Can’t... stay... awake...
Every word takes more energy, getting out of your seat feels like hiking up the Adirondacks, and trying to get through this post feels just about the same as trying to read the dictionary cover to cover. Have you ever been in a zombie-like state during the day? Whether you’re an overworked PhD student or an exhausted parent working a desk job, we’ve all been there. Living a fast-paced, busy lifestyle usually means that you’re not getting the sleep that you need so it’s no surprise that 10%-20% of the population is affected by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). In addition to sleep deprivation, EDS can be caused by other conditions such as sleep apnea, depression, diabetes and more.
Research has shown that there is a difference in prevalence of EDS across different demographics. A recent study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts looked at epigenetic markers that may be tied to EDS within and across various communities. Using meta-analysis and cross-study replication, individuals with EDS were classified using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) quantified by previously administered sleep assessments. They looked at DNA methylation (DNAm) data using SNP analysis and the association between DNAm and ESS. Their study showed that there is one epigenetic marker that individuals with EDS across different communities had in common. They also found that members of the African American community with EDS had 3 epigenetic markers in common. Their findings can help us better understand EDS and counter its adverse effects. We’re all definitely looking forward to that – who doesn’t want more energy to get through the day?
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