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Sleep is an essential human function but its regulation is poorly understood. Identifying genetic variants associated with quality, quantity and timing of sleep will provide biological insights into the regulation of sleep and potential links with disease. Using accelerometer data from 85,670 individuals in the UK Biobank, we performed a genome-wide association study of 8 accelerometer-derived sleep traits. We identified 47 genetic associations across the sleep traits (P<5x10-8) and replicated our findings in 5,819 individuals from 3 independent studies. These included 10 novel associations for sleep duration and 26 for sleep quality. Most newly identified variants were associated with a single sleep trait, but variants previously associated with restless legs syndrome were observed to be associated with multiple sleep traits. As a group, sleep quality loci were enriched for serotonin processing genes and all sleep traits were enriched for cerebellar-expressed genes. These findings provide new biological insights into sleep characteristics.

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