In the past 5 years I've written about 2 studies that have suggested insomnia may be genetic.
This is an interesting area of research, but it doesn't come up all that often.
That being said, I recently came across a new study that aimed to investigate whether insomnia in children and adolescents can be explained by genetic factors.
The study involved over 1,400 pairs of twins between the ages of 8 and 18.
For those with an average age of 8 to 10, researchers concluded that genetics contributed to 33-38% of their insomnia ratings.
As time went by, genetic influence declined - the heritability of insomnia dropped to 14-24% by the time children reached an average age of 14 to 15.
After further analysis, researchers determined that from the age of 10, new genetic influences come into play - in other words, genetic influence was found to depend on the developmental stage of the child.
This suggests that the genes that control the sleep-wake system may be playing a key role in childhood insomnia.
Hopefully we'll start seeing some additional research in this area before too long.
Last updated: January 7, 2015