Why Am I Having Trouble Sleeping?
Sleep is one of the most important factors in how your body functions. We all know the way we feel and act when we don’t get enough hours of sleep. We are groggy, not able to be fully present in our jobs or with our families, might become irritable, have trouble focusing, and that is just the tip of the sleepless iceberg.
Chronic lack of sleep can be an indicator of insomnia, one of the most common sleeping disorders in the world. Insomnia affects 10%-30% of people worldwide, with several studies indicating the amount might be even more significant, with up to 50%-60% of adults experiencing some form of the disorder.
While oral supplements, like melatonin, and stronger prescriptions are often the go-to answer for those struggling with sleeping disorders, these are only palliative measures. With genetic testing, we have the ability to find the underlying source of your sleepless nights and deliver a long-term solution. Let’s start by breaking down why testing works and how genes affect your sleep.
How Genes Play a Role in Your Sleep
If you have trouble sleeping regularly, it might not just be the late-night cups of coffee or environmental stressors to blame. What if we told you that your genetic makeup plays a more significant role in sleeping than you think? Your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep might be heritable.
Genes play a large role in your sleeping habits. From how many hours you need at night, to whether you are a night owl or an early bird, it could be down to your DNA. Researchers estimate that heritability may account for around 40% of your likelihood of experiencing insomnia. But just because it runs in your family, doesn’t mean we cannot do something to fix it.
Gene Expression and Sleep
Genetics and sleep are linked through a process called gene expression. Gene expression is the process by which the information encoded in a gene is turned into a function. In short, it tells your body what to do on a molecular level.
Inadequate sleep has the ability to affect the activity of over 700 of our genes! A recent study found that just one week of sleep deprivation is enough to alter the activity of hundreds of human genes. After a full month of inadequate sleep, like so many of us experience, the damage is multiplied. This is why getting enough sleep is crucial to making sure you function optimally.
Genetic Testing and Sleep
One of the main genes that has an influence on our ability to sleep is called COMT. COMT is the gene that triggers the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase. This enzyme is responsible for quieting the mind and aids in the regulation of sleep and wakefulness. It also has a crucial role in metabolizing dopamine.
When there’s a mutation with COMT, it can be harder for the brain to carry out these key processes, therefore, disrupting your patterns of sleep and other necessary functions related to sleep disorders. The only way to confirm if you have this mutation is by testing for it, but most genetic at-home tests don’t test for COMT mutations. That’s why we specifically designed the 10X Health genetic test to look for this gene and 4 others responsible for promoting our bodies’ overall wellness.
While many factors could be influencing your ability to get quality sleep night after night, research indicates that genes play a large role in our sleeping history. It is vital that we do everything we can to ensure we don’t miss out on the precious hours of sleep our bodies desperately need to function properly.
If you struggle with sleep, your genes may be the reason. The 10X Health genetic test is one of the most effective and actionable available to consumers today. With our help, a restful night’s sleep is just one test away. Order yours now to get started!