Repost: The people who need very little sleep 怎樣才能每晚只睡4個小時又精力充沛

Posted 10/30/2016 4:47 am – I came across this article about sleep on BBC.  It is also already professionally translated to Chinese.  Enjoy.  I’m among the rare that successfully practices multi/polyphase sleep.  I hope this blog entry will intrigue people enough to realize it is possible and more people will utilize this useful technique as it can significantly improve your quality of life, as well as gain 3-6 hours of additional hours of time to use per day.

Original Source: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150706-the-woman-who-barely-sleeps

Is it true that some people need only a few hours of sleep? Helen Thomson talks to a woman whose genes might hint at how we all could survive on less shuteye.

By Helen Thomson
7 July 2015

What would you do if you had 60 days of extra free time a year? Ask Abby Ross, a retired psychologist from Miami, Florida, a “short-sleeper”. She needs only four hours sleep a night, so has a lot of spare time to fill while the rest of the world is in the land of nod.

“It’s wonderful to have so many hours in my day – I feel like I can live two lives,” she says.

Short-sleepers like Ross never feel lethargic, nor do they ever sleep in. They wake early normally around four or five o’clock raring to get on with their day. Margaret Thatcher may have been one – she famously said she needed just four hours a night, whereas Mariah Carey claims she needs 15.

What makes some people fantastically efficient sleepers, while others spend half their day snoozing? And can we change our sleeping pattern to make it more efficient?

A few people need only a few hours for the brain to recharge (Credit: Thinkstock)

A few people need only a few hours for the brain to recharge (Credit: Thinkstock)

In 2009, a woman came into Ying-Hui Fu’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco, complaining that she always woke up too early. At first, Fu thought the woman was an extreme morning lark a person who goes to bed early and wakes early. However, the woman explained that she actually went to bed around midnight and woke at 4am feeling completely alert. It was the same for several members of her family, she said.

She went to bed around midnight and woke at 4am feeling completely alert

Fu and her colleagues compared the genome of different family members. They discovered a tiny mutation in a gene called DEC2that was present in those who were short-sleepers, but not in members of the family who had normal length sleep, nor in 250 unrelated volunteers.

When the team bred mice to express this same mutation, the rodents also slept less but performed just as well as regular mice when given physical and cognitive tasks.

Getting too little sleep normally has a significant impact on health, quality of life and life expectancy. It can cause depression, weight gain and put you at greater risk of stroke and diabetes. “Sleep is so important, if you sleep well you can avoid many diseases, even dementia,” says Fu. “If you deprive someone of just two hours sleep a day, their cognitive functions become significantly impaired almost immediately.”

Why sleep is so important is still a bit of a mystery

But why sleep is so important is still a bit of a mystery. The general consensus is that the brain needs sleep to do some housekeeping and general maintenance, since it doesn’t get much downtime during the day. While we sleep, the brain can repair cellular damage, remove toxins that accumulate during the day, boost flagging energy supplies and lay down memories.

If you had more time in the morning, what would you do with it? (Credit: Thinkstock)

If you had more time in the morning, what would you do with it? (Credit: Thinkstock)

“Clearly people with the DEC2 mutation can do the same cleaning up process in a shorter period of time – they are just more efficient than the rest of us at sleeping,” says Fu. “But how are they doing that? That’s the key question.”

Since discovering the DEC2 mutation, a lot of people have come forward claiming to only sleep a few hours a day, says Fu. Most of these had insomnia, she says. “We’re not focusing on those people who have sleeping issues that make them sleep less, we wanted to focus on people who sleep for a few hours and feel great.”

I always feel great when I wake up – Abby Ross

A positive outlook is common among all of the short-sleepers that Fu has studied. “Anecdotally,” she says, “they are all very energetic, very optimistic. It’s very common for them to feel like they want to cram as much into life as they can, but we’re not sure how or whether this is related to their mutations.”

Ross would seem to fit that mould. “I always feel great when I wake up,” she says. She has been living on four to five hours sleep every day for as long as she can remember.

“Those hours in the morning – around five o’clock – are just fabulous. It’s so peaceful and quiet and you can get so much done. I wish more shops were open at that time, but I can shop online, or I can read – oh there’s so much to read in this world! Or I can go out and exercise before anyone else is up, or talk to people in other time zones.”

Her short sleeping patterns allowed her to complete university in two and a half years, as well as affording her time to learn lots of new skills. For example, just three weeks after giving birth to her first son, Ross decided to use one of her early mornings to attempt to run around the block. It took her 10 minutes. The following day she did it again, running a little further. She slowly increased the time she ran, finally completing not one, but 37 marathons – one a month over three years – plus several ultramarathons. “I can get up and do my exercise before anyone else is up and then it’s done, out of the way,” she says.

One way to ensure better sleep is to keep wake-up times regular (Credit: Thinkstock)

One way to ensure better sleep is keep wake-up times regular (Credit: Thinkstock)

As a child, Ross remembers spending very early mornings with her dad, another short-sleeper. “Our early mornings gave us such a special time together,” she says. Now, if she ever oversleeps – which she says has only ever happened a handful of times, her husband thinks she’s dead. “I just don’t lay in, I’d feel terrible if I did,” she says.

Take a shortcut

Fu has subsequently sequenced the genomes of several other families who fit the criteria of short-sleepers. They’re only just beginning to understand the gene mutations that lead to this talent, but in principle, she says, it might one day be possible to enable short sleeping in others.

The most effective way to improve your sleep is to fix your wake-up time in the morning

Until then, are there any shortcuts to a more efficient night’s sleep for the rest of us? Neil Stanley, an independent sleep consultant, says yes: “The most effective way to improve your sleep is to fix your wake-up time in the morning.”

Stanley says that when your body gets used to the time it needs to wake up, it can use the time it has to sleep as efficiently as possible. “Studies show that your body prepares to wake up one and a half hours prior to actually waking up. Your body craves regularity, so if you chop and change your sleep pattern, your body hasn’t got a clue when it should prepare to wake up or not.”

You could also do yourself a favour by ignoring society’s views on sleep, he says. “There’s this social view that short sleeping is a good thing and should be encouraged – we’re always hauling out the example of Margaret Thatcher and top CEOs who don’t need much sleep. In fact, the amount of sleep you need is genetically determined as much as your height or shoe size. Some people need very little sleep, others need 11 or 12 hours to feel their best.”

Stanley says that a lot of people with sleep issues actually don’t have any problem sleeping, instead they have an expectation that they need to sleep for a certain amount of time. “If we could all figure out what kind of sleeper we are, and live our life accordingly, that would make a huge difference to our quality of life,” he says.


怎樣才能每晚只睡4個小時又精力充沛

海倫·湯姆森(Helen Thomson)
2015年 7月 15日

有的人天生就睡覺很少,你是這樣的人嗎?(圖片來源:Getty Images)

如果一年能多出60天自由支配,你會幹什麼?問問阿比·羅斯(Abby Ross)吧,這位邁阿密的心理學家是一位「短睡者」。她每晚只睡4個小時就夠了,當整個世界還沉浸在夢鄉里的時候,她卻多出了很多閒暇時間。

「每天都有那麼多時間真是太好了——感覺就像我能活兩輩子一樣。」她說。

羅斯這樣的短睡者從不會感覺昏昏欲睡,也絕不會睡過頭。他們很早就起牀——通常是早晨四五點鐘——每天都渴望開始新的生活。英國撒切爾夫人(Margaret Thatcher)或許也曾是其中的一員——她曾經表示自己每晚只需要睡4個小時,而瑪利亞·凱利(Mariah Carey)則號稱要睡15個小時。

是什麼令某些人的睡眠效率如此之高?又是什麼令其他人用掉半天時間與周公約會?我們能否改變自己的睡眠狀態,讓它更有效率?

2009年,一位女士來到加州大學舊金山分校的一個實驗室,向傅嫈惠教授抱怨自己每天都起得太早。傅嫈惠起初以為這位女士只是「百靈鳥型」睡眠模式的極端案例——這種人通常都會早起早睡。然而,這位女士卻表示,她其實每天都要等到午夜才會入睡,但凌晨4點就會感覺完全清醒。她還表示,她的家族中有好幾個人也存在相同的情況。

傅嫈惠和她的同事將這位女士的不同家族成員的基因組進行對比後發現,這些短睡者的DEC2基因中存在一種輕微的突變,而睡眠正常的家族成員卻不存在這種突變,另外250名與之無關的志願者同樣沒有這種突變。

當該團隊在老鼠中培育出相同的基因突變後,這種嚙齒動物也會減少睡眠時間,但在相同的體能和認知任務中的表現仍然與普通老鼠無異。

Image copyrightBBC WORLD SERVICE
Image caption有些人每天只需要睡幾個小時就能讓大腦恢復活力。(圖片來源:Thinkstock)

睡眠過少通常會對健康水平、生活品質和預期壽命產生重大影響,還會導致心情抑鬱、體重增加,大幅增加中風和糖尿病的患病風險。「睡眠很重要,睡得好能避免很多疾病,甚至包括癡呆症。」傅嫈惠說,「如果你強迫某人每天只睡2小時,他們的認知能力幾乎會立刻受到嚴重損害。」

但睡眠為何如此重要至今仍然有些神秘。科學界普遍認為,大腦需要通過睡眠來進行一些日常清理和維護工作,因為它在白天沒有太多的「停機時間」。我們睡覺時,大腦可以修複細胞損傷,清除白天積累的毒素,提振萎靡的能量供給,還能沉澱消化各種記憶。

「很顯然,有DEC2突變的人能在更短的時間內完成相同的清理工作——他們的睡眠效率高於普通人。」傅嫈惠說,「但我們如何才能具備這樣的能力呢?這才是關鍵問題。」

傅嫈惠表示,自從發現了DEC2突變後,很多人都曾對她聲稱自己每天只睡幾個小時。但多數人其實都是患上了失眠症。「我們的重點不是那些因為存在睡眠問題而減少睡眠時間的人,而是雖然睡得少但仍然精神煥發的人。」

傅嫈惠研究的短睡者普遍都很樂觀。「有意思的是,」她說,「他們都精力充沛,都樂觀向上。他們普遍都希望盡量讓生活過得充實一些,但我不確定這是否與他們的基因突變有關。如果有關,二者又是如何關聯起來的。」

羅斯似乎就屬於這種情況。「我醒來時總是感覺神清氣爽。」她說。從她記事起,一直都是每天只睡四五個小時。

「早晨5點左右的時光真是妙不可言。那段時間寧靜而祥和,你可以做很多事情。我希望能有更多商店在那時開門,但我可以在網上購物,或者在網上閱讀——生活在這個時代,我有很多內容可看!或者我也可以在別人沒起牀之前出門鍛煉,還能跟其他時區的人聊天。」

Image copyrightBBC WORLD SERVICE
Image caption如果早晨能有更多時間,你會幹什麼? (圖片來源:Thinkstock)

得益於這種短睡模式,她只用了兩年半就讀完了大學,還有很多時間可以學習各種新技能。例如,她的第一個兒子剛剛出生3個星期,羅斯就決定抽出一天早晨圍著街區跑步。那一次大概花了10分鐘時間。第二天,她又跑了一次,距離稍微長了一些。她逐漸增加了跑步的時間,最終用了3年時間跑完了37個馬拉松——平均每個月跑一個——外加幾次超長馬拉松。「我可以在別人起牀之前就開始鍛煉,完全不會耽誤其他事情。」她說。

羅斯記得,她童年時每天很早就會跟同為短睡者的父親共度早間時光。「早起讓我們可以共同度過這樣一段非常特別的時光。」她說。現在,如果她睡過頭了(她表示,這種情況只發生過幾次),她的丈夫甚至會誤以為她死了。「我根本不睡懶覺,睡懶覺會讓我感覺很不舒服。」她說。

走捷徑

傅嫈惠隨後對其他幾個符合短睡者特徵的家族進行了基因組測序。雖然他們才剛剛開始了解創造這種天賦的基因突變,但她認為,從理論上講,有朝一日或許可以為其他人也賦予這種能力。

在此之前,有沒有什麼捷徑能幫助普通人提升晚間的睡眠效率呢?獨立睡眠顧問尼爾·斯坦利(Neil Stanley)給出了肯定的回答:「改善睡眠效率最有效的方法就是每天早上都在固定時間起牀。」

Image copyrightBBC WORLD SERVICE
Image caption提升睡眠效率的方法之一就是保持作息規律。(圖片來源:Thinkstock)

斯坦利表示,當你的身體習慣了這一作息時間後,就會在需要睡眠時盡可能地提升效率。「研究顯示,你的身體會在真正睡醒前一個半小時做好凖備。身體渴望有規律的生活。所以,如果你總是改變睡眠模式,你的身體也無法確定應該在何時做好睡醒的凖備。」

斯坦利表示,有意識地忽略社會對睡眠的普遍看法也可以起到幫助。「社會上有一種觀點認為睡得少是好事,應當得到鼓勵——我們總是把撒切爾夫人和那些睡覺很少的頂尖首席執行官當成

榜樣。事實上,睡眠時間是由基因決定的,這一點與你的身高和鞋碼並無不同。有些人生來睡覺就少,還有的人必須睡上十一、二個小時才能恢復精力。」

斯坦利表示,很多有睡眠問題的人其實並沒有任何問題,只是因為他們給自己的睡眠時間設定了預期。「如果我們都能了解自己屬於哪種睡眠類型,據此調整生活習慣,就可以極大地改善生活品質。」他說。

請訪問 BBC Future 閱讀 英文原文

(責編:友義)

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About GhettoRacer

racer, driver coach, taoist, yogi, dreamweaver, bballer, rebel, philosopher, entrepreneur, kiva, lonewolf, vagabond, photo/video shooter, storyteller
This entry was posted in Bikram Yoga, Body/Mind/Spirit Connections, Cool story, Bro!, East/West/translations, Health & Fitness, Life/Musings, Politics/Societies/World stuff, PSA - public service announcements, Relevant News, Repost. Bookmark the permalink.

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