Blame mom and dad if you can’t get to sleep, according to a new large-scale study confirming that insomnia is hereditary.
A research team at the University of California, San Diego, also found a genetic link between a lack of zzz’s and such conditions as type 2 diabetes and depression.
An estimated 30% to 50% of the general population is affected by insomnia, and 10% have chronic insomnia, according to the Sleep Management Institute.
Researchers conducted genome-wide association studies — an approach that involves scanning markers across complete sets of DNA of many people to find genetic variations associated with a particular disease.
They analyzed DNA samples of more than 33,000 soldiers who answered sleep-related questions at the beginning of their basic training. In addition, data from soldiers of European, African and Latino descent were grouped separately in an effort to identify the influence of specific ancestral lineages. Stein’s team also compared their results with those of two recent studies using UK data.
Results suggest insomnia is tied to a genetic mutation on the seventh chromosome, as well as on the ninth in people of European descent. On the seventh chromosome, the variant is close to genes that influence brain development, as well as alcohol consumption.
“The genetic correlation between insomnia disorder and other psychiatric disorders, such as major depression, and physical disorders such as type 2 diabetes suggests a shared genetic (link),” said Stein.