Monday, November 8, 2010

Do Genes Even Control Sleep?

It appears that genes do play a role in how long you sleep.

Geneticists studying sleep duration in people scanned the DNA of more than 4,200 Europeans, looking for genes associated with a person’s average nightly sleep time. The team found that people who have one version of a gene called SUR2 sleep about 28 minutes longer than people who have another version of the gene, said Karla Allebrandt of the University of Munich, who presented the research November 5 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.

Last year researchers from the University of California, San Francisco reported that a rare variation in DEC2, a gene involved in regulating the body’s daily rhythms, is associated with sleeping almost two hours a night less than average.

Source: Science News 9/12/10, p. 11.

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