Can't sleep? The New York Times says not to worry

Do We Really Need to Sleep 7 Hours a Night? asks the Times' Anahad O'Connor.

I believe sleep is way overrated.

You get what you can and, unless you operate heavy machinery or pilot a plane, you make it through the day with as much or as little as you can get, without any real danger.

We have been hearing lately that Americans get too little sleep.
Among sleep researchers it is widely believed that people sleep differently today than they did 150 years ago. Many argue that the invention of the electric light bulb in the late 1800s — and all the artificially lit environments that followed — dramatically changed our sleep patterns. Exposure to artificial light at night, whether from light bulbs or computer screens, throws off the body’s biological clock, delaying and reducing sleep, experts say.
This Times article says it is not so.
...a new study is challenging that notion. It found that Americans on average sleep as much as people in three different hunter-gatherer societies where there is no electricity and the lifestyles have remained largely the same for thousands of years. If anything, the hunter-gatherer communities included in the new study — the Hadza and San tribes in Africa, and the Tsimané people in South America — tend to sleep even less than many Americans....
In fact the evidence is accumulating to support the notion that I hold.
“There is this concern in the Western world that we need more sleep and that if you get less than seven hours you’re liable to suffer from obesity and diabetes and heart disease,” he said. “But the average amount of sleep in these people was well under what is recommended to us as adequate sleep, and these were very healthy people who are not suffering chronic disease and insomnia.” 
So sleep if you can and if not do some crossword puzzles or read a book. Stop stressing out about getting too little sleep.

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