Natural “Short Sleepers” Might Have the Answer for More Efficient Sleeping Time

Short Sleepers

Author: Alan Rada

What if I tell you that not everyone with a tendency to sleep fewer hours daily is predisposed to suffer psychological disorders or other diseases?

There are people who only need to sleep about 4 or 6 hours a day for the body to recover from the energy expenditure of the previous day, these are called “Natural Short Sleepers”.

As we well know, a regular person needs to sleep at least 7 hours at nights for the body and brain to perform their biological work; while people who do not get enough rest at night, may run the risk of suffering damage to their health such as mood disorders and even heart disease.

The Research

The study was conducted by Ying-Hu Fu, Ph.D., a neurology professor at the University of California, San Francisco. He and his team have been studying these states in “short sleepers” since 2009. What they are looking to find is what these people are different from the rest. So far, what is known is that it is a mutation in the genes.

According to previous studies, Fu and his team found that short sleepers have mutations in the DEC2 and ADRB1 genes. And recently, researchers reported another mutation in Science Translational Medicine.

After conducting a genetic study among a pair of short sleepers, members of the same family, it was discovered that each shared a mutation in the NPSR1 receptor. This gene, when it has no mutations, plays an important role in the regulation of a variety of psychological processes. In addition to sleep cycles, including memory and learning, immunoregulation and anxiety.

This makes perfect sense since several genetic mutations linked to sleep regulation mechanisms are quite complex, therefore, different proteins, genes and processes come into play working together.

The Experiment

According to the results of the preliminary investigations that NPSR1 receptors play a critical role and fundamental regulation of duration and the link between strengthening memory and sleep homeostasis. Scientists believe that this is the key since it is known that sleep time is one of the most important factors in memory consolidation, it is not yet known exactly why.

At the same time, when mice were raised with the same genetic mutation, it was observed that these mice spent less time sleeping and were much more active than the mice in the control group. It was revealed that, in these cases, the neurons of these mice were wonderfully more sensitive to NPS neuropeptides, which interact with the NPSR1 neurotransmitters, and considering that they slept less time than the other mice, they passed the equally easy memory tests.

While we know that sleep is important in terms of memory and learning, although the connections and neurotransmitters are not entirely clear.

Flu clarifies that, if normal people in this context are deprived of sleep after learning something, the difficulties in remembering what they have learned will be markedly more marked before sleep loss. In this case, we have a study model in which both humans and mice could remember as well as if they had not gone through the sleep loss phase.

With these results, it is hoped to achieve a better meaning to how sleep and sleep loss, impact and contribute to memory retention and learning in general.

Limitations of the Investigation

A crucial limitation in this whole process is that both humans and mice have fairly marked sleep patterns. Unlike us, mice can spend up to seventy percent of sleep time during daytime hours. At the same time, they can sleep during both phases, day and night.

On the other hand, mice do not sleep in the same amounts of consolidated hours as humans. All this is thought to obtain significant differences and similarities between the regulation of sleep between other beings and humans.

Summing Up

Although there is still a long way to go in learning certain functions and genetic mutations linked to sleep. Especially how they came to happen.

The stage of sleep is so fundamental for a student, the CEO of a company, etc, since it helps to coordinate the functions of the mind and body in general. Even the top athletes in the NBA betting odds or in football, need strict sleeping schedules to make their bodies function properly.

At the same time, work is being done to create therapies connected to the NPSR1 / NPS neurotransmitters, the research team hopes that in the future we will have the answers to these, until now, riddles of brain functioning.


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