Saturday September 21, 2019

Study Reveals Poor Sleep Linked to Genetics

They also found that Restless Leg Syndrome is linked to poorer sleep from the genetic variants associated with sleep measures derived from the accelerometer data

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Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

Suffering from sleep disorder? Blame genetics. A new study has found several parts of our genetic code that could be responsible for poor sleep.

Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the University of Exeter identified as many as 47 links between our genetic code and the quality and quantity of sleep.

Among the genomic regions discovered is a gene called PDE11A. The team found that an uncommon variant of this gene affects not only how long one sleeps but also the quality of sleep.

“This study identifies genetic variants influencing sleep traits, and will provide new insights into the molecular role of sleep in humans,” said lead author Samuel Jones from the University of Exeter.

Sleep deprivation can hurt performance and health. Wikimedia commons

“Changes in sleep quality, quantity and timing are linked to several human diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and psychiatric disorders,” added Andrew Wood from the varsity.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers looked at data from 85,670 participants of UK Biobank and 5,819 individuals from three other studies, who wore accelerometers-wrist-worn devices, which record activity levels continuously.

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They found that collectively, the genetic regions linked to sleep quality are also linked to the production of serotonin-a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Serotonin is known to play a key role in sleep cycles and is theorised to help promote deeper and more restful sleep.

They also found that Restless Leg Syndrome is linked to poorer sleep from the genetic variants associated with sleep measures derived from the accelerometer data. (IANS)

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Poor Sleep Quality Associated with Reduced Memory in Senior Citizens

The researchers said regular sleep was important for best cognitive performance at any age

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Photo: www.myhousecallmd.com

Senior citizens, please take note. Lower sleep quality and variability in night sleep time may adversely affect your ability to recall past events, says a study.

The study, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal, underscores the importance of sleep in maintaining good cognitive functioning.

The study divided participants in two categories: younger adults (18-37 years) and older adults (56-76 years). The participants were given wearable accelerometers to measure sleep duration and quality over seven nights.

“The night-to-night variability in older adults had a major impact on their performance in tests aimed at evaluating episodic memory,” said Audrey Duarte, Associate Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the US.

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“The more control older adults think they have, the younger they feel,” said study co-author Shevaun Neupert, Professor at North Carolina State University in the US. Pixabay

Stating that the association between sleep and memory has been known, Duarte said this study underlined the connection particularly among older adults and black participants.

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“We wanted to know how sleep affected memory, how well they remembered things and how well their brains functioned depending on how well they slept,” said Emily Hokett, a Ph.D student at the institute.

The researchers said regular sleep was important for best cognitive performance at any age. (IANS)