Able to Function on Little Sleep? Maybe Not
We all know someone who claims to need just "a few hours of sleep" a night. Or may you don’t need the recommended seven to nine hours every night to feel well rested. While some evidence suggests a small percentage of people do need significantly less sleep than others, a new study proposes that many of these individuals are indeed affected by too little sleep—even if they report feeling fine.
Researchers performed brain scans on 839 study participants, divided first into two groups. One group reported getting an average of between seven and 12 hours a sleep a night over the past month, and the other group reported 6 hours of sleep each night or less, on average.
The second group was then divided further into those who said they felt drowsy or impaired by too little sleep, and those who reported feeling fine. According to researchers, brain scans of many of the participants in both of the second groups were consistent with scans of people who are asleep rather than awake. It may be that drowsiness caused by sleep deprivation caused these people to dose off during the scans.
Image Credit: Thinkstock