Since childhood, we have always been told how eight hours of sleep is the least amount needed to function like a proper human being. Yet we know of many people around us who can function on less amount of sleep. They are fresh and not sleepy or tired. They can carry out all the tasks normally. Whereas some people are weary even after eight hours of sleep. How is this possible? How can one person thrive on such a less amount of sleep? And the other feels drowsy even after a full night’s sleep of eight hours? The answer to all this pretty simple. It’s all in the DNA.
The DNA mutation responsible for less amount of sleep is ADRB1. It is generally present in an entire family’s gene pool. People who report that they can easily function on four or six hours of sleep usually have a relative that could do the same. One such family genes were studied in detail at the University of California. There were twelve members of the family. And it was found that all twelve of them have the same sleep pattern. Each one of them was able to live on 4.5 hours of sleep with ease. And has been doing so for years.
The ADRB1 gene was injected in a family of rats during an experiment. The rats slept for fifty-five minutes less than the other rats. This gene can be used to induce less sleep in animals and humans alike.
The ADRB1 gene’s main function is to provoke wakefulness. The quantity of such genes in the human body handles the amount of sleep that we need to function. However, it is a fairly uncommon type of gene. And is found very rarely. It is not even found in human history.
Another type of gene found in such families is DEC2. Like the other sleep gene, DEC2 is also rarely found in living beings. But some traces of DEC2 can be found in human history.
People who experience less sleep are not different in any way. They usually make those few extra hours quite productive.
Both DEC2 and ADRB1 are not yet widespread. Hence less cases of this type of DNA mutation are found to experiment on. Less sleep can lead to many old age diseases. That is why researchers plan on studying both DEC2 and ADRB1 in detail to see if they are harmful to humans in any way.