Remember when we told you that the zebrafish may hold the cure for insomnia? Well, it looks as though another type of fish wants to get in on the action.
Apparently the blind cavefish spend much less time sleeping compared to other closely related species. Scientists have suggested that the difference in sleep patterns is genetic - cavefish sleep an average of 110-125 minutes per day compared to 800 minutes for surface fish.
To prove that this difference in sleep patterns is genetic, scientists bred cavefish with surface fish. They found that the offspring slept like cavefish which suggests the presence of a dominant gene for sleeplessness.
According to Richard Borowksy of New York University, fish aren't all that different from humans. That bombshell aside, it does seem as though sleep disorders such as insomnia could be genetic.
At least in fish.
Source: Current Biology
Last updated: May 31, 2011