Even though we’ve been exploring the mysteries of sleep for thousands of years, we know little about it. As a result, various theories and myths have come to life in an attempt to demystify sleep. One of the famous myths is the idea that anyone can survive with four hours of rest every day.

Do you think you can survive if you sleep for four hours on a daily basis? Let’s find out.

The Myth

Can some people survive with only 4 hours of sleep every night? A lot of people believe that sleeping at least 4 hours a day can help them get by. A neuroscientist named Dr. Ying-Hui Fu said that it is rare, but it can happen.

The Fact

Ying-Hui Fu discovered the short-sleepers. These are people who naturally wake up after sleeping for only 4 hours. These short-sleepers have enough energy to help them power through the day. They make up about 1% of the entire population. Famous people such as Elisabeth Holmes CEO of Theranos, Marissa Mayer CEO of Yahoo, and even former United States President Barack Obama rarely get a full night of shuteye. They needed only a short amount of rest every night instead of the recommended 7 to 9 hours.

This rare sleeping habit is linked to genetics. These people also avoid caffeine and don’t need it to stay awake and feel energized.

However, more and more scientific studies are now showing the correlation between insufficient or poor-quality sleep and different diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression. Insufficient sleep can also decrease the body’s ability to use insulin, which can lead to the development of more dangerous diabetes.

People with both poorly controlled diabetes and sleep apnea had improvements in blood sugar control after treating the sleep apnea. Also, too little shuteye can decrease your growth hormone secretion which can lead to obesity.


Can people survive with just four hours of sleep every day? It is possible, but only for 1% of the population. For most people, this is not true. You need to have sufficient sleep to stay focused and energized. More importantly, good quality and quantity sleep wards off diabetes, high blood pressure, and other possible diseases.