New weekly reports: ???? Sleep quality and cannabis addiction

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Hey Explorer,

This week’s update includes two new studies. The first study examined the influence of genetics on sleep quality. The second study discovered novel genetic variants that are associated with cannabis addiction. Both studies implicated genes that you can examine in detail with the exploration tools that are available with our 30x and 100x Whole Genome Sequencing. Looking for actionable advice? Read on and learn how you can improve your sleep quality!  

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Sleep quality: Sleep quality is very important for a person’s overall health and well-being. Poor sleep quality has been shown to lead to various health issues, ranging from heart disease to depression. Sleep quality is determined by multiple factors including sleep duration, the time it takes to fall asleep, and the number of times a person wakes up during the night. It’s estimated that genetic factors may explain over 30% of the observed variation in sleep quality. To identify those genetic factors, this genome-wide association study examined over 100,000 individuals across different ethnicities. Got your results already? Log in and view your new report! 

Cannabis use disorder: In the United States, over 20 million people consume cannabis every month. About 1 in 10 users of cannabis will become dependent, leading to a condition known as cannabis use disorder. Individuals afflicted by cannabis use disorder may develop irritability, memory problems, and depression. It is estimated that over 50% of an individual’s risk of developing cannabis use disorder can be explained by genetic factors. This genome-wide association examined genetic data of over 380,000 individuals of European and African ancestries to identify genetic factors linked to cannabis use disorder. Got your results already? Log in and view your new report!

Are you still waiting for your results? We are making the content of the reports available for free on our blog!

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The study on cannabis use disorder discovered a genetic variant that is located in a gene known as FOXP2, which has previously been shown to play a role in speech and language development. Disruption of this genomic region is known to cause severe language impairment called developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD). Children that are afflicted by DVD have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words because the brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech.

One of the genes implicated to influence sleep quality is ATOH8. It plays a role in the development of multiple organs including the brain and the kidneys. Mutations in ATOH8 are known to cause retinitis pigmentosa (RP), one of the most common causes of inherited loss of eyesight. 

You can use our genome browser and gene analysis tools to examine any of these genes and discover genetic variants in your genome! Simply log in, open the gene analysis tool and search for the three gene names.

Follow Science and Improve Your Health

Research studies have shown that there are many approaches to improve your sleep quality. These include:

  • Having a regular sleeping schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at consistent times.
  • Avoiding meals late in the day. This can negatively affect the release of hormones that help you fall asleep.
  • Taking a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a key sleep hormone that directs your brain to relax.
  • Ruling out that you are suffering from a sleep disorder. One common cause of bad sleep quality is sleep apnea, a condition characterized by inconsistent and interrupted breathing. 
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