If you’re one of those people who hits the snooze a bit too often, then, first of all, welcome to the club! – but second of all, it looks like some of us were actually born to nap, as a new study has revealed.
I am incredibly delighted to tell you that this is all legit, as a group of scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has shared that they discovered that some people genetically require naps.
Dr Hassan Dashti added, ‘Napping is somewhat controversial. It was important to try to disentangle the biological pathways that contribute to why we nap.’ The investigation looked into the genetic information of 452,633 people.
Participants were asked how often they napped and some were also asked to wear an activity monitor known as accelerometers, which report their snoozes most accurately.
A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was then carried out to identify the genetic variations associated with napping. It identified 123 regions in the human genome associated with napping.
Digging deeper, they identified three potential napping mechanisms, the first being ‘disrupted sleep’ and ‘early morning awakening’, which refer to those who nap because they wouldn’t get enough shut-eye.
Meanwhile, there are those known as ‘sleep propensity’, which simply require more sleep. As Dr Dashti explained, ‘This tells us that daytime napping is biologically driven and not just an environmental or behavioural choice.’
Co-author Iyas Daghlas added, ‘This pathway is known to be involved in rare sleep disorders like narcolepsy, but our findings show that smaller perturbations in the pathway can explain why some people nap more than others.’
Well, guess this explains why I always feel HELLA sleepy around 3pm…