A new study from Tiina Pauno, a professor at the University of Helsinki, Finland found that many night workers actually have a variant in the genetic code that makes them less influenced by Melatonin and hence the circadian rhythm.
They tested 577 shift workers and looked for a genetic changes for job-related exhaustion. The risk variant known as 1A(MTNR1A) gene basically turns off or on the DNA (through methylation). This is another fascinating epigenetic (a new field of genetics studying how our environment changes or genes) mechanism regulating function. The result people who can do this have less receptors and are not sensitive to melatonin and tolerate nights much better. The people with this gene variant can sleep in bright light without any difficulty as well.
Hmm all those years you wondered why you couldn’t stay awake at a night job and your peers seemed to have no problems.
Sleep is very complex and poorly understood.
-Dr. Bernard, Spine Pro Chiropractic
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