AANAT Gene Mutations
The AANAT gene is a very important gene when it comes to good sleep, especially as it’s related to the cycles of sleep but also the intensity of sleep.
The AANAT gene helps to convert your serotonin to N – acetylserotonin, then through an additional gene ASMT this process leads to the production of Melatonin, your sleep chemical!
Melatonin can make the difference between you getting to sleep or not and how the power to control the depth and intensity of your sleep,
Gene mutations in AANAT can cause what is called “delayed sleep-based syndrome’, many people just stay awake, even when they are tired, it just takes much longer and or harder to convert that serotonin into melatonin.
Often the bigger problem comes from a lack of serotonin available and or the supporting cofactors to convert the serotonin into melatonin, which you can learn more about in DDC.
Symptoms of an AANAT problem include:
- Inability to fall asleep
- Inability to stay asleep for at least 7 hours
- Disrupted sleep cycles
- Tiredness during the day
- Delayed sleep even when you are tired
- Lack of ability to make enough anti-stress steroids (low-stress tolerance)
- Mood swings
- Poor dream recall
- Symptoms associated with Vitamin B5 deficiency
Important: Melatonin is triggered by the day/night cycle, this means that it knows when it’s nighttime because it gets dark, so if you are going to sit in the light at night or in front of the TV, computer, etc, you may be slowing your melatonin production tricking the gene into thinking its still daytime. This is the magic of having eyelids, because when they are shut so is the light and so melatonin should be kicking in to help you get to sleep. Some people need more dark time than others before going to bed.
Conversion of serotonin to melatonin through AANAT & ASMT, here is how it looks:
Again if you don’t make enough serotonin, you can’t make enough melatonin, this is a big deal and significantly interferes with good sleep and good sleep patterns.
If you have a mutation in your AANAT you could be having problems with:
- Utilization of vitamin B5
- A problem with serotonin production
- A problem with methylation
- A lack of samE production (S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe), but if it is a samE problem, supplementation is not advised because Methylation should be investigated first.