We all know we need at least some sleep – but how little can we really be getting?
Clearly, you need more sleep when you are a child than a full grown adult.
As UK sleep charity That said, while an adult needs an average of about eight hours of sleep a night, there is no “normal” length of time.
Although some people claim they are able to cope with as little as five hours of sleep, including former US President Barack Obama, former UK PM Margaret Thatcher and even Rihanna,
Is it possible to work continuously on so little sleep?
Yes – but only for a handful of people who have ‘short sleeper syndrome’.
It’s generally defined as people who only sleep for a few hours each night without experiencing any difficult side effects the next day (we’re talking drowsiness, low mood, and general tiredness).
US firm, Sleep Foundation, This means their body copes with six hours or less of sleep per night, even though the person has more time available to sleep.
How do you become a light sleeper?
If you’re thinking you can hack your body’s need for sleep, you’re out of luck.
Behavioral neuroscientist Andrew Coogan told news website Live Science He: “True short sleeper syndrome is probably a genetically determined trait.
“There have been studies identifying genes implicated in families in which short sleeper syndrome runs.”
previous studies pointed to a particular gene variant that counteracts sleep deprivation, while not cutting into non-rapid eye movement sleep—the phase that is critical for physiological recovery and memory consolidation.
study published in 2019 science journal neuron suggested that “it is a rare mutation in the human population, with an incidence of 4.028 out of 100,000.”
This means that you have a very low chance of short sleeper syndrome – less than 1%.
In fact, Coogan suggested that most people who think they sleep less “have simply become accustomed to a life that doesn’t involve much sleep”.
“These people may be able to do this for certain periods of their lives, but not their entire lifetimes,” he speculates.
How do you know that you really sleep less?
Coogan said: “There’s no specific test, but a good rule of thumb is that if someone’s sleep duration doesn’t get longer on the weekend despite having the opportunity to sleep, they may actually be a less sleepy person.” Can.”
Does it matter if you sleep less, but you are not a sleeper?
As an adult, you should get seven to nine hours of sleep, although this can fluctuate over one’s lifespan according to other factors.
And sleep is important, as we all know, for cognitive function, repairing your body and your general health, so it’s important to give yourself time to sleep.
But, the odd sleepless night is okay.
In fact, the Insomnia Clinic explains: “Your body knows what to do. If you have a bad night’s sleep, unless you take steps to escalate the issue, you may be more likely to ‘sleep drive’ the next night.” Will make it.
Your ‘sleep drive’ is defined as your appetite for sleep, so even if you had a bad night’s sleep, you should still be able to follow the same routine the next day – and then you Will be able to go back to sleep. normal sleep pattern.
(tags to translate) health