AUG 18, 2022 9:00 AM PDT

Necessary Sleep Duration Linked to Genetics

WRITTEN BY: Savannah Logan

A recent study published in the journal iScience investigated how genetics impact sleep quality and how sleep quality may in turn impact the development of neurodegenerative disease.

The senior authors of the study have been investigating Familial Natural Short Sleep (FNSS) for over a decade. Those with FNSS have the ability to function well on four to six hours of sleep per night. This contrasts with the general recommendation for sleep duration, which is around eight hours. FNSS runs in families and appears to be linked to certain genes. One outstanding question in the field is whether sleeping efficiently, as with FNSS, may help prevent the onset of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. For many people, lack of sleep seems to accelerate the development of these conditions. However, it is unclear whether efficient sleepers, like those with FNSS, are at greater risk.

To test whether FNSS impacts Alzheimer’s disease development, the team used a mouse model. They bred mice with the genes for both the mouse equivalent of FNSS and a predisposition to Alzheimer’s. These mice developed fewer of the hallmark signs of Alzheimer’s compared to equivalent mice without the short sleeping genes. Therefore, it seems that sleeping efficiently offers some protection against the development of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. These results have important implications regarding potential treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

While this study focused on how sleep efficiency impacts the development of neurological disease, the results also have important implications for heart health. The AHA recently added sleep health as an essential component of measuring heart health, and sleep quantity and quality are linked to the development of cardiovascular disease. 

Sources: iScience, Science Daily, AHA

 

About the Author
PhD in Biophysics
Savannah (she/her) is a scientific writer specializing in cardiology at Labroots. Her background is in medical writing with significant experience in obesity, oncology, and infectious diseases. She has conducted research in microbial biophysics, optics, and education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
You May Also Like
MAR 31, 2022
Cardiology
Light Exposure While Sleeping is Linked to Cardiovascular Issues
MAR 31, 2022
Light Exposure While Sleeping is Linked to Cardiovascular Issues
Even moderate light at night can impact health and sleep quality.
MAY 26, 2022
Cardiology
Reducing Salt Intake Improves Heart Failure Symptoms
MAY 26, 2022
Reducing Salt Intake Improves Heart Failure Symptoms
Reducing sodium intake improves symptoms, but not hospitalizations or deaths, for heart failure patients.
JUL 13, 2022
Cardiology
Eating Eggs May Lower Heart Disease Risk
JUL 13, 2022
Eating Eggs May Lower Heart Disease Risk
Eating up to one egg per day may lower heart disease risk.
AUG 16, 2022
Cardiology
Using Table Salt Is Linked to Premature Death
AUG 16, 2022
Using Table Salt Is Linked to Premature Death
If you frequently add salt to your food at the table, you may be at a higher risk of dying early.
SEP 08, 2022
Cardiology
Good Sleep Lowers Heart Disease and Stroke Risk
SEP 08, 2022
Good Sleep Lowers Heart Disease and Stroke Risk
About 90% people don't get good sleep, which may lead to a host of health risks.
SEP 22, 2022
Technology
Measuring Blood Oxygen with a Smartphone Camera
SEP 22, 2022
Measuring Blood Oxygen with a Smartphone Camera
Blood oxygen saturation is important to normal healthy functions in the, particularly for lung functions. Blood oxygen l ...
Loading Comments...