Gene Mutation Changes Sleep Patterns

Gene Mutation Changes Sleep Patterns

Nina Zanghi

There is a gene mutation out there that researchers have found that turns people into Martians. Not that they are aliens, but that they have the sleep pattern that those would have on Mars. Those with the mutation are most likely night owls because they live on a 24  and a half hour days, much like that Martian 24 hour and 39 minutes days.

This may not seem like that big of a deal, you are on a just a schedule that is half and hour longer than everybody else, but as Alina Patke, the head of the research, said, “Carriers of the mutation have longer days than the planet gives them, so they are essentially playing catch-up for their entire lives.”

This gene is in only about 1.2 percent of people, so it doesn’t truly explain why there are so many night owls, and also one cause of DSPD, but it is one of the well-known reasons that change the body’s clock. Not only does it turn people into night owls, it is usually because they have disruptive sleep, where they go to sleep, but find wake up a couple hours later. Not only does this change in the body’s clock, but it can also affect their body temperature and cause various diseases.

Although there is no cure for this, and they still have a lot more research to do to find other mutations that cause people to be night owls, but for those who do have this mutation, Alina Patke says, An external cycle and good sleep hygiene can help force a slow-running clock to accommodate a 24-hour day. We just have to work harder at it.”