Open Access Review Article Issue
The molecular mechanism of natural short sleep: A path towards understanding why we need to sleep
Brain Science Advances 2022, 8 (3): 165-172
Published: 24 March 2022

Sleep constitutes a third of human life and it is increasingly recognized as important for health. Over the past several decades, numerous genes have been identified to be involved in sleep regulation in animal models, but most of these genes when disturbed impair not only sleep but also health and physiological functions. Human natural short sleepers are individuals with lifelong short sleep and no obvious adverse outcomes associated with the lack of sleep. These traits appear to be heritable, and thus characterization of the genetic basis of natural short sleep provides an opportunity to study not only the genetic mechanism of human sleep but also the relationship between sleep and physiological function. This review focuses on the current understanding of mutations associated with the natural short sleep trait and the mechanisms by which they contribute to this trait.

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