Recently, Stanford partnered up with a data holding company, Prometheus, to start collecting data on the genomics of sleep disorders. Since there is so little understanding as a whole as to what all happens during someone’s sleep, this data is going to be invaluable. The data will come from 30,000 sleep study patients and show everything they can monitor about those people’s sleep patterns. The more data that is collected, the more information can be studied for years to come. This could be one of the biggest data collection efforts of all time.
There are many things that make up the genomics of sleep disorders. This includes backgrounds of the people in the sleep studies, and their entire family history. It also includes their stats during their sleep studies. Part of what is collected is the length of time they slept, how high or low their heart rate got, their blood pressure, and even brain waves. They should also gather breathing rates, if they stopped breathing during their sleep (sleep apnea), and how restless or restful the sleep was.
Very little information is known about why the body needs sleep the way that it does. That is why issues like insomnia are so difficult for researchers to understand. Since this partnered study is able gather such a large amount of information from such a varied group of people, it will provide a trove of valuable information. The information will come from all types of sources, including pictures, sensors placed on the participants, plasma and DNA samples, 3D facial images, and data collected verbally. That is part of what makes this study so unique.
Quite a few different sleep issues will fall into this study. The people behind the genomics of sleep disorders plan to include issues like insomnia, sleep apnea and other sleep disturbances, and movement disturbances. There may even be data collected in regards to issues outside of these realms as well. The researchers may end up with data about sleep-wake issues such as sleep walking and narcolepsy.
What scientists and researchers know is that sleep is very important, or it would not be something we all need. However, they do not have a full understanding of why sleep is so important. Why does the body need to sleep so much that it would expose itself to danger because it is unable to see it coming? This is a question that has perplexed scientists for many years. Hopefully the genomics of sleep disorders can answer that question, and many more.
The sheer quantity of data makes the genomics of sleep disorders invaluable. However, when you also add in the quality of data, there will be no other study like it on the planet. There have been attempts in the past to figure out why some people struggle with sleep while others have no problems at all. During that time, many pieces of data came together, but none of them fully painted a picture of why people so desperately need sleep. What researchers did discover is that many people have genetic and hereditary issues with sleep. Just not all people show the effects of them.
Sleep has hereditary qualities. The environment around the person sleeping may play a factor in how well a person sleeps. However, how much sleep each person needs, how quickly the fall asleep, and how deeply they sleep all have some hereditary components. Another thing that came about as a result of these studies is that there are neuropeptides that play a part in sleep as well. This means that the brain is constantly creating chemicals within the body to help regulate sleep. The higher some of these chemicals are, the more control they seem to have over sleep.
Thanks to the vast amount of data coming from the genomics of sleep disorders study, a lot could come to light about sleep disorders. What was not known before, could become known over the next few years.
When you suffer from any type of sleep disorder, know that you are not alone. You do not need to suffer from any type of sleep disorder. There are options out there to help you. If you struggle to sleep solidly, the first thing you need to do is come in and get diagnosed. Here at the office of Mark Levy, DDS, we can help get you diagnosed with whatever may ail you. Then, once we know what problems you face, we can work with you to come up with a treatment plan.
There are many types of sleep disorders out there, and each of them has treatment options available. For example, one of the sleep disorders being studied in the genomics of sleep disorders is sleep apnea. That is something we can help treat. When you struggle to breathe properly in your sleep, sleep apnea may be to blame. What we can so is if you have a formal diagnosis of sleep apnea, is fit you with a custom mouth guard. This helps to hold your jaw in place better so your airway stays open when you sleep. This gives you better sleep and more options to sleep and feel better.
Every type of sleep issue has treatment options that could bring you relief. That is the point of this sleep study. If more of the biomarkers that come from these sleep disorders can become apparent, then more people can get treatment. The more people who get treatment, the less people we have out in the world struggling to just get a good night’s sleep.