Saturday, August 23, 2014

My sleep genes

I’ve tracked and analyzed my sleep for years, and of course I also have a long-time interest in understanding my genome, but I’ve been unable to combine both pieces of information until now. The new issue of the journal Sleep identifies a gene that seems associated with an ability to function just fine on six hours of sleep per night.  (also see the New Yorker overview)

23andme doesn’t tell me the exact genes in my genome — only the SNPs that tell who my genes differ from a reference genome in key places — so this is not necessarily the final word about the BHLHE41 Variant identified in the journal Sleep, but here’s the next best thing:

rs4963955 TT
rs4963956 CC
rs1480037 CC

These are my SNPs in those locations, and they appear to correspond to the gene variant that means I can survive just fine on six hours of sleep.

Having said this, it’s now past my bedtime. Good night.