, San Francisco, researchers of a genetic mutation that allows its carrier to function properly on less sleep than the average adult is opening scientists' eyes to the idea that our genes might actually determine sleep duration, according to a recent Forbes article. According to the article, disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy have been traced to genetic variations and mutations. Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, who discovered the mutations and variations tied to those disorders, told Forbes that he believes other disorders in the same spectrum, such as insomnia and sleepwalking, also may be tied to genetics. The article notes that recent research shows even restless legs syndrome may be associated with genetic variations.