The Issues with Sleep Deprivation

Justin McEwen

Most doctors recommend seven to eight hours of sleep per night for adults. Although most can sleep this amount, others cannot get seven to eight but are closer to four to six hours of sleep at night. There could be many factors in why some adults get less sleep compared to others. One example is insomnia, but certain genes cause you to not need as much sleep as an average adult. For example, you may feel energized and awake after sleeping four to six hours while most would still feel tired.

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that causes three main things: difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and waking up too early. There are two different main types of Insomnia. One is short term insomnia, which is a short amount of time in which you might have difficulty sleeping. The second type is chronic insomnia, which happens over long periods where you might have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

However, you could have a certain type of gene that allows you to sleep four to six hours a night and feel energized and ready to go in the morning. A Ying-Hui Fu a biologist at the University of California, San Francisco learned that in multiple people a gene contributed to sleeping less.  In 2009, she found a gene called DEC2 in a family that slept four to six hours a night. She called these types of people short sleepers. She also says there is a difference between a trained short sleeper and one with DEC2. A trained short sleeper is at more risk for diseases later on in their life. 

Although it is sometimes hard to sleep or you are just distracted, it is always healthier to sleep as much as possible to make sure you are energized for the next day. If you have sleeping problems, try to stay away from devices and get on a sleep schedule. If you have chronic insomnia or at least believe you do, you can check in with a doctor if it interrupts your day-to-day life. Always remember to get a healthy amount of sleep for your age.