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Is It Superhuman or Stupid to Live Off Four Hours of Sleep?

SodaHead News 2011/04/11 19:00:00
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Sometimes 24 hours a day and seven days a week never seem to be enough. Most of us have said, at one time or another, we wish we had more time in the day to finish tasks. If you can't seem to get that time, you're either not genetically blessed or refuse to allow your body what it needs: sleep.

According to CNN, "short sleepers" have a gene mutation, known as as hDEC2, which allows them to function on less sleep. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, actor James Franco and Martha Stewart are reportedly short sleepers, who need less than four hours of sleep a night.

Either that, or they're staving off sleep through willpower and they think they're superhuman.

"It's hard to tell how frequent this mutation is," Ying-Hui Fu, professor of neurology at University of California San Francisco, told CNN. "Everyday, they have two to three more hours to do things."

But for those who don't and need the typical eight hours of sleep, bad things will eventually happen. Sleep deprivation can cause increased driver's fatigue, drowsiness and poor hand-eye coordination. In the long run, people who sleep less than six hours have been found to have greater risks of mortality, obesity, heart attacks and stroke, according to CNN.

Read More: http://www.khou.com/news/health/Superhuman-or-supe...

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Top Opinion

  • WhyZeeGuy 2011/04/11 22:06:13
    Undecided
    WhyZeeGuy
    +5
    I've been running on 3/4/5 hours of sleep a night since I was in my early 20's. Sleeping in nowadays in a 6 hour night. I know I need less sleep than others and I've always appreciated this fact, but I don't think it makes me superhuman.

    Also, I lead a very active jocky lifestyle and have a good balanced diet, I think this helps tremendously.

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  • Matt 2012/03/29 16:32:24
    Superhuman
    Matt
    +1
    I am another person that only requires 4-5 hours sleep. I'm 50 have slept for 4 hours since my teens. I'm an exercise fanatic and looks and feel like I'm 30. I had a sleep specialist tell me the amount of sleep required in each person is different. How much REM and Deep Sleep is extremely critical in repairing the body. When I sleep I have very little Non-REM (light sleep) time. The specialist stated spend 3-4 hours in Non-REM which adds up to the 8-10 hours that are normal.

    I just watched a NGC special on sleep and they showed how proteins are created only during sleep to repair the body.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic...
  • mar.petry 2011/04/14 04:59:03
    Undecided
    mar.petry
    +1
    It is neither stupid nor superhuman. Why give the body what it does not need?
    I remember before middle school finding things to do while in bed instead of sleeping. I am 47 now. I basically have run off of 5 hours and even no rest. I have held two jobs, raised three children and studied in the wee hours only to lay down for an hour to do it all over again. I still maintain two jobs and study time to time... right now I will lay down for two hours and get up for work...

    Someone told me I should be more normal, to rest more.. all it did was make me drag all day, very sluggish, I did not feel well. I usually run on 2-3 hours.... if I nap that can run 10 minutes to five hours and I am up for the next 24 hours depending on when it happens... I feel great when I get less than 5 hours of rest... when my body needs something it tells me...

    OH and I am not really sure diet plays a part.. for the past 27 years I have basically eaten one meal a day.. the food I eat is always good ... I cannot tolerate a lot of food, it weights me down....
  • Invader_Xion 2011/04/13 20:19:01
    Superhuman
    Invader_Xion
    +3
    More like my normal routine hahaha ... I don't need more than 4 hours of sleep. My body wakes me up after 4 or 5 hours always.
  • Psykhê 2011/04/13 10:38:34 (edited)
    Superhuman
    Psykhê
    +3
    I don't generally function well on anymore than 4 hours of sleep. In fact, any more than that usually results in a massive headache for me. It's what my little body wants. Superhuman? You bet your judgmental ass. I might be immortal too.

    Sodahead Living, why you care so much how little I sleep? Me stupid? You're stupid! :D
  • ♥ Emily the "Cutie Banana P... 2011/04/12 23:50:01
    Undecided
    ♥ Emily the "Cutie Banana Pie" ♥
    +2
    Most people are too active/busy to get more then 4-6 hours of sleep.
  • Predators Eyez 2011/04/12 19:06:41
    Undecided
    Predators Eyez
    +3
    Neither. Everybody is different.
  • Prometheus~phaet~ 2011/04/12 18:40:59
  • Ves~Sailor Soldier of PHAET 2011/04/12 18:38:45 (edited)
    Undecided
    Ves~Sailor Soldier of PHAET
    +4
    It's neither. Some people can not help how their internal biological clock is set. The whole 8 hours of needed sleep was just a study, it is not proven that is exactly how much one needs. It does not take 8 hours to complete a full cycle of NON REM/ REM sleep, which is why people can sleep anywhere from 6-10 hours and wake up energized. As a person who has dealt with insomnia for 10 years, studies have shown that little to no sleep can be damaging to the human body and brain because our body does need NON REM/ REM sleep.

    However 5 days out of the week I get about 4-6 hours a sleep a night and I can function very well. Sure I am feeling a bit tired when I am initially about to wake up but once I am up I am good to go. IMO, people who receive 4 or less hours of sleep are risking health issues. While I never went through weight gain, being sick, heart attacks, stroke, I did experience poor eye coordination, slower reaction time, had frequent "microsleeps" occur.

    Microsleeps occur when the body feels it is not getting sufficient rest. It is a brief period of time lasting a few seconds when the brain enters a sleep state, usually without the persons awareness. The person loses conscious control of their thoughts and actions and has no recall of anything that takes place during the ...



    It's neither. Some people can not help how their internal biological clock is set. The whole 8 hours of needed sleep was just a study, it is not proven that is exactly how much one needs. It does not take 8 hours to complete a full cycle of NON REM/ REM sleep, which is why people can sleep anywhere from 6-10 hours and wake up energized. As a person who has dealt with insomnia for 10 years, studies have shown that little to no sleep can be damaging to the human body and brain because our body does need NON REM/ REM sleep.

    However 5 days out of the week I get about 4-6 hours a sleep a night and I can function very well. Sure I am feeling a bit tired when I am initially about to wake up but once I am up I am good to go. IMO, people who receive 4 or less hours of sleep are risking health issues. While I never went through weight gain, being sick, heart attacks, stroke, I did experience poor eye coordination, slower reaction time, had frequent "microsleeps" occur.

    Microsleeps occur when the body feels it is not getting sufficient rest. It is a brief period of time lasting a few seconds when the brain enters a sleep state, usually without the persons awareness. The person loses conscious control of their thoughts and actions and has no recall of anything that takes place during the episode. (used reference)

    I have had MANY episodes of these black outs. Even when driving, which can be extremely dangerous. To the point where I would pull over and try to rest. I am no longer suffering from insomnia, but I do get around 4-6 hours of sleep a night and on my days off I get 8-10 hours. People who receive a short time of sleep I think will be fine and suffer no hardships health wise, but that all comes down to "how much". Less than four [coming from this article] can be dangerous depending how what that number is. There are 4 stages of sleep 2 of the four stages last 30-60 mins, so right there thats approx 2 hours right there is those 2 stages last 60 mins. IMO, less than 3 hours is pushing it and I doubt it can be healthy for anyone. There is such a disorder out there where people die from lack of sleep/no sleep. Less than 3 sounds like a borderline.

    This does not make someone a superhuman. Nor is it stupid. It depends on the persons body, some people can not force themselves to get sleep. I have been there. I needed the help of natural supplements, plus other means.
    (more)
  • Kigan 2011/04/12 17:45:21
    Stupid
    Kigan
    +2
    There's a reason we sleep as much as we do at night.

    I used to have a horrible time sleeping, and I can't put into words how great the change has been since I became able to regularly sleep 8 hours on a regular schedule.
  • Pam 2011/04/12 17:30:06
    Superhuman
    Pam
    +2
    I guess I accidentally picked one. I don't think they are super human. I really don't care about how other people sleep.
  • Don 2011/04/12 17:29:50
    Undecided
    Don
    +1
    It would be nice to get a full nights sleep. With all the medications that internal medical doctors people put you on these days I have decided to call my broker and invest in pharmaceuticals.
  • Jim 2011/04/12 17:21:55
    Stupid
    Jim
    +3
    I tried to sleep 4hr at a time but It did not work for me. My Superhuman Cape did not come in the mail either. Your body will tell you how much sleep it needs. If you dont heed it, you will find out the hard way.
  • CatchingFear 2011/04/12 17:06:48
    Superhuman
    CatchingFear
    +1
    YAY!
    I'm Superhuman!

    No, I actually should have done Stupid because it's made me ill xD
    But I still do it =3=
  • Stella Bella 2011/04/12 16:22:17
    Undecided
    Stella Bella
    +3
    Not sure if it is true or not that they can function well on 4 hours of sleep a night for prolonged periods.

    Speaking for myself, I feel the effects of short sleep after only 1 night. I require the 8 hours per night to function well.

    periods speaking feel effects sleep 1 require 8 function sleepy the dwarf
  • mar.petry Stella ... 2011/04/14 05:09:57
    mar.petry
    +3
    In high school.. that is where it really took off... papers done by 4ish am, up by 6ish am, school, sports afterwards.. home by dinner time to do it all over again.. can last for weeks, no issues.. the only way someone really knows something is wrong is if I say I am tired.. that is the only key for me knowing I am coming down with a cold or something.. that is a good warning sign.. there are times my clock gets out of whack and I stay up for 24 hours to get it back... its is pretty interesting actually.. I get a lot done :)
  • Stella ... mar.petry 2011/04/14 15:44:22
    Stella Bella
    +1
    You're lucky to be able to function on so little sleep. I require a lot of sleep.
  • mar.petry Stella ... 2011/04/14 23:38:59
    mar.petry
    +4
    Believe it or not.. since I have done this for a good 30 years.. there are times I wish I could rest for a good uninterrupted 8 hour rest and feel great when I awake. It can get annoying to wake up after 10 minutes or a couple of hours (very rested) to know that is all the time you slept. It has it's good points and yes it's bad like everything in this world. :)
  • Stella ... mar.petry 2011/04/15 14:33:05
    Stella Bella
    +1
    You probably don't dream that much then.
    I dream 2-3 dreams per night.
  • mar.petry Stella ... 2011/04/17 21:39:26
    mar.petry
    +1
    On occasion, like the 10 minute power nap, I would wake up remembering something had to do with work.... I remember a recurring dream I had as a child while a wake but never while sleeping..
  • politicalsoldier 2011/04/12 14:36:00
    Stupid
    politicalsoldier
    +1
    I've been a short sleeper for years now. Basically because I'm in my office working day and night and most weekends to keep giving my family want they need and some of what they want as the Federal government spends us into collapse (yes, under the soft-socialist Bush, too), causes skyrocketing energy prices and run away inflation. And it's all gotten worse since the "anointed one" King Obama's plans and "stimulus" have taken over. And now that ObamaCare will do away with HSA plans and are causing my self-employed healthcare cost to rise further, I'll have to make up for that too.

    Am I superhuman? No, I'm just freakin' exhausted all of the time.
  • mar.petry politic... 2011/04/14 05:05:35
    mar.petry
    +4
    If you are exhausted.. basically you are not considered a short sleeper.. you are sleep deprived... one can go and go and go with out the effect as you describe.
  • politic... mar.petry 2011/04/19 13:51:00
    politicalsoldier
    +1
    I wish I could. Not enough hours in a day.
  • mar.petry politic... 2011/04/24 05:04:41
    mar.petry
    +1
    I know what you mean about not having enough time in a day.. even though I may get 2 to 4 hours I still fill like there is not enough time to do what I want and I know I do a lot, but there are always things I want to do...
  • GaPch 2011/04/12 14:08:51
    Stupid
    GaPch
    +2
    when you have young children, you often DO live off of 4 hours sleep but I can tell you that it is NO picnic if you are normal person needing the normal amount of sleep. However, there are people, my FIL was one of them, who felt fully charged on 5 hours sleep or sometimes less. I always wished I was one of those people...it would be so much better than walking around like a zombie.
  • Michael Hertel 2011/04/12 13:46:55
    Stupid
    Michael Hertel
    +2
    For most of us four hours of sleep is not enough, it leads to poor judgement, inefficient work, and so costs more than it saves in terms of productivity. If 168 hours in a week are not enough to do what you think you need to do while allowing yourself to sleep enough then change your thinking and not your sleeping.
  • concerned dude 2011/04/12 12:53:32
    Undecided
    concerned dude
    +1
    20 minutes and go. bang!
  • mar.petry concern... 2011/04/14 05:11:45
    mar.petry
    +3
    I have had the occasional power nap.. my son would tell me it lasted for a good 10 minutes or so and I am so wide awake it is not funny. That will last me for the next 5 to 6 hours if not the next 24...
  • Superhuman
    Jersey Roze ♥Jwon's Cyar'ika ♥
    +2
    Now i know what it is that makes me special, lol.....
    I always thought i was weird because the more i sleep the more tired i am.
    Im 16, so im still in school and all my friends seem to find it weird that if i go to sleep at 11:00 pm and wake up at 6:00 am, im exhausted but if i go to sleep at 1 am or 2 am and wake up at 6:00 am then im completely refreshed and energetic....
    nice to know im superhuman lol......
  • Euphonious Munk 2011/04/12 11:42:09
    Undecided
    Euphonious Munk
    +1
    A person will be fine as long as they take plenty of vitamins and amphetamines.
  • mar.petry Euphoni... 2011/04/14 05:21:36
    mar.petry
    +2
    "Laughing"..... however, what ever I have extra, I am unable to take vitamins, or at least they need to figure out what I should.. but then again my levels seem to be fine. I tried vitamins once... took them for a couple of days and found myself literally up for the next three days straight... was not tired at all.. no more vitamins for me...
  • DennisSwanson 2011/04/12 11:17:46
    Stupid
    DennisSwanson
  • Tom 2011/04/12 11:06:01
    Undecided
    Tom
    +2
    Can go a long time on 4 hours of sleep

    In spite of what my dog thinks, I am not superhuman
  • sd *TROUBLE* 2011/04/12 10:22:54
    Undecided
    sd *TROUBLE*
    +4
    Its not stupid if thats all the sleep your body needs.
  • Annie~Pro American~Pro Israel 2011/04/12 08:16:31
    Stupid
    Annie~Pro American~Pro Israel
    +2
    No one is super human. Would like to see CNN's references for this.
  • Tonare Amour BN-0 2011/04/12 08:07:51
    Undecided
    Tonare Amour BN-0
    +1
    Well, since I was 8, I'm 16 now, I've been going on a few hours of sleep, if not any sleep at all.

    It dosen't matter to me, no matter how much I sleep I always feel tired. So really, sleeping less is not having any major impact on my life.
  • Lachea 2011/04/12 08:01:11
    Stupid
    Lachea
    +1
    It is very bad for your health and eventually it will catch up to you.
  • mar.petry Lachea 2011/04/24 05:10:11
    mar.petry
    +1
    I am not sure that is true anymore. It use to be a very direct.. you must do this or this will happen kind of thing.. but now as everything else things change.. peoples needs change, life itself is changing and before you know it there will be more and more people that do just this.. since 2009 they have been doing studies on this very thing and know there are those who just do not need a lot of rest and there were no bad effects listed... as I mentioned, I have been fine, I do not get sick like most people.. when I do it takes its course rapidly and done...
  • Max Chez mar.petry 2013/12/14 13:37:29
    Max Chez
    +4
    i agree i used to sleep a lot and i was always tired so i thought the problem was i needed more sleep but in reality it was the opposite, im 18 years of age and now i sleep around 4-6 hours of sleep and feel energized when i awake. and all and all what i comes down to people just listen to your body and mind, if you sleep 4 hours and wake up and your still tired well get some more sleep , but if you sleep lets say 8 hours and you wake up tired mybe find somewhere in between find what works for you, if you sleep 4 hours and you awake feeling rested than what is the problem???? obviously that is what works for you.
  • Dickens 2011/04/12 07:59:10
    Undecided
    Dickens
    +1
    Many of us don't have a choice; we'd like to be snoozing but circuits in the brain won't let us. CO legalized cannabis as a treatment for insomnia, and for many of us, it's an effective and very safe alternative.
  • Tonare ... Dickens 2011/04/12 08:08:52
    Tonare Amour BN-0
    +1
    It's definetly a much safer way to relax compared to tobacco and alchohol, that's for sure.

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