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Individual differences in a clock gene predict decline of performance during sleep deprivation

to night-shift work remains to be demonstrated.

An additional finding was that the effects of this gene on performance may be mediated by its effects on sleep. When the volunteers were allowed to sleep normally, those possessing only the longer form of the gene spent about 50% more of their time in slow-wave sleep, the deepest form of sleep. Slow-wave sleep is a marker of sleep need, and it is known that carrying a sleep debt makes it very difficult to stay awake and perform at night.

The findings highlight a possible role for clock genes in human sleep physiology and structure, and the influence these genes might have on performance by unrested individuals.


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Source:Cell Press


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