Do you consider yourself to be a night owl or an early bird? Current research shows that a preference for being an early riser or a late sleeper is influenced by genetics.
A study conducted at the University of California at San Francisco by Dr. Ying-Hui Fu and her team revealed a rare mutation in the DEC2 gene of a mother and daughter who needed only an average of 6.5 hours of sleep per night due to more intense REM sleep states. People with this mutation (aka “short-sleepers”) appear to sleep more efficiently than the rest of us.
Think you are one of the lucky few? The odds are stacked against you. Less than 3% of the population is said to carry this mutation. For the other 97% of us, how do we find out how much sleep we need?
After feeling sleep-deprived for close to two years, I stumbled upon something known as the sleep vacation. Don’t worry... no stress-provoking airport security lines of TSA pat-downs necessary! You don’t need to go any further than your own bed. Summer may be just the time to try this little experiment. I did it, and afterwards, I felt better and more rested than I had in years. Here’s what you need to do.