is sleep genetic?


I tried searching for it online but all that came up was a gene that allows humans to be able to survive on 6 hours of sleep. I’m not talking about this.
Since I was a child I could always fall asleep in a matter of seconds and would rarely ever wake up during the night. My lifestyle is neither good or bad and it makes me wonder if deep sleep is genetic?

In: 2

Yes, sleep patterns have a lot to do with genetics. Check out this study.

Not really. Sleep is one of those biopsychosocial things. There is a gene that allows some people to get all their REM sleep in five hours, but there is no six hour gene. REM sleep is necessary for everyone, because it’s when your brain practices stressful scenarios and when the glymphatic system takes waste out of the brain into the circulatory system. In addition, we know from fatal familial insomnia (where the brain never enters REM due to a slow degradation of the hypothalamus) that a lack of sleep leads directly to dementia over months.

So no, sleep isn’t genetic—it’s a complex, biological need that everyone has. How much you need can depend partly on your genes, but also on your individual psychology, biology, and social context (people who believe they are “supposed” to sleep eight hours are more likely to do so than people who live on a biphasic sleep schedule or a solar sleep schedule).