A sleep diary and questionnaire study of naturally short sleepers
Whereas most people require more than 6 h of sleep to feel well rested, there appears to be a group of people who can function well on between 3 and 6 h of sleep. The aims of the present study were to compare 12 naturally short (3–6 h) sleepers (9 males 3 females, mean age 39.6 years, SD age 10.1 years) recruited by a media publicity campaign with age, gender and chronotype matched medium length (7–8.5 h) sleepers on various measures. Measurement instruments included diaries and questionnaires to assess sleep duration and timing, as well as questionnaire assessments of sleep pathology, morningness–eveningness, extroversion, neuroticism, pathological daytime sleepiness, subclinical hypomania, optimism, depressive symptoms, exercise, and work habits. Few measures showed reliable differences between naturally short sleepers and controls except the obvious ones related to sleep duration. There was, however, some evidence for subclinical hypomanic symptoms in naturally short sleepers.