Recommendations are for a population of people, not a single person, reminds Meir H. Kryger, MD, in Psychology Today.
What about people who sleep very little, or who keep unusual schedules: Are they always risking their health? The answer is no. I recently encountered several people who slept very little and were wide-awake, alert, and feeling great without medical problems. One slept three out of 24 hours. Another was a shift worker who worked nights, and slept between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and then again between 7 and 9 p.m. He only slept four out of 24 hours! He had been referred to me to “improve his sleep,” although he had no intention of changing his sleep pattern. His “abnormal” sleep habits had remained the same for about three decades without any residual health or mood problems during that time.