Sleeping Super Powers

Having good genes isn’t just about being able to keep that perfect figure all-year round, or even about how well your body responds to workout routines, as there is another, lesser known, form of genetics which work almost as a super power whilst sleeping.

This particular genetic mutation, which has a huge impact on sleeping behaviours, was discovered by Ying-Hui Fu, a neurologist at the University ofCalifornia. It was then discovered that the genetic mutation actually, and rather bizarelly, allows carriers to perform and function at their best when they’ve had a sub-optimum amount of sleep. In fact, carriers are likely to perform at their best after receving fewer than six hours of sleep.

The affected gene, hDEC2, regulates sleep quality and sleep cycle. Scientists are still in the early stages of learning about this particular gene and condition, but if scientists are able to formulate a drug which mimmicks the effects of the hDEC2 mutation over the following decades, then it would give everybody an almost super power when it comes to performing after a sub-standard night of sleep.

As most modern studies show, it’s recommended that most people receive 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and it’squit likely that anybody who sleeps for fewer than seven hours each night will eventually begin to suffer from sleep deprivation. Not getting a decent night’s sleep can have an impact on our funcitionality throughout the following day, and can even have detrimental effects on our physical and mental wellbeing over the long-term.

As Dr. Fu stated, “Short term and chronic disruptions in the length of optimal sleep can have serious consequences on cognition, mood and physical health, including cancer and endocrine function”.

The particular mutation is actually extremely rare, and in one study of 250 individuals, it wasn’t found a single case. Dr. Medhi Tafti, associate professor at the Center for Integrative Genomics at the University of Lausanee in Switzerland, believes that only around 1% of people who frequently sleep fewer hours will actually have the genetic mutation. Therefore, that means there’s a huge number of people who are not getting enough sleep, and may well be suffering from sleep deprivation.

It may still be many years before scientists can hope to replicate the sleeping super powers of the hDEC2 mutation, so until then, we’ll have to try our hardest to get those extra hours of sleep each night.