It seems like a lot of people like to tout their ability to function on minimal amounts of sleep. However, while many people think they’re capable of performing at a high level when deprived of sweet repose, researchers believe they have found the actual percentage of people who need little sleep – and it’s much smaller than you probably think.
The Wall Street Journal reports that for a select group of people, sleep is but a chore rather than a time to recharge. As much as three percent of the U.S. population fits the bill of what scientists deem natural “short sleepers,” the select group of people who are both awake late at night and early in the morning.
Short sleepers function just fine on only a few hours of sleep each night and unlike their sleep-deprived brethren, they’re also energetic, outgoing, optimistic and ambitious – which coincidentally are characteristics entrepreneurs often have. In fact, the research has spawned lots of talk amongst business insiders who posit that some of the most successful entrepreneurs are among this select group of quasi-insomniacs.
Such a connection is decidedly difficult to prove, however, as it’s hard to know the exact sleeping habits of anyone really. While a lot of people may think they fit into this group, University of Pittsburgh psychiatrist Daniel J. Buysee said they’re probably wrong. “There aren’t nearly as many as there are people who think they’re short sleepers,” Dr. Buysee told the Wall Street Journal.
Do you think you’re one of them? If you do, you may want to consider this little fact: Out of every 100 people who believe they only need five or six hours of sleep a night, only about 5 actually do, according to Dr. Buysee. What about the other 95 people? They’re merely chronically sleep deprived and contribute to another – and very different – statistic: They are a part of the 33 percent of the general public who get the recommended seven hours of sleep every night.
Nonetheless, entrepreneurs tend to fit the description of these special sleeps. “These people talk fast. They never stop. They’re always on the up-side of life,” Dr. Buysee affirms.