There is a small population of people in this world whose ranks I yearn desperately to be among. It's not the supermodels with their endlessly long legs (though that wouldn't be bad either), or the geniuses who think things I can't even pronounce. Rather it's the few, the freaky, the sleepless elite.
Never heard of them? That's because there aren't many of them around, but oh what a lucky bunch they are. They can get by on four or five hours of sleep a night, and not feel tired or need to chug coffee by the gallon just to stay awake. And doing so doesn't damage their health.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, these people are also "energetic, outgoing, optimistic, and ambitious"; and -- to up my jealousy factor to the highest of heights -- they're usually thinner than average too. They are genetic freaks! And oh how I wish I was one too.
My biggest deficit in life at the moment is time. There just aren't enough hours to get everything done that I want and need to get done. I can't imagine the luxury of having a couple of extra hours in the day and not having to pay for it the next. The books that could be read, movies that could be watched, writing that could get done ... the possibilities are endless.
Oh I've tried to convince myself I'm one of them, and I regularly pose as one in the number of hours I sleep. One day on four or five hours of sleep, and I'm okay as long as I have copious amounts of caffeine, but after a couple days like that, I'm done. I can feel the toll it takes on my body, and I function like a zombie -- not at all "energetic, outgoing, optimistic, and ambitious." *sigh*
Many people, like me, try to be in this club or think they are, but they're not. Scientists say that for every 100 people who say they only need five or six hours of sleep, only 5 of them are actual "short sleepers." The rest of us need more sleep than we're getting, and not getting it comes with a whole host of health risks.
Scientists say the true test of a short sleeper is that when given an opportunity to sleep more than you normally do -- say on vacation -- you don't. Okay, I'm definitely not one of them; vacations and naps are synonymous for me.
While there's no way to make yourself a short sleeper if you're not among the genetically blessed, scientists are hoping that by studying them, someday they might be able to help us do just that. Hopefully they'll figure it out fast, because we're snoozing away valuable hours!
Would you like to be among the sleepless elite? Do you think you are?
Image via NH53/Flickr