They all the time find themselves more interesting activities than sleep and often do several things at the same time. Such people are energetic, outgoing, optimistic and ambitious.
A small minority of people - perhaps as little as 1-3% of the world's population - can go almost without sleep, according to The Wall Street Journal. These people are "larks" and "owls" at the same time: they usually go to bed after midnight, and just a few hours later they jump up and remain vigorous all day. However, they do not need an afternoon siesta or coffee, says columnist Melinda Beck.
According to experts, such people are energetic, sociable, optimistic and ambitious. Sometimes the habit of sleeping a little appears in their childhood. The trait is often inherited. “It is unclear whether all the“sleepless”achieve great success in life, but they really have more time after sleep; all the time they find themselves more interesting things to do than sleep, often doing several things at the same time,”the author notes.
Nobody knows exactly how many “natural sleepless” in the world. Many people just think of themselves as such, explained Daniel J. Beisse, a psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Out of every 100 people who think they need only 5-6 hours of sleep a day, in fact, there are only 5. The rest suffer from chronic sleep deprivation," says the newspaper Beisse's assessment. In general, doctors recommend 7 hours of sleep a day, but a third of American adults sleep less.
The phenomenon of "natural sleepless" has been studied very little: they do not consider their peculiarity to be a disease and rarely turn to doctors about it. “Some studies suggest that some 'sleepless' may be suffering from hypomania, a mild form of manic disorder that is characterized by relaxedness and a rush of thoughts,” the newspaper writes. "These people talk, they never take a break," notes Beisse, one of the authors of a study in which "natural sleeplessness" scored twice as many "points" on the hypomania test.
“It is not yet possible to learn how to get by with a short sleep. But scientists hope that when studying the "sleepless" they will better understand the mechanisms of sleep regulation and understand why different people need sleep of different durations, "the article says. For most adults, the norm is 7-9 hours of sleep, for children - 8-12 hours, for the elderly - 6-7.
Chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk of diabetes, obesity, hypertension and other diseases, the article says.
In 2009, scientists have identified a genetic change in two "sleepless" - hDEC2. Geneticist Ing-Hui Fu from the University of California (San Francisco) and his co-authors, studying people-larks, noticed that some mother and daughter usually wake up at 4 in the morning, but go to bed after midnight. Scientists were able to replicate this same gene variation in mice, and found that these mice also need less sleep than normal mice. Researchers are now recruiting other "sleepless" volunteers, hoping to identify other genetic traits.
How do you know if you are a "natural sleepless"? Christopher Jones of the University of Utah explains that these people sleep 5-6 hours a night even on vacation or on weekends when they don't have to get up early.
Benjamin Franklin. Violent sleep deprivation makes most people grumpy, but, oddly enough, can also provoke a temporary feeling of euphoria, the author notes, citing an article in the March issue of Neuroscience magazine. 14 young people who did not sleep all day rated the pictures as more pleasant or positive than those who slept normally.
According to scientists, a sleepless night increases the production of dopamine, which regulates feelings of pleasure, as well as drug addiction. This explains why sleep deprivation can relieve symptoms of depression in about 60% of patients, although the effect is temporary.
"Previous studies have shown that sleep deprivation activates the amygdala, a primitive center of emotion in the brain, but suppresses the activity of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for more rational thinking," the newspaper writes. This is dangerous when the job requires both long hours of work and difficult decisions.
Jones says that so far he has found only two dozen real "sleepless". They are distinguished from the average person by their high spirits and metabolism (they are leaner than the average person, although lack of sleep usually increases the risk of obesity). They also easily endure physical pain and psychological trauma: "When they hit an obstacle, they get up and make a second attempt," Jones explained.
Historical records show that Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Leonardo da Vinci were too busy people to spend a lot of time sleeping. Thomas Edison and Winston Churchill also slept little at night, but they liked to take a short nap during the day. Chain owner Linda Cohen from Pittsburgh admits: “I come to life at about 11 pm. If I went to bed early, I would have lost half my life."