You Probably Aren’t This Lucky

Head over to the Wall Street Journal’s Health Journal for a fascinating report on a small group of people whose bodies allow them to function at extremely high levels while only getting a few hours of sleep each night. This group, dubbed “short sleepers” comprises 1-3 percent of the population and is just now beginning to receive major scientific attention. Though scientists are still working on discerning what exactly allows these people to operate in such a manner, early evidence points to variations within genetic code.

Now, Dartmouth students, before you think to yourself, “Well, I only get a few hours of sleep and I’m still incredibly productive” consider that this group of people not only sleep little and accomplish much, but they do it without caffeine, naps, and any feelings of fatigue. Unfortunately, most of the Dartmouth population seems to be among the 33 percent of Americans who simply do not get enough sleep. I know I am.

Though Dartmouth students may be “sleepless elite,” they are hardly “the sleepless elite.” And with no way to teach oneself to become a short sleeper, it looks like it will stay that way for the time being.


–Benjamin M. Riley