Gene ABCC9 Determines The Length of Sleep
Thiel Renneberg and Carla Albrent, time biologists at the University of Munich, Germany, led the study. They recruited 4260 volunteers from seven European countries, including Estonia and Italy, to study their sleep habits and genetic differences.
The researchers asked volunteers to fill out questionnaires and answer questions about sleep time, and then analyzed their genes. Researchers found that a gene called "ABCC9" can determine the length of sleep.
ABCC9 gene encodes SUR2 protein. This protein is one of the components of the potassium channel. Potassium channel is located on the cell membrane, which is the pathway for potassium ions to enter and exit the cell.
"What's more interesting is that studies have proved that this protein plays a role in the pathogenesis of diabetes and heart disease," alebrandt was quoted as saying by "Science Daily" website. "Therefore, people can also partially explain the relationship between sleep duration and metabolic syndrome symptoms by molecular mechanism."
ABCC9 is found in the heart, skeletal muscle, brain and pancreas of mammals. At the same time, it is also an ancient gene, which can be found in drosophila.
"Drosophila flies also have behaviors similar to sleep," Albrent said
Researchers from the University of Munich and the University of Leicester in the UK worked together to experiment with fruit flies. They blocked a gene similar to ABCC9 in the Drosophila nervous system and found that the Drosophila flies slept less at night.
Rennenberg said: "We are excited to find that ABCC9 also affects the sleep duration of fruit flies at night, which indicates that there may be something in common in the mechanism of gene controlling sleep duration in a wide range of species with highly different genes."
The researchers also noticed a gene called Dec2, but the effect of this gene on sleep only appeared in limited, related people, and the effect of ABCC9 was reflected in all volunteers.
The duration of sleep is affected by many factors, such as season, age and sex. The National Institutes of Health says adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a day to stay healthy. Lack of sleep for a long time will lead to memory decline and immunity decline.
Only a short time of sleep can fully recover the energy of a small number of people, only one to three people in every 100 people. It is said that Napoleon, the emperor of the First Reich of France, never needed more than 4 hours of sleep; Benjamin Franklin, an American scientist and politician, and Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian Renaissance art giant, are both "night owls".
Former British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill are also "people who sleep less". They don't need to sleep too long at night. They can continue to be active as long as they take a nap during the day.
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