The research published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, found a genetic link between a lack of shut eye, type 2 diabetes and depression.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, examined two study groups of soldiers and assessed their genes and sleep states to see if there was a connection between insomnia and genes.
The soldiers were selected for the investigation due to previous research that suggested up to 50 per cent of those in the military struggle to sleep.
The first group of participants included 33, 088 soldiers at the beginning of their basic training, who gave blood samples for DNA analysis, completed questionnaires, and were interviewed on their sleep habits.
Sleep based questions included whether they suffered from daytime fatigue, struggled to fall or stay asleep, or showed any physical symptoms of insomnia such as experiencing diarrhoea or nausea.
In the second group, 7, 927 soldiers also underwent a serious of genetic tests and had their sleep rates assessed.
The results found insomnia was associated with genetic mutation on the seventh chromosome, as well as on the ninth in people of European descent.
The study’s lead researcher, Dr Murray Stein, explained the seventh chromosome is nearby to genes that influence brain development, as well as alcohol consumption.
“The genetic correlation between insomnia disorder and other psychiatric disorders such as type 2 diabetes suggested a shared genetic [link].”
In previous studies, lack of sleep has been linked to poor heart health and an increased risk of premature death.
The Sleep Health Foundation found that between 33 and 45 per cent of Australians suffer from insomnia, which is damaging to their mental health.