Light therapy activates the circadian rhythm associated Per1 gene in the lateral habenula, a brain area associated with mood regulation.
Deficiencies in the SHANK3 gene have been linked to sleep disruptions in both mouse models and people with ASD. Researchers found patients with Phelan-McDermid syndrome, a genetic disorder associated with autism, report trouble falling, and staying asleep. In mouse models, animals lacking the SHANK3 gene had a reduction in deep sleep quality and spent more time awake when other mice were sleeping.
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Researchers report Per1, a gene that governs circadian rhythm, acts differently in women, and may protect them from heart disease.
Mutations in a pair of genes, which normally help regulate eating scheduled and keep them in sync with daily sleep rhythms, may play a role in so called night eating syndrome.