How much sleep do we need to get every night? The answer to that question used to be universal: eight hours. Now there is a new study that may forever change that…
According to a CTV News Report, German scientists known as chronobiologists from the Ludwig Maximillians University in Munich found a gene variant called ABCC9 that affects the length of time we need to sleep nightly.
The study, which was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, found that a very small percentage of the population requires less sleep a night – between four to five hours – and are thought to be short or light sleepers. These people wake up and feel refreshed without needing naps or caffeine throughout the day. The study included over 4,000 people, all of European ancestry, in a seven-genome-wide association study. They found that people with two or more copies of one common variant of ABCC9 slept for significantly shorter periods than people with two copies of another version.
But does this answer how much sleep we need to be healthy, how much we allow ourselves, or how much our bodies are predetermined to need?
According to the 2011 Sleep in America Poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 43% of people in the U.S. ages 13 to 64 reported they rarely or never can get a good night’s sleep Monday through Friday. And 60% of those surveyed said they had a sleep problem every night or almost every night, which could include snoring, waking up during the night or having a lack of energy when they get up. For full poll results, visit the National Sleep Foundation’s website at HERE.
To find out if you are getting enough sleep, take this quiz created by the University of Utah Health Care Sleep Wake Center titled “How sleepy are you?” HERE.
Or we can always take some tips from Goofy…