Study discovers genetics behind sleeping behaviors

People who tend to be very sleep deprived or sleep in late usually experience a number of issues such as a lack of clarity. (Anibal Santos)

People who are very sleep deprived due to their behavior and sleep patterns usually experience a number of issues. A lack of focus and clarity are common ones. (Illustration by Anibal Santos)

A new scientific study has been released that unveils much of the underlying biology behind the various sleep behaviors of humans.

The study was compiled by genetic researchers at the University of Leicester. The results were published in the May edition of the scientific journal “Frontiers in Neurology.”

The results of the study are based on  observations taken of fruit flies awakening from their pupal stages. Fruit flies remain a common substitute for human test subjects due to them sharing approximately 75 percent of the same genes as human beings.

The researchers discovered that flies had their own unique sleeping patterns. Some were found to emerge from their pupal stages in the morning with others waking up much later in the evening.

Through the selective breeding of flies, these behaviors, scientists discovered, could be passed over to the children of the flies.

As a result of the study, the researchers have affirmed that genetics plays an integral part in the sleep patterns of individuals. This is especially true in explaining people’s preference for behavior such as sleeping in and getting up early.

“Our preliminary studies suggested that fruit-flies, like humans, can be classified as early rising ‘larks’ or late rising ‘owls,’ providing a convenient model system for these types of studies,” the study’s authors wrote.

While still providing no definitive cause behind people’s sleep patterns, the study establishes a definite genetic link clarity on the complexities of sleep behaviors.  Likewise people’s personal choices and lifestyles still play a huge role in sleep patterns.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that seven to eight hours of sleep is a necessity. If that minimum is not met by individuals, illnesses can occur.

A compilation of different sources compiled by Mic.com shows off the many negative illnesses cause by bad sleep patterns. A loss of memory, negative emotions, a lack of focus and even irreparable damage to the brain could occur.

College students especially have been noteworthy for having irregular sleeping patterns. According to the University Health Center at the University of Georgia, college students sleep approximately six to just under seven hours.

Another study taken in 2014 by the Academy of Sleep Medicine finds that a lack of sleep causes college students to receive lower grades, be more likely to drop out along with other academic problems.

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