The genetics of sleep

27 Aug

Maria Konnikova has a post at The New Yorker about the genetics of sleep:

“What the researchers found was that the reaction to sleep deprivation was largely heritable: eighty per cent of the variation among peoples’ susceptibility to the cognitive effects of sleep deprivation was explained by genetics.”

Konnikova makes a good case for the importance of sleep research:

“Sleep deprivation can cause actual physical harm, like a car crash, or cause you to hit “reply all” when you don’t mean to—a crash of a different sort. It results in severe cognitive impairments: lower productivity and difficulty concentrating, memory issues, and motivational problems. It even makes you like your hobbies less. That’s not to mention the known increased health risks, like hypertension, heart disease, obesity, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and even neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s. Sleep deprivation may be one of our greatest, and often invisible, public-health threats.”

 

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