The Mystery of Short Sleepers - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

The Mystery of Short Sleepers

Posted: Updated:
New York -

Like so many of us, Jenn Schwaner is busy. She works as a court reporter, cooks for her daughter's softball team, and fosters babies for state of Florida.

But, unlike most of us, Jenn does it all on less than four hours of sleep - and she says she's never tired. "I feel like I'm living my life instead of sleeping it...I really do feel like sleeping is a waste of life," she says.

Her father, Pat, is the same way. He can get by on as little as one hour of sleep a day. "I'm not Superman, not an X-Man. I just feel I'm kind of lucky," he says.

It's not luck, it's genetics. 

Researchers call them "short sleepers", and say it's because of genetic mutation short sleepers cannot sleep longer than a few hours, even in childhood, waking rested and refreshed.

They never use an alarm clock and they rarely yawn don't need caffeine and no naps.

All day long they are very active, they are very optimistic, they are go-getters.

Researchers say short sleepers are not insomniacs and they're not sleep deprived but compress the brain's five stages of sleep cycles into less time and so far, they haven't found any negative health effects.

Famously, Bill Clinton, Winston Churchill, Donald Trump, and Madonna all claim they need little sleep, but researchers estimate less than one percent of the population is made up of genuine short sleepers though many people may think they are.

So how do you know how much rest you need?  Well, the next time you have a several days off -- say on vacation -- gone to sleep, don't set an alarm, and you'll have your answer.

Real short sleepers get up after four hours even on vacation. As for me I gave it a shot, "I feel tired, I feel irritable, and just not ready for the day."

Four hours is clearly not enough. Take a look at this simple reaction test. Without a full night's sleep, I can't catch this pen at all.

But Jenn, living on four hours of sleep her entire life, never misses a night owl, and early bird.

Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.