Waking Up the Sleep Field: An Overview on the Implications of Genetics and Bioinformatics of Sleep

Seithikurippu R. Pandi-Perumal, Konda Mani Saravanan, Sayan Paul, Ganesh Pandian Namasivayam, Saravana Babu Chidambaram

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sleep genetics is an intriguing, as yet less understood, understudied, emerging area of biological and medical discipline. A generalist may not be aware of the current status of the field given the variety of journals that have published studies on the genetics of sleep and the circadian clock over the years. For researchers venturing into this fascinating area, this review thus includes fundamental features of circadian rhythm and genetic variables impacting sleep–wake cycles. Sleep/wake pathway medication exposure and susceptibility are influenced by genetic variations, and the responsiveness of sleep-related medicines is influenced by several functional polymorphisms. This review highlights the features of the circadian timing system and then a genetic perspective on wakefulness and sleep, as well as the relationship between sleep genetics and sleep disorders. Neurotransmission genes, as well as circadian and sleep/wake receptors, exhibit functional variability. Experiments on animals and humans have shown that these genetic variants impact clock systems, signaling pathways, nature, amount, duration, type, intensity, quality, and quantity of sleep. In this regard, the overview covers research on sleep genetics, the genomic properties of several popular model species used in sleep studies, homologs of mammalian genes, sleep disorders, and related genes. In addition, the study includes a brief discussion of sleep, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome from the viewpoint of a model organism. It is suggested that the understanding of genetic clues on sleep function and sleep disorders may, in future, result in an evidence-based, personalized treatment of sleep disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-931
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Circadian rhythm
  • Clock
  • Genes
  • Human health
  • Sleep
  • Sleep disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology


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