Navigation Links
They Snooze Less, But They Don't Lose
Date:8/13/2009

Genetic mutation could explain why some function fine on six hours a night

THURSDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A lucky few can get by just fine on six hours of sleep, and a new study suggests a genetic mutation might help explain why.

The finding doesn't appear likely to help people with insomnia. Still, it "opens a door" to greater understanding of why people sleep as long as they do, said study co-author Ying-Hui Fu, a professor of neurology at the University of California at San Francisco.

Armed with this research, scientists may be able to eventually develop safe ways to tinker with people's bodies so that they can sleep less, she said. "At the same time, we'll feel fine."

According to Fu, about 5 percent of people get by on six hours or less of sleep a night without any ill effects. "They're perfectly fine, and they don't have a problem," she said. "For them, six hours is like eight hours for me."

For most people, however, eight or 8.5 hours of sleep are best, she said.

"We spend one-third of our life in a state of sleep, and we know that sleep is required. If you deprive any mortal organism of sleep, it will die," Fu said. "But we don't know what is regulating how much we need. That's the bottom line about why this study is exciting."

Fu and her colleagues examined the DNA of a mother and daughter who each get by on about six hours of sleep and compared it to that of other family members. They report their findings in the Aug. 13 online issue of Science.

The researchers found that the women shared a genetic mutation but other members of their family did not. Further research found that mice with the mutation slept less and recovered more quickly after being deprived of sleep.

It's not clear, however, how the mutation actually affects sleep patterns.

Future research could provide more insight into how the mutation works, and Fu said her dream is to find a way to create a drug that would allow people to sleep less.

This could have benefits beyond more wakefulness. Studies have shown that people who sleep an average amount of 30 to 60 minutes below average live the longest, said Dr. Daniel F. Kripke, emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Diego.

But genetics are only part of the picture, he said.

"Sleep amounts seem to be determined as much as 50 percent by genetics, and the rest by habits, social and work situations, recreation -- exercise, the Internet and late-night TV -- and environmental factors such as noise and light," he said.

As for the new study, Kripke cautioned that even if the genetic mutation does affect sleep, it's not clear if that helps people who have it. "We do not know if the amount that the people with the variation are sleeping is good or bad for them," he said. "We do not know if the gene effect should be called 'sleep deprivation' or 'enhanced energy.'"

More information

The National Sleep Foundation has more about sleeping smart.



SOURCES: Ying-Hui Fu, Ph.D., professor, neurology, University of California at San Francisco; Daniel F. Kripke, M.D., emeritus professor, psychiatry, University of California at San Diego; Aug. 13, 2009, Science, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Type of anesthetic will improve sleeping medication, probe mysteries of the snooze
2. RF Technologies(R) to Release Help Alert(R) Wireless, Staff-Duress Call Solution at HIMSS09 Annual Conference and Exhibition
3. Want to Lose Weight? Just Eat Less, Diet Study Suggests
4. Sensiotec Announces FDA 510(k) Class II Clearance for the Worlds First UWB Healthcare Unbound, Wireless, Non-Contact, Vital Signs and Movement Monitor
5. Why women should eat less, move more and consider wearing transdermal HRT patches during menopause
6. New Surgical Technology Holds Promise of Painless, Scarless Procedures
7. Medicine Disposal Partnership Will Encourage Public to Flush Less, Crush More
8. Renaissance Health Publishing, LLC Warns the Public that ConsumerLab.com is Not Independent and Labels the CL Seal of Approval a Worthless, Paid-For Advertising Gimmick
9. Older workers stress less, U-M study suggests
10. Newer antidepressants led to less, not more, teen suicides
11. Patients with moderate to severe periodontitis need evaluation for heart disease risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
They Snooze Less, But They Don't Lose
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law ... organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our ... a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought together some ... at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event was livestreamed ... over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here . ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and ... aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and ... apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans ... frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will ... during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual ... F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. ... Day Software and Consulting, LLC , and named its ... Software, based in Tennessee , will ... Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care partners ... "In an interoperable world, ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... -- Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), will host its ... on Friday, November 3, 2017, beginning at 7:00 a.m. ... 8:30 a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 a.m. (EDT). ... and guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom executives will also highlight ... and long-range financial outlook through 2020. ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... R.I. , Sept. 25, 2017  EpiVax, ... assessment, vaccine design, and immune-engineering today announced the ... on the development of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. ... has provided exclusive access to enabling technologies to ... Eng., MBA will lead EpiVax Oncology as Chief ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: