How Your Genes Affect Your Sleep

One Week to Better Sleep Common Questions and Novel Treatments
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Transcript

Sleep in your genes. Genetics impacts everything about us our height, or weight or chance of diabetes, and even our sleep. It's important to understand the certain traits, including tendencies for sleeping deeply or moving during sleep and a variety of other components of sleep are inherited from our parents. But don't be dismayed and in fret about that because there are some things that can be done. There's an exploding science of epigenetics and nutrigenomics that really allows us to impact our genetic makeup. For example, breast cancer is a huge issue and something that I'm very passionate about and certain substances whether they're supplements or food products, like cruciferous vegetables, broccoli and cauliflower, have the ability to turn on and off genes which helps metabolize and regulate how estrogen is processed through the body.

So variations in genetic makeup can allow a person to tailor their diet and maybe consider some supplements to Really can help minimize the potential for cancer and other health problems. And that's just how the science of nutrigenomics and epigenetics works in why knowing a little bit about your own genetic makeup can really help your physician and you custom tailor an approach to your health. I'll share some examples in the next slides about some data on myself. I'm sharing it in this format, because I don't have to block out names and things like that for privacy information. But so this is my data, and it's on deep sleep, okay. And so there's a specific gene that deals with adenosine.

And I'm not going to go into the biochemistry of all this, but people who have certain variations of this gene have a tendency to sleep deeper and get into a deeper state of sleep with Delta waves. And so knowing whether or not a person has cancer only allow some prediction regarding the environment. For example, if a person is prone to not sleep deeply, or another way to say that is more prone to be sore Trapped in the later stages of sleep, it's imperative to maximize environmental interventions, blocking out sound and light dealing with a renegade heater. Minimizing all the potential distractions could cause a lighter sleeper to be taken out asleep into an wakeful state. And so this particular gene has an ADA gene, which is adenosine. And I don't want to go into the biochemistry because it's supposed to be a short little module here.

The next is movement during sleep again, my data here gene called bt b, d nine. And depending on the variation of that gene, a person has a tendency to move a little bit during sleep, or a lot. And so my particular genetic makeup shows that I move probably about 10 times per hour asleep, which is kind of a lot. And obviously, there are drug therapies and other things that are designed to deal with restless legs and periodic limb movement disorder and things like that. But like any drug, these are not without side effects. The key about knowing this is there are some interventions that can be done in terms of lifestyle, and even some testing, or supplements that might have an impact on this to shift the amount of movement per hour, hopefully to a lower level.

And in this specific instance, we're talking about iron. And so we know that people with low levels of iron tend to have increased limb movements, which is disruptive not only to them in terms of getting and staying into deeper stages of sleep, but oftentimes to the bed partner as they're flailing about. My wife, I'll certainly attest that when I'm flailing about 10 times an hour certainly has an impact on her quality of sleep. The other thing to know about iron as it affects neural transmitters as well, and that has some implication not only in sleep, but also in mood and memory. So that's wrapping up this part on the genes. I just wanted to share a little bit about how testing in the slides I showed in the previous section were through 23 in me, so if you're interested in doing some self biohacking.

That's certainly an avenue I'd encourage you to consider.

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