European experts say they have found a gene associated with an increased need for sleep


A study involving more than 10 000 people from several European countries who have concluded that the gene ABCC9 need about 30 minutes of sleep per night. According to research published in the journal “Molecular Psychiatry”, one in five Europeans carries the gene. The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, say the discovery may help explain behaviors associated with sleep.

Each of the participants said how many hours sleep per night and had a sample of your blood taken for DNA analysis.

The need for sleep can vary significantly from one person to another. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, for example, was known to need only four hours of sleep per night, while the scientist Albert Einstein, 11.

Fruit fly

The study involved people from the Orkney Islands, and Croatia, Holland, Italy, Estonia and Germany.

The researchers wanted to know how was the sleep patterns of participants on free days, or when they had to work or take medicine to sleep.

By comparing the data on sleep patterns with the results of genetic analysis, they concluded that participants who had the variant ABCC9 needed more sleep than the average of eight hours.

The team then investigated how this gene influences the sleep pattern of fruit flies, we also carry this variant.

Flies lacking the gene ABCC9 three hours less sleep than those who carry the gene, the researchers found.


ABCC9 The gene acts as a sensor of energy levels in the human body.

According to scientists, the study opens a new avenue for research on sleep. They say they hope that future research can establish exactly how this genetic variant regulates the sleep time required for each individual.

The expert Jim Wilson of the University of Edinburgh, says: “Humans sleep about a third of their lives. Often the tendency to sleep for longer periods or shorter is a family trait, despite the amount of sleep may be influenced by age, latitude, season and circadian rhythm [period of approximately one day, which is based on the life cycle of the human body]. “

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