The influence of genes on sleep is well recognised, however, what remains unclear is which genes determine which sleep patterns and ultimately which sleep disorders.
If scientists knew which genes were killing our chances at good sleep, there could be early identification, treatment and improved long-term health. Dr Daniel Gottlieb co-authored some new research that was published in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry on 2 December 2014 linking our DNA to our sleep patterns.
His latest research has identified two clusters of genetic material that appear to influence sleep duration. The first cluster of genetic material is linked to longer-than-average sleep duration whilst the second cluster is linked to shorter-than-average sleep duration.
It appears that one CAN get too much of a good thing as sleeping too long is linked to developing obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Conversely, sleeping too little increases your risk of cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease.
It seems that these genetic clusters are closely linked to mental health, thyroid function and concentration. So, whilst the study points us in the right direction, it will take many more like it to give us the life-saving answers we are all after.
Like this article? For more information like this check out Baby not sleeping through? Blame it on your genes.