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Study uncovers genetic causes of poor sleep

April 5, 2019

The international collaboration, led by the University of Exeter and published in Nature Communications, has found 47 links between our genetic code and the quality, quantity and timing of how we sleep. They include ten new genetic links with sleep duration and 26 with sleep quality.

The Medical Research Council-funded study looked at data from 85,670 participants of UK Biobank and 5,819 individuals from three other studies, who wore accelerometers – wrist-worn devices (similar to a Fitbit) which record activity levels continuously. They wore the accelerometers continuously for seven days, giving more detailed sleep data than previous studies, which have relied on people accurately reporting their own sleep habits.

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