The influence of genetic factors on the individual profile of sleep electroencephalographic (EEG) power spectra at the 8 to 16 Hz frequency range during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep was determined by recording 40 monozygotic and dizygotic twins during sleep. The study performed at the University of Rome and various international centers found that this EEG fingerprint of sleep showed a greater similarity in monozygotic than dizygotic pairs, with a 96% estimate of heritability. [1]

COMMENT. Healthy humans have a unique profile of the sleep electroencephalographic (EEG) power spectra at the 8 to 16 Hz frequency range duing non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. This fingerprint allows discrimination between individuals with a probability of 92% (De Gennaro L et al, 2005). These authors have shown that individual differences in this EEG fingerprint of NREM sleep are genetically determined. A genetic contribution has already been demonstrated for the awake-resting EEG alpha power, and also, for many sleep disorders, including night terrors, narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndome, and Kleine-Levin syndrome.