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Night Owls Awaken

Does it seem like some people can get so little sleep and get so much done? The question is, can they, really?  A recent peer-reviewed study shows that of 100 persons who feel they can function with less than 6 hours of sleep, only 5 actually can.

Again, that’s not 5% of people – that’s 5% of the people who believe they are short sleepers! Those few are also energetic, outgoing, optimistic and ambitious, according to the few researchers who have studied them. The pattern sometimes starts in childhood and often runs in families.

While it’s unclear if all short sleepers are high achievers, they do have more time in the day to do things, and keep finding more interesting things to do than sleep, often doing several things at once.

The rest of that rather disproportionate slice – the other 95% of the night owls –  end up chronically sleep deprived, part of the one-third of U.S. adults who get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, according to a report last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Which group do you fall into?  A solid percentage of these people end up with chronic pain or myofascial pain syndromes like Fibromyalgia – and are prone to injuries with slow recovery times.  Talk to me about it at your next appointment.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703712504576242701752957910.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_News_BlogsModule

Nowadays, some short sleepers gravitate to fields like blogging, videogame design and social media, where their sleep habits come in handy.

A few studies have suggested that some short sleepers may have hypomania, a mild form of mania with racing thoughts and few inhibitions. “These people talk fast. They never stop. They’re always on the up side of life,” says Dr. Buysse; however, occasionally there is a downside of this, which could be the subject of another article. Talk to me about this at your next appointment!

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