Predictors of sleep quality: stress exposure and the additive influence of six serotonergic polymorphisms

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Gail M. Corneau (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn

Abstract: Sleep is critical for physical and mental health and peak cognitive performance (Watson et al., 2015). While main effects of genetic and environmental factors, including stress, on sleep quality are well-established, the influence of gene-environment interactions on sleep merits further study. The present research evaluated the relationship between serotonergic genetic variation, exposure to recent perceived life stress, and sleep quality outcomes among a sample of emerging adults. Given the polygenic influences underlying sleep processes, the cumulative effect of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in and near several serotonin system genes was examined. A genetic profile score was constructed using a sum of alleles hypothesized to confer risk for sleep disruption. Undergraduate participants provided DNA samples, wore wrist-actigraphs to record sleep-wake patterns over three nights, and completed daily diary entries for two weeks. Diaries included assessments of sleep quality and exposure to daily hassles, a form of life stress. Using hierarchical linear modeling, we evaluated the hypotheses that 1) daily hassles would be associated with poorer quality of sleep in main effect and 2) genetic profile scores would significantly moderate the relationship between hassles and sleep, such that higher genetic risk scores would predict poorer quality of sleep in the context of increased daily hassles. Findings indicated that interpersonal and non-interpersonal daily hassles did not predict self-reported or actigraph-measured sleep outcomes in main effect, and the interaction of hassles and serotonergic MLP score did not predict sleep outcomes. Results suggested that the study sample exhibited relatively healthy sleep patterns and reported relatively few hassles. The findings suggest avenues for future research, including exploration of the roles of additional forms of stress in sleep disruption.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Actigraphy, Additive serotonergic variation, Daily hassles, Gene-environment interaction, Sleep disturbance
Sleep $x Physiological aspects
Sleep $x Psychological aspects
Serotoninergic mechanisms
Genetic polymorphisms

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