Normal flies sleep away almost half of each day (tell that to the ones in my kitchen). However, flies lacking Sleepless get by on 2 or fewer daily hours of sleep.
The mutation – in a gene that controls how brain cells fire and now dubbed Sleepless – suggests that, at the most basic level, sleep is caused by a slowdown in certain neurons.As if the fatigue that comes after a sleepless night isn't enough, the authors point out that the mutant flies also have shortened lifespans and impaired co-ordination, underscoring the importance of a good night's rest. Somehow that won't help me sleep any easier.
An inability to control these neurons might spell a restless night for animals besides flies
The research was published in Science.