Some People Are Programmed to Sleep Better Than Others

Researchers in Washington state were looking for genes that changed expression throughout your sleep-wake cycle. And they found one in mouse brains: FABP7 - or fatty acid binding protein. They found that mice who had a mutated or "knocked out" FABP7 genes slept more fitfully, compared to mice with normal genes.

The mutant sleepers were more likely to wake up during the night. Worst X-Men ever. That suggests that this gene is required for normal sleep ... it's a sleep gene! Now, testing in mice isn't enough, so they tested this in humans too -- and found the same thing.

The U.S. researchers teamed up with scientists in Japan and looked at data of 300 Japanese men who underwent a sleep study. It turns out that 29 of these dudes slept fitfully AND had a mutation on FABP7. They also tested this in fruit flies. This is the first time researchers have gained insight into something as complicated and mysterious as sleep across different species. 


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