A new study in the scientific journal "Nature" reveals that some people actually have a rare genetic mutation that allows them to get less than eight hours of sleep without feeling groggy.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco studied the sleep habits and DNA samples of about 1,000 volunteers, only two of which actually had the mutation. Not coincidentally, the lucky pair was a mother and daughter, New York Daily News reports.
According to Bloomberg, an uncommon gene variant seen in a mother and daughter may help explain why some people are perky after six hours of sleep while others are fatigued and function poorly if they get fewer than eight hours regularly of shut-eye.
Sleep researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found the woman and her daughter wake up refreshed by 5 a.m. after going to bed at 11 p.m. the night before, said Ying-hui Fu, a professor of neurology. The two were the only people of about 1,000 studied to show the unusual gene variant, Fu said.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 50-70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders; the new research may help to relieve the physiological problem that some suffer from.
Although the mutation is a physical problem, it is also relatively rare occurrence. For the rest of us who have insomnia issues, the solution lies in creating healthy "sleep hygiene." According to the Sleep Disorder Institute, the following suggestions may help encourage peaceful sleep:
Establish a regular bedtime and rise time
Exercise in the late afternoon or early evening
Take a hot bath two hours before bedtime
Create a comfortable sleep environment
Sleep in a dark, quiet environment that is humidity and temperature controlled
Establish a pre-bedtime routine, such as washing your face, putting on pajamas, and reading
In addition to these helpful suggestions, the Institute also recommends that insomniacs not drink caffeine or smoke. Additionally, try not to be hyper-vigilant about the time. Turn the clock towards the wall if you have trouble in this regard; there's nothing that feeds insomnia more than fixating on how much sleep you're losing, informs Food Consumer.