• Queen Mary University of London
  • Barts Health NHS
  • Bradford NHS
  • Manchester Uni

Genetic links between (lack of) sleep and disease

Sleep and the circadian rhythm (or body clock) are essential to a healthy and happy life. We know that changes in our genes can results in changes in how we sleep, and also whether we prefer mornings or evening. These changes carry health consequences, we have found that the risk of particular diseases rises with preference for mornings (termed early chronotype).

Many studies have shown that things like shift-work which disturbs our body clock, also increase the risk of obesity, and type II diabetes. All this requires an understanding of what the body clock genes are doing, and we lack this information within the South Asian community.

For this purpose, we will collect the genetic data from Gene and Health resource and by using data analysis tools will identify the gene of interest, responsible for sleep, circardian rhythm and metabolism. The gene level analysis of target genes and their mutant variants that function at the interception of sleep/circardian rhythms and metabolism will determine the changes for human health. There is no research with South Asian origin people regarding sleep, or body clock function. We now want to see how the genes of the South Asian community may influence sleep and circadian behaviours, and risk of disease.