Gene Mutation Reduces the Body's Need for Sleep
OREANDA-NEWS. Scientists from the United States were able to detect the mutated ADRB1 gene, whose carriers can spill out not in eight hours, but in just six. Subsequent study of this gene may open the way to new drugs against sleep disorders.
Scientists have long believed that the duration of sleep, the time to fall asleep, and the balance between sleep and wakefulness are determined by circadian rhythms and homeostasis. Compared to many other animals, the sleep characteristic of humans has features. Usually people sleep for one long period of time for 24 hours; and other animals, such as mice, can sleep at any time during the day, but their sleep periods are shorter.
"We studied people who only need to sleep about five hours to get enough sleep. And, it seems, we figured out what was the matter. Experiments with rodents that instilled a mutation confirmed our assumptions - the matter is really in a special version of one of the adrenoreceptor genes," says Ying-Hui Fu, a neurophysiologist at the University of California at San Francisco, lead author of the study.