If you have blamed everything from stress, hectic work schedules, your family and even your unfulfilled goals to those sleepless nights and still can’t find a cause, we’d say you dig into your genetic history.
Thousands of perfectly healthy individuals suffer from a compulsive lack of sleep, medically known as insomnia, which would conveniently leave many of us totally insane.
Imagine not being able to sleep at all? Sounds scary right? But if you find yourself tossing and turning in the middle of the night, your genes might be to blamed. Looks like, your DNA does more than just giving you those deep blue eyes or those lush brown hair.
Genes & Insomnia: The Uncommon Yet Existing Connection
Up until recently, insomnia was accounted as a purely psychological disorder triggered by severe emotional and mental baggage, stress, and sleep deprivation due to late night shifts or travel. However, according to a recent study published in the journal Sleep, genetics can play a significant role in developing insomnia. By examining the data from about 7,500 twins, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University discovered a genetic component to insomnia which was inherited by 59 % of the female participants and about 38% of the male participants. This makes a genetic link very persuasive.
Besides, lacking the required genes, did you know that just one week of mild sleep deprivation can affect the function of about 700 genes in your body? This can later manifest as severe insomnia and hamper your overall health.
What Can You Do? Treating Genetic Insomnia
According to experts, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), also known as the talking therapy can be effective to offset the effects of genetic insomnia. Natural remedies such as herbs, yoga and essential oils have also been explored to induce sleep.
Here are a few links all you insomniacs may find useful:
- 6 Herbs That Will Help You Sleep Better
- Ayurveda With Yogi Cameron: Sesame Oil Massage For Stress-Free Sleep
- 6 Habits That Will Help You Sleep Better Every Day
- Quick Fix: Tart Cherry Juice For Better Sleep
For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Diseases & Conditions here.
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1. Barclay NL, Gehrman PR, Gregory AM, Eaves LJ, Silberg JL. The heritability of insomnia progression during childhood/adolescence: results from a longitudinal twin study. Sleep. 2015 Jan 1;38(1):109-18. doi: 10.5665/sleep.4334. PubMed PMID:25325458; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4262942.