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Can your DNA tell you how to sleep better?



Genetic discoveries are made at a tremendous pace, and I'm excited that genes associated with many sleep disorders belong to these findings. All of these new genetic tests may someday help physicians understand who is at risk, and perhaps help them find a cure for them. Some genes are already being tested with popular consumer test kits.

So far, research has shown that narcolepsy, the disorder of extreme, excessive drowsiness, was associated with a particular gene (HLA-DQB1 * 06: 02). Restless Legs syndrome has a strong genetic link – 60% of cases are considered familial, and four genes have been linked to the disorder.

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There are tendencies outside diagnosable disorders, such as a night owl or a morning lark is associated with specific, verifiable genes (perhaps up to 15 or more), and even our ability to manage inadequate sleep has recently been attributed to a gene: scientists in San Diego have recently discovered genes that may play

Where to

23andMe has already introduced a limited genetic "sleep" report that examines two genes that can affect sleep – disruptive limb movements: The BTBD9 gene has been found in people with restless legs and variations in the ADA gene have been observed in individuals with deep sleep deprivation s Understanding the risk of diseases such as Restless Legs Syndrome will help your doctor diagnose your sleep disorder more quickly and treat it more accurately.

The company ORIG3N promises an even more comprehensive insight into the sleep of their customers. One of the employees of ORIG3N offered me a taste of some of the upcoming tests that he would like to offer. Let's just say, looking at your sleep characteristics promises to be quite comprehensive. ORIG3N already offers parents the opportunity to find out from the evaluation of the ARNTL gene whether their child needs as much sleep as their peers.

Should you get one out?

For the moment, all of this DNA information is intriguing and moving rapidly towards legitimate utility. An ORIG3N test I did in January told me that my ability to learn new languages ​​is not very robust because of my FOXP2 gene (so true!). Due to my AGER gene status, my skin is less susceptible to signs of aging (I do) I lived on Doogie Howser comments), my LEPR gene makes me lose less weight (my weight has changed little in 25 years ), and I'm "gifted" when it comes to my ACTN3 gene protein needed for a fast protein – changing muscles. This makes me sportier and probably explains my muscle building and my athletic ability. Incidentally, my dad was a college football player so I probably got the old ACTN3 gene and unfortunately my mother's height rating. Hopefully, I'll get similar detailed insights into my sleep later this year.

I'm pretty sure that in the future, this type of test will not only help pinpoint the cause of patients' sleep disorders, but will also help with therapies specifically tailored to these disorders. Think of all the money we save with new mattresses, wrist-worn sleep monitors and sleep-inducing gummy bears. We will know exactly what our problem is and the doctors will be able to treat it accordingly. For the moment, however, we must continue to prioritize sleep and carry out all the sleep hygiene measures that we know we should do. This includes shutting off the caffeine early, sleeping in a dark, cool room and shaking off the screens bed – for a good night's sleep.


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