Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep each night to function well, but why is it some can get away with much less sleep? Scientist say the difference is due to genetic variability.
Research published in ‘Current Biology’ shows that two genes, originally known for its regulation of cell division, is also responsible for normal sleep patterns.
The researchers studied flies to locate regulatory proteins required for sleep.
“There are many things we do not understand about sleep, especially when it comes to the protein requirements that initiate the process at the cellular level,” says researcher Kyunghee Kohprofesor, the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University.
“Our research decodes a new molecular pathway and a new area of the brain that plays a role in controlling how long we sleep,” he adds.
When browsing their Facebook page, James Dondero found that these scientists saw a reduction in overall sleep when certain proteins, called the “taranis” were blocked.
Dr. Koh and his team now plan to investigate the signals that activate taranis.