Researchers at the University of Californa, San Francisco, have discovered a gene that lets people get enough rest with just six hours sleep. However, the problem with the discovery is that it is a rare mutation -- only three percent of humans have it.
But scientists say the study offers a new lead into how sleep actually affects health.
Sleep deprivation has been tied to several serious problems in America, including an increase in traffic accidents, eating more because of a stronger appetite, problems with short-term memory, focus and attention, and a depressed mood.
The National Institutes of Health has reported that the average adult needs seven to nine hours every night for good health. Getting too little sleep increases the risk of health problems.
A major study in 2006 estimated that as many as 30 million people suffer from a lack of sleep or sleep disorders.