Sleep is an essential human function but its regulation is poorly understood. Using accelerometer data from 85,670 UK Biobank participants, we perform a genome-wide association study of 8 derived sleep traits representing sleep quality, quantity and timing, and validate our findings in 5,819 individuals. We identify 47 genetic associations at P < 5 × 10
, of which 20 reach a stricter threshold of P < 8 × 10
. These include 26 novel associations with measures of sleep quality and 10 with nocturnal sleep duration. The majority of identified variants associate with a single sleep trait, except for variants previously associated with restless legs syndrome. For sleep duration we identify a missense variant (p.Tyr727Cys) in PDE11A as the likely causal variant. As a group, sleep quality loci are enriched for serotonin processing genes. Although accelerometer-derived measures of sleep are imperfect and may be affected by restless legs syndrome, these findings provide new biological insights into sleep compared to previous efforts based on self-report sleep measures.
Jones, S. E., van Hees, V. T., Mazzotti, D. R., Marques-Vidal, P., Sabia, S. V., van der Spek, A., ... Wood, A. R. (2019). Genetic studies of accelerometer-based sleep measures yield new insights into human sleep behaviour
. Nature Communications
(1), . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09576-1