Health and Fitness

Don't Need Much Sleep to Feel Refreshed? You May Have the Short Sleep Gene

It's a rare mutation.
IMAGE FLICKR/ @simpleinsomnia
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When it comes to sleep, science has always said that you need at least seven to eight hours to function optimally. But now researchers have found that it might not be the case for all people.

According to research conducted by the University of California, San Francisco, certain people are fine with five hours of sleep. And, it could be because of a rare genetic mutation. Researchers are calling it the natural short sleep trait.

“Natural short sleepers experience better sleep quality and sleep efficiency,” said Ying-Hui Fu, Ph.D., professor of neurology and a member of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. “By studying them, we hope to learn what makes for a good night’s sleep, so that all of us can be better sleepers leading happier, healthier lives.”

The study was conducted on genetically altered mice that harbored an identical mutation. The experiments found that natural short sleep was promoted by neurons because it helps build brains that are easier to rouse and stay awake longer.

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Natural short sleepers have also been found to be more optimistic, energetic, and better at multitasking. Not only that, but they also have a higher pain threshold and don't suffer from jet lag.

Want to confirm if you have the mutation? All you have to do is check if you have relatives that don't need much sleep.

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Paolo Chua
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