Everyone loves to take a daytime nap every now and then, but if you simply can’t resist the shut-eye, your genes may be the one to blame.
A genome-wide association study conducted by a team of researchers analyzed data from the UK Biobank. 453,000 people were asked by the researchers about their napping habits during the day.
Some of the participants were asked to wear activity monitors that monitored their daytime activity and inactivity, the latter of which indicated napping. The data gotten from the monitors corresponded with the participants’ answers in the survey regarding their napping habits.
From there, the study identified 123 regions in the human genome that are believed to be associated with daytime napping. Several gene variants that are found to be linked to napping are also associated with orexin, a neuropeptide that plays a role in wakefulness. This proves the findings that daytime napping is often driven by biological factors instead of behavior or environment.
The team ultimately identified at least three factors possibly associated with daytime napping. First, people who typically wake up early may need to catch up on their sleep during the day. Next, people who don’t sleep well during the night need daytime naps to gain good quality rest. Finally, some people are just biologically designed to need more sleep than others.
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