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Super Sleepers May Actually Be Sleep Deprived

Sleep deprivation is a health epidemic that affects 40% of Americans. Most sufferers are aware that they would benefit from additional rest but there is a small percentage of 'Super Sleepers' who are said to operate efficiently on less than 6 hours of sleep. In the past, this assertion was taken at face value and it was thought that genetics played a role in their resilience.

New research suggests that these 'super sleepers' are just dreaming. Live Science examined a recent study that relied on brain scan technology to judge the true impact of sleep deprivation. They found that "many of the people who slept 6 hours or less per night showed brain patterns that are normally seen when a person is asleep" and "those who denied being dysfunctional due to the small amounts of sleep they normally got, might have actually drifted off."

Modern technology is in large part responsible for the sleep deprivation epidemic. The importance of maintaining a natural rhythm of exposure to sunlight during the day and darkness at night cannot be overstated. Much of the population is shielded from natural daylight and then spends the night immersed in the glow of artificial light. As a result, their body clocks are knocked out of sync and restorative sleep becomes elusive.

For many people it is not practical to be in bed by sunset. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to offset artificial light pollution and improve sleep quality. The easiest solution is wear amber colored sunglasses that block blue light. Studies confirm that people using blue-blocking glasses had major improvements in both sleep quality and mood. Other studies confirm when using blue-blocking glasses, people produce as much melatonin as they do in dim light, even if they're in a lit room or using light emitting technology.
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