What does sleeping have to do with your genes? A lot, apparently

Ever find yourself wondering why your sleeping habits are the way that they are?

Perhaps you sleep like a rock, and a tornado couldn’t even wake you. Or maybe you’re a light sleeper, and find it difficult to ever get a restful night’s sleep.

Night owl, morning person, or somewhere in-between, it turns out that your sleeping habits are influenced by your genes, according to a new scientific study, said a CTV article.

Through their research, scientists examined an array of genetic data from 23andme, a DNA testing website, and a British biobank to determine what it is that influences someone’s sleeping preferences.

Examining data from approximately 700,000 people, lead-researcher Michael Weedon, a professor at the University of Exeter Medical School, found that our sleeping tendencies are strongly linked to genetic factors.

Researchers were aware of  24 genes associated with sleep timing, but “the new study published Wednesday in the Nature Communications journal found an additional 327 play a role,” the CTV article said.

Researchers further discovered that people with a genetic tendency to sleep later have an elevated risk of mental health problems, however, the authors warned that additional research is required to better understand this connection.

The first phase of the study looked at the genes of individuals who identify as either a morning or evening person, and, because these terms can be interpreted differently amongst different people, researchers analyzed a smaller number of participants who wore activity trackers.

Researchers considered information “from the wrist-worn trackers of more than 85,000 participants in the UK Biobank to find objective data about their sleep patterns … they found the genes they had identified could shift a person’s natural waking time by up to 25 minutes, but there were no apparent links between the genes and how long or how well people slept,” the article said.

I guess I can thank my parents for my ability to sleep through an Armageddon.

Photo on <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/”>VisualHunt.com</a&gt;


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