A SelfDecode Story
The DEC2 Gene and Sleep
These gene carriers require significantly less sleep
A consistent 4 hours of sleep sounds like living hell… to most people.
But to some, it’s what their bodies need.
And when I say some, I mean the percentage of the population carrying the DEC2 gene mutation that causes “short sleep.” [R]
People with this genetic mutation only need a few hours of sleep per night to feel completely rested.
4-6 hours, to be exact.
It completely contradicts the public view of sleep.
The popular claim is that human beings need to get 7.5-8 hours of sleep per night across the board. But genes don’t care about popular claims.
People with this gene mutation actually claim that if they sleep as much as 7 hours, they feel worse.
So is this really a genetic advantage? I’ll let you decide.
How it works
DEC2 (encoded by the BHLHE41 gene) helps control levels of orexin, a hormone linked to wakefulness as well as reward, mood and appetite. [R]
Narcolepsy is like the opposite of short sleep – caused by too much of this same hormone.
Ying Hui Fu led the research team that first discovered this gene mutation in 2009. She explains that DEC2 is “the time-keeper to make sure orexin levels match the circadian rhythm.”
There seems to be no adverse effects either (the discovery is too recent for conclusive evidence).
“From what they tell us, the short sleepers are pretty energetic” Fu says. “And we believe that they feel refreshed since they can go on all day and be active.”
The research subjects Fu works with are quite fascinating…
She claims that doing research has been a bit difficult because this gene’s carriers “are usually very busy people and have difficulty finding time to do this.”
Some of the research participants are older and still active. “Even in their 70s-80s, they still play tennis, dance, and stay very active… We have, so far, no reason to suspect that their health and longevity is affected in any way.”
If you’re reading this and thinking these habits sound pretty familiar, you may be a carrier.
You may have it if…
Do you wake up before the rest of the world? Not because you trained yourself to, but because your body just does.
Maybe you have a jolt of energy in the morning that seems strange to the people around you. Maybe you feel completely rested after only six hours of sleep, while most people would feel like a zombie without at least 7.
Are you an active person throughout the day? Do you finish one thing and then immediately jump to the next?
Not because you feel like that’s what you’re “supposed to” do. It’s just the way you are.
Do you feel lethargic when you sleep more than 6 hours? Like the world has been telling you to sleep 7 hours, but every time you do you feel even worse than usual.
If any of these describe you, it may be worth checking your genotype.
To find out, simply search your SNP Analyzer in SelfDecode for rs121912617 and discover your genotype. If you have a TT or GT genotype, you are one of the lucky ones we call “short sleepers.”
I thought I may be a carrier…
I wake up at 6am on a consistent basis and have for years. I usually don’t fall asleep until around 12am. Sometimes even later than that.
And it’s not like I’m walking around all day exhausted (although, 3-4 cups of coffee admittedly helps).
Once I heard about Fu’s study, I thought I may be a carrier.
I went into my SNP analyzer in SelfDecode to see if I was one of the lucky ones.
Nope, just a boring ol’ GG for me.
If you’d like to check the SNP Analyzer to see if you have the DEC2 mutation, click here to check out SelfDecode.
So, why do I sleep so little?
I was a bit shocked that I didn’t have this DEC2 mutation.
Now, I was motivated to discover the real reason for my sleepless nights.
So, I downloaded the Insomnia DNA Report on SelfDecode. This report looks at 808,802 other gene mutations that can affect your sleep.
And there was my answer.
An above average genetic predisposition to insomnia – in the 89th Percentile. It was no wonder I don’t get much sleep.
Now that I thought about it, I guess it wasn’t that I didn’t need much sleep. I was just neglecting the sleep I did need, and making up for it with caffeine.
But with personalized recommendations, I have an action plan on fixing my sleep habits.
The first thing I’m going to add to my routine is supplementing with Valerian, a medicinal herb.
My GABRG2 gene variant likely lowers the activity of GABA, a chemical that relaxes the mind. Valerian helps by boosting GABA.
This was a recommendation I expected, but hoped not to see.
Excessive caffeine isn’t great for anyone. But people with my MRNR1B gene variant are especially susceptible to insomnia when they consume caffeine.
It hasn’t been easy, as I was up to about 4 cups before – but I’m down to one cup of coffee per day now.
And I’ve slept a full eight hours everyday this past week. This would’ve sounded impossible to me beforehand.
If you think you can sleep better
If you think it’d be worth it to improve your own sleep, SelfDecode will give you the step-by-step guide to do so based on your unique DNA.
How Much Of Anxiety Is Genetic? The Right DNA Test Will Tell You
Your genes don’t get the final say on your anxiety…
If you think about it, we live in the most amazing moment in time. We have access to millions of blogs, articles, and books written by credentialed experts on how to feel less anxious, all at our fingertips.
But even with all of that, a lot of us are still in the dark when addressing things like mood swings, irritability, and anxiety.
Here’s the REAL problem.
The internet is a great tool – but when it comes to anxiety, you won’t find much in terms of “science-backed” advice. Even conventional approaches only address the symptoms, without looking at a person’s health as a whole.
I’m not here to sell you on a magic “cure” for anxiety. That’s because one singular “cure” doesn’t exist. Everyone is unique, and what works for me, may not work for you. The differences in how we manage stress and anxiety go deeper, down to our DNA.
DNA and anxiety
First and foremost, let me explain the connection between anxiety and our genes in more detail.
For many, anxiety is thought of as something that “runs in the family”, which is actually partly true. About 30-67% of the differences in people’s chances of getting anxiety can be attributed to genetics, so if your mom has anxiety, it’s possible that you could develop it as well.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that companies started analyzing people’s DNA to find out exactly which genetic variants may be predisposing them to develop anxiety and more.
But not every DNA test is created equal. In fact, for many of them, you may be better off just Googling “How to improve my anxiety” and get your advice from a blog that states “Do your best” as one of their top anxiety-busting tips.
Let me be clear by saying that not ALL DNA companies are this way. Some of them are actually pretty accurate nowadays, and they give you a lot of information that you wouldn’t have known had you not taken a DNA test.
The reason why it’s important to do your research before you choose a DNA test for anxiety is that many of these DNA companies focus most of their budget on marketing – and science comes last.
Although some may have pretty advanced methods of analyzing DNA, their health recommendations are not personalized to each individual, effectively canceling out the DNA test in the first place.
But hey, at least you know where some of your ancestors originated from, right?
Your genes don’t get the final say.
For most of my life, I was sick. I was anxious. I didn’t know how to manage my stress, among other things. I asked for help, but the solutions from doctors, specialists, and health gurus never worked for me. After years of trying, I almost gave up hope.
But once I discovered that my genes predisposed me to a slew of health issues including anxiety, I also discovered that there were ways to offset this by changing my diet, lifestyle, and supplement regimen based on my unique DNA.
So yes, genetics may predispose you to develop anxiety, but your environment, stress levels, lifestyle, even your diet play a part, too.
Here are just some of the genetic variants associated with anxiety, and what changes you can make to offset them:
GABRG2 gene variant
This variant is associated with anxiety. It suppresses GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms the mind. Supplementing with purple passionflower may help increase GABA levels to offset this.
BDNF gene variant
BDNF is a crucial brain chemical, and this variant may reduce BDNF levels. Some people who have anxiety have lower BDNF levels, and relaxation techniques like yoga may improve mood and reduce stress by boosting BDNF levels.
FAAH gene variant
This genetic variant is also linked to anxiety. It likely increases FAAH, an enzyme that reduces cannabinoid levels. CBD may help by inhibiting FAAH.
This is just a small part of what DNA tells us about our health – and SelfDecode’s Anxiety report analyzes over 800,000 genetic variants alone! Your health recommendations are unique too – because they are made based on your DNA.
Most DNA companies analyze only a handful of the most common genetic variants and then provide a generalized list of health recommendations that work for “most” people.
And you know what? That’s just not good enough.
Science ALWAYS comes first for SelfDecode. We’re now analyzing over 83 MILLION genetic variants in total, while other companies are still under 1 million or less.
For each DNA report, we’re analyzing an average of almost a million or more variants, while our competitors (pictured below) are stopping at 1 or 2 of the most common genetic variants associated with any given health condition.
The whole idea of using your DNA to improve your health should be based on the FULLEST picture of your health possible. You simply can’t get that by only looking at one or two genes – it’s as useful as reading the first page of a book and writing a synopsis based on that one page alone.
How is SelfDecode different from the others?
Because what we’re doing is difficult and expensive.
It’s a real science and engineering feat to build the most advanced DNA analysis tool and provide personalized health recommendations based on the user’s DNA.
It takes some really smart, talented (and expensive) people to do that.
In order to give you the most accurate results and personalized recommendations based on your genes, we’re using the latest techniques in AI, including deep learning, bayesian machine learning, and hyperdimensional computing for genetic imputation and our genetic models.
So, while everyone else is taking the easy way out to make an extra dollar off of consumers that aren’t able to confirm how accurate the reports really are…
We’ll be over here providing REAL personalized health.
Can you conquer anxiety with genetics?
If you’re serious about improving your health starting with conquering anxiety, there are a lot of different ways to address it with today’s technology. We have a wealth of information in the palm of our hands – the trick is to start by researching the right things.
My health journey began when I started looking at my DNA, and only then was I able to find the root cause of my anxiety. If I had known what was right for my body from the beginning, I probably would’ve saved a lot of time spent being sick, anxious, and stressed.
You can find out if your genes are predisposing you to anxiety with your own personalized DNA Anxiety Report by clicking here. See you on the other side!
Don’t Buy DNA Tests For Diet Until You Read This
These practices have put a stain on the DNA testing industry…
The problem with weight loss programs and diets is that their cookie-cutter approach doesn’t work for most people. But you already knew that.
Sure, it may have worked for the folks on the ad (even though those are probably just models), but that doesn’t mean it’ll work for you and your unique DNA. But you probably knew that too.
What you probably didn’t know is most DNA Weight Loss Tests don’t show you the full picture.
Here’s what I mean.
DNA and your weight
First, let me explain how this all works.
Myth: Your DNA controls your weight.
Fact: Your DNA controls things like appetite, metabolism for certain foods, tendency for emotional eating, etc. YOU control how you let that affect you – the first step is understanding.
Have you ever wondered why some of your friends seem to lose weight so easily, while you’re doing all the dieting and exercise possible and still not seeing results? It’s probably your DNA…
But just because your DNA controls these factors doesn’t mean you must be a slave to your genetic predisposition. Simple lifestyle changes make all the difference.
Here are some common DNA variants linked to weight, and the lifestyle changes science shows can help:
The MCM6 gene often leads to lactose intolerance which can make you prone to obesity. Avoiding high-protein diets will help.
The SEC16B gene is associated with higher obesity rates and BMI. The unlikely recommendation science makes to help? Coffee.
LEP variants are associated with resisting leptin – a hormone that makes you feel full. Spicy food and positive social interactions are known to help.
Before I understood my DNA, I thought good food and exercise were the keys to weight loss. The problem was what I thought was “good food” – and what I had been told for years to be “good food” – wasn’t necessarily good for me.
I always thought it was best for me to stay away from any sort of grain. For some people it is. I guess I just followed the diet advice of one of those people.
But my DNA revealed this isn’t a good idea, after all.
Unfortunately, my FTO gene is linked to weight gain and even obesity. SelfDecode recommended I start incorporating more fiber into my diet due to growing scientific evidence suggesting it helps with this specific gene.
That and my TCF7L2 gene led SelfDecode to recommend the Mediterranean diet, which includes a much more steady balance of whole grains than I was previously eating.
While I was previously avoiding grains, I was wondering why the weight just wasn’t coming off. The weight loss report gave me the answer. Want to shortcut your weight loss with your unique DNA? Click here to learn more.
Alright, alright… I know you probably don’t care too much about my DNA and how it’s affecting my weight loss. But after so much trial and error, it’s exciting to finally know what’s actually best for my body with 100% certainty.
I should get back to my original point.
The DNA secret
Not every DNA Weight Loss Test is equal.
If you’re looking for a DNA Weight Loss Test, you’ll likely stumble across a few marketing companies with science teams. SelfDecode is a science company with a marketing team.
Here’s what I mean – a lot of DNA tests on the market are using old-school methods. Some companies (like Nebula) rely on public research databases to create their reports. Others (such as 23andMe), base their results purely on their in-house research. SelfDecode does both…
As a result, SelfDecode’s Weight Report analyzes thousands of genes and over 455K genetic variants total. To give you a comparison, here are my results from a very popular DNA testing company.
You can’t give someone truly personalized results when all you’re looking at is a few genetic variants. That’s like reading one sentence out of a book and then writing a summary of the whole story… It’s all made up.
You’d think that we’d be happy our competitors are giving these cursory reports – we’re not. These companies are putting a stain on the DNA testing industry.
I sometimes see reviews online echoing things like: “using your DNA to create a diet is a scam and you may as well go to a fortune teller.” And the thing is, they aren’t wrong. These people have gotten one of these cursory DNA tests that only test for a few variants.
I know that you may be skeptical since this is coming from us, so just see what customers say:
But is it worth it?
If you’re serious about losing weight, understanding your DNA will shortcut your journey so much.
All of the time and energy I spent researching new diets, starting those diets, and being unsatisfied with the results before inevitably quitting the diet –
this is all time I could have saved if I just knew what was right for my body.
If you’d like to get your own DNA Weight Loss Report, click here.
Are Carbs The Reason You’re Always Hungry?
It’s a common misconception that insulin is the reason you feel hungry immediately after a high-carb meal. You might feel weak, shaky, and fatigued – but eating lunch or a quick snack only helps for a short time before the cycle repeats itself again.
Although insulin levels rapidly increase after eating in order to regulate your blood sugar, insulin alone is not the reason you’re always hungry.
Insulin isn’t what makes you feel hungry
Consuming foods like refined carbs increases your insulin levels, and the amount of leptin in your blood.
Leptin is a hormone that gives you the feeling of being full. So, a big plate of french fries may increase the amount of leptin in your blood – leaving you feeling full and satisfied.
But because refined carbs are digested quickly, your blood sugar levels may rise quickly, too. High blood sugar, in turn, causes a spike in insulin levels. This spike in insulin can lead to a blood sugar crash, which is around the time you might start to feel hungry, along with decreased energy levels. But, this isn’t because insulin causes hunger.
Ghrelin is a hormone that signals hunger during periods of low blood sugar, and is one of the reasons why you end up feeling so hangry during a blood sugar crash!
Here’s where it starts to get tricky, though… Your body may respond differently after having high blood sugar for an extended period of time – which can sometimes be due to eating a lot of high glycemic carbohydrates like corn, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and white rice.
Chronically high blood sugar can result in you becoming resistant to insulin, because your body stops responding to it. So, your hunger signals may end up being out of whack as a result.
Insulin resistance can lead to prediabetes – and if it’s not addressed, it can develop into type 2 diabetes.
One of the ways to be proactive about this is to take care of your blood sugar before it becomes a problem.
Blood sugar and your DNA
Luckily, you can check your genes to find out if you’re more likely to have high blood sugar levels that can lead to conditions like diabetes!
Discovering how your genetics play a role in high blood sugar can help you be more proactive about taking care of your blood sugar levels to begin with.
For example, if your Blood Sugar Report mentions that your SLC30A8 gene variant is linked to high blood sugar – zinc may be one of your top prioritized recommendations because it may reduce blood sugar, and the likelihood of type 2 diabetes.
Checking your DNA can help you understand why you need a strategy for keeping your blood sugar in check. SelfDecode helps you find out if some of your genetic variants are associated with high blood sugar, and knowing what will work best for you and you only helps keep you focused on what you need to do to stay healthy and happy.
Are you taking care of your blood sugar levels?
The easiest way to make sure you don’t end up developing a resistance to insulin, is to prevent chronic high blood sugar levels in the first place.
- Consume fewer refined carbs
- Reducing your sugar intake
- Exercising more
- Consume more fiber
PLUS, make sure to check your Blood Sugar Report! Finding out if your genes contribute to high blood sugar is more important than you think…
Because up to 80% of the differences in people’s chances of getting type 2 diabetes can be attributed to genetics.
If it has that much to do with your DNA, you’d think EVERYONE would be checking their genes!
Did you know?
Resistant starch doesn’t increase blood sugar like most digestible starches do. Resistant starch can help reduce your blood sugar, prevent diabetes, and can even boost your response to insulin!
Check your Blood Sugar Report to see if resistant starch would be helpful for you, then check out Jo’s Resistant Starch – we’ve created the simplest formula possible so that you can reap all of the benefits of fiber for blood sugar without the side effects that other resistant starch supplements may bring with it.