There is an important physiological concept called “Bio-individuallity”. That means you are different! You always knew that but it really is true. Your environment “talks” to your genes, making you different from your parents and siblings.
Bio-individuallity means you could need as little as two hours or as much as 12 hours of sleep each day. On average, most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day. People who report less than 7 hours or more than 8 are statistically at risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and symptomatic diabetes (Spiegel et al., 2005). The American average of 8 to 9 hours per night from previous decades has dropped to less than 7 (National Sleep Foundation 2002).
So, what are the consequences? Continued sleep deprivation has an enormous impact on sleep related accidents. Ask any policeman. There is a “devil to pay” for decreased sleep time and it is being paid from your long term health, quality of life, and remaining years to live (not even counting the enormous outlay of money for treating sleep diseases such as heart failure).
If you have “excessive day time sleepiness” (See my Sleepiness Test), then you need to talk to your physician and possibly have an overnight sleep study done. If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, contact me, and I can assist you with sleep apnea treatment using an oral device (also called oral appliance therapy).
Dr. Don Lowrance