This study looked at the relationship between how much sleep a person gets and how it influences metabolism and measures of inflammation, both of which are related to obesity. Fifty five (55) MZ twin pairs were invited to participate in this study. A twin study was done because it is the ideal way to look at how genes and environmental factors influence how much sleep we need. This is an important area of research that may help us better understand what controls how much sleep we need, and what impact getting too little sleep has on overall health.
Participants collected data at home about their sleeping patterns for two weeks. During this time they wore an Actigraph device on their wrist, which measured sleep or awake patterns. They received a Palm Pilot with a program that tested their level of sleepiness or quick response. They ran this Palm Pilot program three times a day for three days. In addition, they filled out questionnaires about daily activities, sleep-wake patterns and current fatigue levels.
At the end of the two week period, biological samples were collected from participants, as well as vital statistics (such as blood pressure, height, weight, waist and hip size).
Data collection ended in December 2011, and the data is currently being analyzed.